Pacific Northwest Natives Up Close

If you take pleasure in the details of plants, natives in particular, then even the most common occurring varieties make fine subjects for photos, especially extreme closeups.

two bees on Indian thistle

Two bees at work onn an Indian thistle flower head (Cirsium edule)

Last weekend I took a wildflower photography course at the Environmental Learning Center, which is part of the North Cascades Institute (NCI), and is adjacent to Diablo Dam on the upper Skagit River in the North Cascades National Park. The Environmental Learning Center is a partnership between NCI and the National Park Service.

The course was taught by Mark Turner of Bellingham.  Mark is co-author, with Phyllis Gustafson, of the Timber Press Field Guide, Wildflowers of the Pacific Northwest. Mark, a professional photographer specializing in botanical subjects, is especially knowledgeable about Northwest native plants and their habitats.   On the last teaching day of the weekend, he led us up Sauk Mountain, which was ablaze with wildflowers.

Here are three more photos from the weekend:

Flower Head of Orange Agoseris (Agoseris aurantiaca)

Flower Head of Orange Agoseris (Agoseris aurantiaca)

Campanula rotundifolio (Common harebell, Scotch bluebell)

Campanula rotundifolio (Common harebell, Scotch bluebell)

Shrubby Pnestemon (Penestemon fruiticosus

Shrubby Penstemon (Penstemon fruiticosus)