If you’ve been following along you know that The Boyo and I went to Bellingham last weekend. And we went looking for nature. We didn’t do well in the wildlife department, but more than made up for it with the flora.
One of the first things I noticed was that the Scotch
Broom (cytisus scoparius) was blooming along the roadways. One of my fondest memories is flying into Seattle in May, and seeing all the highways bordered by their brilliant yellow flowers. It was quite a sight. That was before I knew that Scotch Broom is a noxious weed, being an import that spreads wildly and crowds out native plants. King County, where I live, has an active eradication program. The problem with Scotch Broom is that you have to eradicate it before the seed pods are burstable, as that is how the plant spreads. They burst with an audible pop, as I can tell you from experience. I was walking a trail one June, and thought it was gunfire.
Another of my favorite plants is horse chestnut trees . These are not native either, but there are a lot of them around. I had horse chestnut trees in front of the house where I lived in Bellingham for six years. I always like to see the blooms. While researching them today, I found that the seeds are used in folk medicine to improve venous insufficiency, and it does seem to work in clinical trials.
While we were driving around in the rain looking for wildlife, we happened into a cemetary, where we saw the closest thing to wildlife,
some robins. We were in an older part of the cemetary, and I was amazed at some of the stones. Many were nearly 150 years old, pretty old for this part of the world. Europeans haven’t live here that long. Native Americans had more eco-friendly was of disposing of their dead than taking up
6x6x3 feet in the ground. One especially poignant part of the cemetary was a section where it was obvious babies and young children had been buried. But then again, death is part of life for all living creatures, and was much more common for young children until relatively recently.
Around here, the lilacs are blooming to beat the band. This weekend is very warm, around 76° F, almost summery here. I will have to get out tomorrow and see if I can’t find some wildlife other than song sparrows and chipping sparrows.