I love this time of year. Since I live on the edge of wild lands, this is the time of year where the wildflowers are a riot of color and you can’t help but get inspired to create. It’s probably good that I don’t dye yarn, or at least dye yarn yet, because I’d be going crazy with all the possible color combinations. I consider myself very lucky because I can leave my house and within two minutes I am in the forest. Yes, two minutes, I’m not exaggerating.
I brought along my camera and thought I’d share some of the great inspirations that came along. Sometimes it was the color or the shape of a flower that would help me imagine a lace pattern or color combination for a weaving project. There are so many wildflowers right now, I’m not going to show you each and every one, but here are the highlights.
So grab your hiking boots, a hat and your water bottle, lets go on a hike around my neighborhood.
First up is this sweet little native orchid, the Striped Coral Root. I have seen this in my yard, but this particular plant is across the creek from our house. I love it’s little flowers. It’s hard to tell, but the flower stalk is only about 6″ and each flower is only about a 1/4″ in diameter. It kind of reminds me of some lace patterns, with nupps.
Everywhere the Scotch Broom is blooming. The intense yellow to yellow orange remind me of the yarn I’m spinning. It has many of the same golden yellows in it.
Further up the hill I start to come across my very favorite wildflower, the Columbine. There is one particular part of the trail that has patches of Columbine on both sides. I love their little star shapes, and the combination of red and yellow is wonderful. Wouldn’t that make a great lace pattern too?
The one thing you really have to watch out for here is Poison Oak. It is every where and the sap is flowing. The California relative of Poison Ivy will give you a nasty rash, some people are more allergic than others, but avoiding it is important. It’s very tempting because it’s actually a very pretty plant, with it’s three little leaves in a dark hunter green at this time of year. Many of these wonderful wild flowers grow in the middle of poison oak. Great protection.
One of the things I really like about this hike is that it has some intense uphill aerobic hiking, it flattens out, and gives you a break before you go back down hill. It has a nice vista view, and on a clear day you can see the Pacific ocean. When I’d just about given up hope for some California Poppies, there were a couple of patches. The intense orange would give a inkle woven band a nice pop.
The second half of the hike is more under the forest canopy, which is a nice cooling break. The open grassland shares some of the same wildflowers, but there are also some that prefer the cooler environment.
I absolutely love Miner’s Lettuce. The sweet little cup shapes and tiny delicate flower that stretches out from it’s center remind me of childhood and some of the hikes I took with my Mother. And if I get hungry, it makes a nice salad. I love it’s light green.
As I come back down the hill, crossing the creek, I enjoy the gurgling. The dark greens and softness of mosses give me opportunity to stop and enjoy the quiet of the forest. Whenever I do this hike, I always leave the music at home. The connection with my environment gives me opportunities to tune into the birds, or the creek and enables me to get outside of my head. Ahh.
Almost back to the road, the Forget-Me-Nots are a sea of pale blue. These tiny flowers have truly earned their name. Brush against them, and they come with you. As flowers now, they are lovely, but when they go to seed the little burrs are not as wonderful.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the hike around my part of the planet. Hopefully you too have found some inspiration to take with you. And if you want an even more aerobic hike, turn around and go back up the trail. They don’t call it “heart attack hill” for nothing.