Monday, April 14, 2008

Methow Valley Update (Mid April)

We went on a beautiful evening walk tonight and I want to record all that is happening so that I can compare notes with the following years.

Today was the first day we noticed the river growing - caught us totally by surprise. A few days ago we were down by the river chasing marmots when we found a hawthorn! Quite the find. It's strange we've never seen it before, but we've been eating a lot of hawthorn berry vinegar lately and it's like it jumped out of the landscape.

So many plants have just shot out of the ground. Lomatium dissectum, or chocolate tips, is out and flowering and seems to be everywhere!

Buttercups are dotting the hillside as are yellow bells and blue bells.

It's the perfect season for harvesting yellow dock leaves - see all that green? It's all dock!

Switching from flora to fauna - can you see the marmot tracks? They like to hang out in my dock field.

Oregon grape is getting ready to bloom its tart yellow flowers.

Today we also noticed the elderberry is starting to sprout leaves and we did a little pruning to clear out the dead branches and make room for the new. (My elderberry wine is sitting in bottles right now and I can hardly wait for it to be ready... just six more months!)

Arrowleaf balsam root was just peaking it's head out of the ground a few days ago and now the leaves have grown tremendously and the flower heads are out as well.

Mullein is looking healthy and the sqaw currants are completely leafed out. The pussy willows outside the house are covered in green fuzzy tips and the bees have been busy buzzing around while the warblers and swallows have been busy eating them up. The red wing blackbirds are constantly crying out to "poke yerrr neighberrr" and at times there are at least fifty robins eating in the field.

Dandelions are growing in the garden as are little tiny leaves that are too young to identify. Xavier wonders if it will be all the squash we composted last fall... In general the hillsides are getting greener, but there is still snow in the not to distant mountains.