Mystery Flora: Minty-Leaved Pretties

Here are some more lovelies from that same Oregon trip that brought you the starry lavender delights and the lovebugs.

Image shows a tall stem bearing clusters of pinkish-purple flowers and bright green leaves that look a bit like spearmint. It's climbing against a mossy rock.
Mystery Flora I

I have a feeling I could spend the rest of my life just shuffling around Washington and Oregon, and never run out of new sets of flowers. I won’t run low on geology to eyeball, either. Between these things and sporking Christianist textbooks, I should be able to keep these pages well fed.

Another photo of the flowers, showing a cluster surrounded by the leaves. The leaves are in clusters of three.
Mystery Flora II

Speaking of sporkings, my leisure reading is Mouse’s snark at the Left Behind kids series. I have no idea why I like to send myself to sleep by reading about some of the world’s worst books, but I’ve got an idle idea I may get some geology out of them. A tradition started in the comments at Slactivist of renaming Nicolae Carpathia. Since his last name was taken from mountains, people would call him Nicky Rockies and things of that nature. Mouse has carried on that tradition, only she uses some rather obscure-to-Americans mountains and ranges. I’m half-tempted to go back through and blog them. What do you say? Would you like a series introducing you to some mountains of the world?

Image is a wide view showing the flower stems growing against the large rock.
Mystery Flora III

Because the kids’ books are short, Mouse has gotten further along than Fred has with the main series, so we’re already on Wormwood here. I about choked the night I read about it, because according to LaHaye, Wormwood is a big ol’ comet made of – wait for it – rotting wood. Yep. Rotten outspace wood ball, that’s Wormwood, according to those who don’t actually read the Bible literally but think they do, and sometimes take things literally in really odd ways.

It’s a good thing I haven’t done any drugs lately, because that would’ve made me sure I’d done something permanent and terrible to my brain.

Image is a close up of one of the flower clusters, showing full blooms and buds all packed together.
Mystery Flora IV

I suppose that’s why I read this stuff when I could be reading something better: I don’t have to pay close attention, so it’s great for going to sleep with, but at the same time, there are these delightful absurdities that are howlingly funny – until you realize there are people in the world who believe this is an actual thing that is going to happen in the very near future. Ow, my brain.

Speaking of ow, I took a thorough look at that Coulee conspiracy book Trebuchet bought for us, and had to put it down and go do something else. It’s terrible. I’m not sure if it’s going to end up being funny-terrible or terrible-awful when we’re done. It saddens me that there are people who actually think this way, and are earnest about it, and put their thoughts so-called on paper in an effort to make other people believe them. Being so bloody paranoid and narrow-minded can’t make for a very satisfying intellectual life. It’s sad to come across such stunted minds.

Ah, well. Forget that for now. We’ll face it soon enough. For now, flowers.

Image shows a few clusters of the flowers against the rock. A bit of sunshine has emboldened their colors.
Mystery Flora V

That’s much better.

Mystery Flora: Minty-Leaved Pretties

5 thoughts on “Mystery Flora: Minty-Leaved Pretties

  1. 1

    I think it is Ribes sanguineum, Red-flowering Currant. It’s one of several native currants found in the northwest. It is indeed very pretty, and several cultivated varieties are popular with gardeners. It is in the same genus as the currants and gooseberries that are grown for eating. One of my favorite native shrubs, it grows near where I live in central California.

  2. rq

    Definitely a currant. Upon examination, I agree with essjay above.
    Very beautiful! I’ve never seen a currant with such brightly coloured flowers, though! The garden varieties are much more subtle (when in flower – the black currant actually has pale green flowers, very pretty but not as flashy!
    And hooray, it is native to your neck of the woods! Also edible, but from what I read, not particularly tasty.

  3. 3

    I have a feeling I could spend the rest of my life just shuffling around Washington and Oregon, and never run out of new sets of flowers.

    Never mind the borders — botanical wonderland is a continuum stretching from Big Sur to the Kenai Peninsula. It’s all lush and wonderful and Pacific-coastal and yes. Coast redwood and yerba santa at one end, Sitka spruce and fireweed at the other, but no reasonable dividing line in between. (Yeah, this is also my “places to live when I finish my credential and MS” range — why do you ask?)

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