Here in the Pacific Northwest we enjoy many days with overcast skies. Cloudy, grey, and gorgeous, overcast days are my favorites second only to rainy days, or maybe snowy days.
I live just a hop across the Hood Canal, east of the Olympic Peninsula. Our local forests may not be quite as luscious as the Hoh Rainforest out near the Pacific Ocean, but we nonetheless enjoy the many benefits of hugging the Olympic foothills. We receive morning Hood Canal mist in summer, rogue snowstorms rolling off the mountains in winter, and righteous rainfalls throughout the seasons which transform all surfaces into a sort of omnitransversant riverscape.
Last week we had a lovely visit from a spring snowstorm which unloaded five inches of snow in five hours. If I hadn’t been so busy having fun and attending to the usual shoveling and wood prep, I would have grabbed some pictures to share.
Instead I offer these images from this evening’s overcast skies. Notice the Black cottonwood quietly leafing out in yellow-green (close-ups to follow). It’s been a bright day in western Washington – too bright for shade-lovers like me. I give thanks to the clouds that rolled in at sunset. Tonight’s clouds allow us to glimpse a cross-section of the local colors I cherish: silver-grey, chalk-white, black-evergreen, periwinkle, gold, dusty lavender and rose.
Our blushing flower guest today is Purple dead-nettle (Lamium purpureum), a member of the mint family which is introduced in this region. According to Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast (one of the best books ever), the name "dead-nettle" refers to its quality of not stinging like other nettles. I encourage Purple dead-nettle and Self-Heal (Prunella vulgaris), both members of the Lamiaceae family, to grow along pathways, driveways, and places where nothing else wants to grow.
- Deadline for submissions is April 28th.
- Participation is easy: blog about trees, send us the link, spread the word!
- Email submissions to: dream.lizard [at] googlemail [dot] com — or use The Festival of the Trees contact form at the coordinating blog.