I had the sweet pleasure of wandering solo in the woods a few days ago. I didn’t even bring the dog, a guilty pleasure. It was so silent at times, I felt a nervous energy creep up on me — the feeling that I might be being watched by some other mammal as I tramp through its home. Perhaps it wasn’t really the silence of the forest, but the silence of my mind that stirred up such thoughts. All the busy clutter of the day left behind, leaving a little space for my imagination.
The Rocky Mountain Juniper is showing off its spring splendor in full form. So adorned, the males are, in pollen producing cones, the trees appear entirely yellow from afar. I pity anyone who is allergic. There would be no escape.
The kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) is coming into flower. Uva ursi is a medicinal plant with antibacterial properties. It is most frquently used for infections of the urinary tract. It was widely used, even by conventional medical practitioners, into the early 20th century. The leaves are used to make tea or tincture. The berries are edible, too. They are sweet, but mealy. Bear, purportedly, love them, which is why this plant is also referred to as Bearberry.
I was delighted to find these pink cones adorning the limbs of the White Fir (Abies concolor). The gymnosperms proving that flashy reproductive structures are not just for the flowering plants.