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A Morning in the Sage

Early May – It’s prime time for walks in the Wenatchee Foothills. Foothill Trails in the Upper Valley (e.g., Sauer Mountain) still aren’t at peak bloom but the flowers around the Sage Hills, Saddle Rock, and Dry Gulch scream for attention. Use this trail index for the details of accessing and visiting any of these areas.

The best time of day to visit? Early morning (between 5:30 and 8:30 a.m.)  and early evening when the light is golden and the low-lying sun spreads patterns of shadow across the folds in the surrounding hills. 

Last Saturday I took an early morning walk in the Sage Hills; here’s a small percentage of what I saw.





Note: Getting into the Sage Hills from the Day Drive access point currently has some thorny parking issues. More about that here. This issue will likely get resolved in the months ahead but to access from Day Drive right now here’s one of the more friction-free M.O.s : Park on Fifth Street (between Jennings and Surry, preferably on the south side of the road or pointing downhill) and walk into the hills through the Day Drive access point. 



Photo: Looking over town from the hills. Arrow-leaf balsamroot in the foreground...and the mid-ground...and everywhere else for that matter. Photo below: Chopper and the One-Two Divide in back, balsamroot and lupines in front.


Above: While this plant was suffering from premature coloration, most of the lupines were still holding back. Below: An early morning jogger and mountain biker enjoying the prime time  show. 













Photo: I was photographing the trail and this couple happened along, so I ambushed them....photographically, that is.



Photo below: Serviceberry bush and rock. 


Most of the lower-elevation serviceberries bloomed over a week ago. When they put on their show, they looked like this (below).







Photo: I'm unsure whether this is false dandelion or wavy-leaf microseris, two flowers that are closely related. The deer call it ... salad (note the nibbled leaf tips).

Below: Frankly, when you get back and load your pictures into the computer, the colors always look drabber than you remember... I mean, the colors were far more intense than this washed out scene.