Spring in the high desert is always a great time to celebrate the small changes in nature. The blush of green that starts to grace our normally gray and brown sagebrush flats. The wax currant that bravely puts out its first leaves only to be welcomed by a snow shower. And the wildflowers! The little guys that shine their yellow and white faces to the sun to soak in some warmth before the next frost. Goldfields, prairie star, spring draba, each about the size of a dime, are heralds of spring.They light up the slopes of Whychus Canyon Preserve in April and May, but be careful, if you hike too fast you might miss them!
Come May the wildflowers start to get bolder. Dime-size flowers give way to half-dollar ones: sand lilies, larkspur, buckwheat. Then, we can revel in the showy guys that will signal the arrival of summer: lupine, balsamroot, and paintbrush. Now is the time to get out and soak in these blooms! The greens, yellow, pinks, and purples will only last for so long. Take our virtual tour of flower photos by Kris Kristovich below and then find these local favorites at Whychus Canyon Preserve, Camp Polk Meadow Preserve or Indian Ford Meadow Preserve on guided hike or on your own!
Let us know what blooms you're seeing in the comments below, or email us a picture of a pesky flower you can't identify to sarah (at) deschuteslandtrust.org and we'll do our best to help!
If the slideshow below doesn't appear, watch it here.
Photos: Kris Kristovich
Follow Deschutes's board Blooming in May at Land Trust Preserves on Pinterest.