Our First Spring Nature Walk part 3

by Cynthia

Today I am wrapping up my spring nature walk series that I began two days ago. To get caught up please follow the links here and here.

Not surprisingly, seeing that we are in Oregon, we easily spotted several Oregon grapes (Mahonia aquifolium) along our walk. Most of the ones we saw appeared to be just days away from blooming.

Oregon Grape

The Oregon grape is Oregon’s state flower as well as a native. It is quite a useful plant and I am excited to have recently added one to our backyard garden. The berries are edible and can be used to make jelly or wine. It also has many medicinal purposes as well as being a good source of natural dye.

Alder trees are also a source of natural dye and on our walk we noticed that they are just beginning to leaf out. Some Alders are native to Oregon and some are not. I have not yet learned to identify which ones are so I am not too sure of the two pictured below. An interesting tidbit about Alders from the OSU website is that Alders fix nitrogen much like legumes do.

Alder

Alder

Finally one plant that we enjoyed proved to be the hardest for me to photograph. This particular Indian plum (Oemleria cerasiformis) that I photographed was completely covered in its greenish-white flowers and was very pretty. Unfortunately those pretty white flowers proved to be quite a challenge for me to capture in a picture without getting lost in the surroundings around them.

Indian Plum

The Indian plum is yet another native and it can grow to about 15 feet. I found myself thinking it would look very lovely next to the red-flowering currants (Ribes sanguineum) that I fell in love with. I would not mind having either one in my garden to enjoy.

Indian Plum

This nature walk is just the start of many more to come this year for my homeschooling family. We very much enjoy them and there is no better way to study nature than to actually get out there and experience it. I hope my readers enjoyed the pictures from this nature walk as much as I enjoyed taking them.

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