A wild flower, caged.

About 150 miles northwest of Tahiti lies Raiatea, 65 square miles, and the spiritual center of the Polynesian world. This week, a holy site there, Taputapuatea, was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites. Another world-famous marvel on the island is the tiare apetahi, an incredibly rare flower found only on Raiatea, and […]

Two and a Half Months of Milkweed

About halfway between my apartment and my office is a community garden. In a corner of that community garden is a milkweed plant. I first noticed it in early September, because of the brightly-colored animals crawling all over it. These, I learned from the internet (thanks, internet), are milkweed bugs. They eat milkweed seeds by […]

Waiting for Peak Bloom

It was a long winter in North America.  The kind of winter where you think, well, that must have been the last snow storm, and then it snows three more times. It seemed like this might be the year when, Narnia-style, winter never ends. Here in Washington, we gauge spring by the cherry trees. The […]

The Botanist Nobody Knew

Before dawn on October 3, 1932, in the small Columbia River town of Bingen, Washington, an 82-year-old man walked to the depot to catch the morning train to Portland. Under circumstances that remain unclear, the arriving train struck him down, killing him almost instantly. The man had lived in town for more than half a […]