These lovely little wild violets are just starting to make their appearance, you have to look hard to find them but it's worth the hunt on hands and knees!
The Indian Paintbrush is just starting to bud out, soon the ground will be splashed with orange and red bursts of blooms. The colours are so vibrant against the new spring greenery!
And the wild strawberries are in bloom! A promise of a sweet treat to come; the wild strawberries are so very tiny but their flavour is impossible to beat. It would take a very dedicated strawberry picker quite some time to pick enough to make jam, I don't have the patience I'm afraid. So I reserve them for nibbling as we hike along the trails, delicious!
And here are the Fairy Slippers or Calypso bulbosa orchids as they are officially known. So very tiny and delicate, I had to lay on my stomach on the ground to get low enough to take these pictures. It seems impossible that something this fragile could survive in the wilderness, but they are everywhere in the hills above our home.
They need undisturbed areas to grow and as the hills above us haven't been logged in many years, they are flourishing.
And I got a surprise when I got up onto the hill, the arrowleaf balsamroot is in flower! These daisy like flowers are actually a member of the sunflower family and all of the plant is apparently edible, although I can't say as I've tried them :O) Their bright sunshiny blooms scatter the hills around our home in places that most other plants can't tolerate and they are a welcome sight in the early Spring.
I don't know that I've shown you a picture of the area we live in before; this photo was taken at 'The Lookout', as it's known locally, on the hill above our home. It looks down onto the valley where many small farms are located, we are looking north-northwest here. Such a pretty view in the Spring when the trees are bursting into leaf.
This is one of my favourite 'wildlife trees' in the hills above us; the pups wouldn't cooperate and sit in front of it to give you some perspective but this old, dead, broken fir must be close to 15 feet in circumference at it's base. The bark is full of holes where the woodpeckers have been mining for bugs and higher up they have their cavities where they nest. All manner of wildlife live in the remnants of this majestic fir and I love the texture of the weathered bark and the bright green of the lichens and moss growing on the broken limbs.
But Mother Nature always balances the death of one tree with the new life of another, the aspens and poplars spring up in the open clearings where an evergreen has fallen. The bright green of the aspen leaves are a promise that this forest will endure.
And with that, our hike is done and a stomp in the creek is definitely in order! The cool, clear water bubbling over the rocks is a welcome respite after our hike in the hills. The Delinquent certainly enjoyed her impromptu bath! Hope you enjoyed our ramble and that you'll come back soon for another and until then, happy hiking!