Winter Bouquet

DSCN1978Although spring is a ways off, there has been plenty of material out in the woods for table centerpieces.  On one of our recent walks, A. helped me to collect incense cedar branches (Calocedrus decurrens), a few twigs of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium) and the expired flowering stems of last year’s Plumas County beardtongue (Penstemon neotericus) and coyote mint (Monardella odoratissima).  Best of all were the paired, linear, maroon-colored, seed pods of spreading dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium), which we have watched split along their sutures and explode into a fluffy clouds of tufted seeds.  We also included branches of green leaf manzanita (Arctostaphylos patula) that were very prematurely in bud.  Once inside the house, they broke into clusters of bell-flowered blooms.

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