Summer Starting

Saturday, July 10, 2021 — (In 13 days, July’s fullest moon [“Thunder”] will rise.)

I’m entering into a new season of horseback riding in the forest. The weather has been brutally hot and on most days I observe few, if any, signals of other humans nearby and also battling heat. As long as the horses walk among trees, it’s pleasantly cool out riding, and pretty views invite exploration.

One of my first objectives has been finding my beloved wild Blue Elderberry. As last summer wound down, the deer completely stripped that shrub’s earlier abundant leafs and gorgeous white flowers. I had to check and be assured of regeneration. What a delight to find it with healthy leafing but no blooms yet.

Blue Elderberry, an Oregon native shrub, is valuable for wildlife, with cover and nesting for birds and small mammals. It has edible fruit and flowers that insects pollinate and has nectar for hummingbirds. Squirrels and other small mammals eat its fruit.

Excuse this capture, crooked and fuzzy, taken as I worked also to hold still two grass-grabbing horses.

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Pimmy usually comes along, and follows her horses.

Many beautiful wildflowers are popping. A favorite is Indian Pink, one of the most attractive wildflowers. An established healthy Pink will have emerald green leaves and upward-facing, brilliant-red tubular flowers that flute-out. Here’s the lone bloom we came across.

Most often in the forest, I’m managing two horses and a donkey. When next another rider is along, I’ll take a camera to photograph wildflower varieties. If someone else holds my horse, it’s easy to dismount, capture, and again climb on. Many forest areas are eye-fillers, with color and beauty.

Right here, too, at home surprises pop up. Annually, a joyous moment is spotting an earliest seasonal Sego Lily. It’s a bulbous perennial that grows in the Western United States. Here’s my discovery of this summer’s earliest bloomer.

I’ll eagerly anticipate upcoming wild Elderberry blooms!

Dear Friends: Also noting that “Bird” still hangs nearby, always hungry, communicating, delightful. Diana

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