I just returned from visiting my family in Oregon. It included a couple of quick visits to some old haunts in the valley and up the Siskiyous. May is the tail end of spring and it's heralded by roses, iris and rhododendrons.
My goal for this trip was to get out in the mountains and just breathe. I miss the perfume of the forest, the sponginess of the moss, the waft of whatever is flowering, the quick flash of fish jumping. The Rogue Valley where I grew up is nestled between the Cascade and Siskiyou mountains, with a mix of environs and plants. There was still snow on the peaks but the spring flooding was over so the water was completely clear.
I was home.
Or was I?
Down by the dam, (Applegate river has an earthen reservoir to form the lake) the white quartz and orange shale reminded me of the yellow limestone here in Hill Country.
Of course the water in this lake was blue, not the interesting brown that you find in Austin.
Back down in the valley, I dragged Mom down Hanley Road to see if the strawberries were ripe (they were) and to stop in at the Southern Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station and Jackson County Extension service. They are always doing interesting plant trials. I was totally captivated by their cover crop mix featuring blue tansy (Phacelia tanacetifolia), purple vetch, rye grass, and volunteer wheat. The staff invited me to pick a bouquet. So I did.
But, I do the same thing with wine cup - a plant I couldn't grow to save my life in Oregon, but one that appears everywhere here in Central Texas.
I have to ask myself. Where is home? The mountains of Oregon with the perfume of respiring trees?
Grasses or trees?
Kitty or doggy ears?