Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Memaloose Hills

Memaloose Hills is famously one of the most beautiful spring wildflower hikes in the area. We decided that a warm, sunny spring day offering a break from the rain was perfect for discovering it. It's kind of a hidden gem, but quite easy to find.  From I-84 eastbound, take exit 69, drive through Mosier and about 3 miles down the road you will see the Memaloose Overlook on your left with its parking area.  Be sure to check out the overlook and the gorgeous views of the Columbia. Then cross the road to the unmarked trail.  That's it!  We experienced very little elevation gain, just a spectacular oak savanna thronging with bright drifts of flowers.  There were many fast fence lizards, which seemed quite curious about us.  If we spotted one and stayed in one spot for a while to watch it, it would eventually run across our feet and find a nearby perch from which to gawk at us. 
Balsamroot.
Desert parsley.
Prairie star.
Saxifrage.
Delphinium (larkspur).
Wild cucumber.
Buttercup.
Western spring beauty. 
Blue-eyed Mary.
Saxifrage.
Shooting star.
Fence lizard.
Blue-eyed Mary. 
Western spring beauty.
View from the overlook.
View from the overlook.
Prairie stars.
Naked broomrape.
Lupine.
Delphinium (larkspur). 
Lupine and desert parsley. 
Indian paintbrush.
Naked broomrape.
Wild cucumber.
Miner's lettuce.
Balsamroot.
Shooting star.
Fence lizard.
Chocolate lily.
Chocolate lily.
Fence lizard.
Vetch.
A moth (hiding) and a ladybug.  The ladybug is up to something.  No idea what!  
Fiddleneck.
Chocolate lilies.

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