Taller than man…


columbia hills 2014 gorgeThere’s a place where the flowers grow taller than man…if that man, or woman, decides to lay down.

Do. There, in that grassy spot.

columbia hills 2014 mix

Sit, take off your shoes and socks. No, not there. Watch out for the ants; a little to your left where the grass is smooth. Yes. There.

columbia hills 2014 lupine

Now, stretch out. Get comfortable. You’ll want to stay in this place and let me warn you,  it will be most difficult to know when you should leave. So, perhaps set your backpack as a pillow, tilt the brim our your hat to shade your eyes from the sun, and  be still.

columbia hills 2014 desert parsley

Then, the only thing you’ll see are flowers and sky. Green, yellow, purple, blue. It’s not the primary palette but the hue of Spring on the Columbia Plateau. Balsamroot, lupine, and desert parsley now tower above you. You are but a small thing in a wide-open world of brilliance.columbia hills mix3

Breathe deeply. The perfume of the balsamroot is sweet, soft, and finer than the priciest Coco Chanel concoction.  Even the persistent Columbia Gorge winds are not strong enough to carry away the luscious scent. You lie there thinking that it might be pervasive enough to infuse your clothes, your hair, and your soul, with the gentle fragrance of this place, forever.

columbia hills 2014 rock1

The wind whips the broad balsomroot leaves and they make an unlikely clatter amid this peaceful scene.  Leaf against leaf, against stem, against blossom. A regular vegetative cacophony, but one suited for the finest concert hall…Now appearing at the Met:  East Wind solos on the balsamroot. But, it’s not really a solo. Western Meadowlarks lark, and bees buzz, and far away a hawk cries. If my hearing were only more acute, perhaps I’d hear the wings of the ochre ringlet as it works to navigate this pollen paradise.

columbia hills 2014 whites


Sit for a while and you’ll know why the blossoms parch and fade. Even with the cooling winds and afternoon hours you soak up sun – none other than a solar sponge. But, don’t go yet, if you like the color now, just imagine what the sunset will bring./

columbia hills bleached


4 thoughts on “Taller than man…

  1. I’ve been there…. to this wonderful place. I have found it in Africa and Australia. The plants had different names, but the colours, and the smells and the those amazing sounds – they were the same. It’s a taste of heaven 🙂
    I love that we have both found and enjoyed this spot!

  2. Very lovely description of the paradise shown in your photos.
    I made a start of a web site – more photos than words. But I haven’t added the winter pictures or shots of our very late start to spring..pictures.

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