Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mountain Meadow


a tract of grassland used for pasture or serving as a hayfield.
a tract of grassland in an upland area near the timberline.

The soft, golden light will make a meadow of wildflowers glow.

The road from gate to cabin leads through a mountain meadow. It's a short walk from the shelter of the cabin each morning to the meadow where we go to enjoy the view and appreciate the little treasures found there. May and June are the most beautiful months in our meadow.

The sky is always expressive. Clouds puff overhead and sometimes move swiftly across the sky. Other times we are in the clouds as they create a fog that wafts about us as we walk. The distant mountain ridge is blue with beauty, often showing patches of white snow on ridges and peaks.

Blue lupines dot the landscape as the meadow opens before our eyes. The seeds of this blossom can be soaked in running water to remove the bitter alkaloids and then cooked or toasted to make the seeds edible. While not a common food for most of us, it's fascinating to discover all the plants on the mountain that are good to eat if desired or required. 

The golden pea, rightly called Thermopsis montana adds color and cheer as it dots the meadow. A bumble bee ignores me and keeps feasting on the floral nectar. The flowers in the pea family of plants are known for five petals that form a distinctive "banner, wings, and keel". Can you see them? Although this plant is of the pea family, it is poisonous and should never be ingested.

The Prairie Star also dots the hillside meadow. Although tiny, their flowers are intricate and exhibit such fine perfection. This flower is sometimes called smallflower woodland star. If you look closely at the grasses behind this flower you'll see that something has "chomped" the blades of grass at some point in time. Rest assured that it was not a lawn mower, but more likely an elk or deer that bed down in the meadow. They keep the ground churned up with their hoof prints. It is amazing that anything can grow at all!

Altogether the flowers created a haze of color. Notice how the section of meadow in the back is mostly yellow, whereas the front area is blue. Nature creates the most amazing landscapes! Although there is some "mixing" of colors, each mostly stays with its own kind.

The animals that live here year around keep a trail "open" along the top ridge of the meadow. It's interesting how animals, like humans, prefer ease of passage through the forest. Have you taken time to notice animal trails on mountain hillsides? We appreciate their trails and use them too! 

Can you see what our trail cam saw on the trail last week? Look closely! It was 2:39 AM, so this is a night shot. Mr. Bobcat seems to enjoy the trail too! Click on the photo, if you'd like, to enlarge the view. We saw several tiger swallowtail butterflies on our walk through the meadow as well, but I was not quick enough with my camera to get a picture. They are flighty creatures!

After a walk through the woods and meadow, it's always a delight to return to the comfort of the cabin where we can enjoy a hot cup of tea and the cozy comfort of a warm wood fire.

Today I am linking to Bernideen's Tea Time Blog.


  1. Meadows are a peaceful place to collect one's thoughts and be refreshed. Yes, I love to meander in a meadow. Yours will do nicely!

  2. A meadow is a perfect place to collect one's thoughts, pray, and be refreshed. . Yours will do nicely!

  3. Beautiful and peaceful. Glad that bobcat was out later than you!

  4. Wow, a bobcat! How great to get a pic of him.

    What beautiful photos, LaDonna...so peaceful. The colours are amazing in spring time. Oh, and you finished with a cup of tea, how perfect. :o)

  5. Always great to see the cabin and the meadow, and the wildlife. My favorite things to see, though, are the tea cups!

  6. What lovely pictures of your meadow. And how lucky to get a picture of the Bobcat. Your teacups are pretty.

  7. Oooh, how exciting to get a pic of the bobcat!

    Chanoyu (Japanese Tea Ceremony) prizes the wildflower. In fact, the best flowers to use in a chabana (tea flower) display are those that bloom only for a day and may be under appreciated elsewhere. The sense of impermanence adds more meaning. I love that you are such an observer of this impermanence!

  8. I have heard the sound of the bobcat - scarey. Beautiful wild flowers and lovely posting!

  9. You have a little piece of paradise on earth, La Tea Dah. Ohhhh, lupines. Have you read the children's book "Miss Rumphius?" If not, it's a total winner. Check it out at the library! Susan


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