Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Abies balsamea 'Nana'

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wednesday Vignette: Tenacity (Finding Where You Belong)

I'm milking my last hike for all it's worth with these Wednesday Vignette posts, a meme hosted by Anna of Flutter & Hum. I could probably do a years-worth of vignettes just from that trip. This week, I'm sharing a photo of a saxifrage growing in a tiny bit of moss on a bare rock face. It seems a harsh and tenuous environment, hanging onto a vertical rock face that forms one side of a notch through which a waterfall roars. But somehow this tenacious plant has found its perfect spot. Saxifrages in general like cool, moist conditions with excellent drainage. It doesn't get much better than a sheer rock face, with a bit of moss over your roots to retain moisture on hot days, constantly bathed in a moisture-laden breeze generated by a waterfall.

This is the waterfall, called the Pool of Winds, on the Hamilton Mountain Trail in the Columbia River Gorge. It's one of my favorite spots in the gorge. The waterfall plummets into a rocky bowl with sheer walls, pouring out of a narrow slit at the opposite side to continue in a series of cascades, passing under a bridge visible from the Pool of Winds where the main trail crosses the stream. A side trail leads up to the slit, where hikers can lean out and stick their faces in the cool, misty breeze that rushes out from the waterfall chamber. The saxifrage is growing on the left-hand side, near the top. In winter, this view is inaccessible, as the waterfall floods the rock shelf in front of the notch. The amount of water that must flow through that notch raises the high water line, but the saxifrage apparently is safe above that raging torrent. It took a risk and found its perfect spot. In deciding on a photo (or photos) to post for my Wednesday Vignette this week, this scene struck a chord with me. I'm currently considering taking on a risk in order to find my spot, my perfect fit, as we all do at least once in our lives. We should all be as lucky as this daring plant, for whom the risk paid off.
The mist rushing out from the waterfall makes it difficult to get a clear shot.

6 comments:

  1. When you come to propagate that rose, I want to hear all about your risk-considerations. How exciting, and yet scary at the same time... Wonderful photos, Evan - perhaps you should see the success of that brave little Saxifrage as a sign?

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    1. That's a nice thought. Gotta stay optimistic, right? The ones who need to know first should all know by the time I stop by for that rose, so deal!

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  2. These are absolutely beautiful photos, Evan! Best wishes with that pending decision.

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  3. Fabulous photos, with the added benefit of drawing comparisons to your own life. I think Anna's point of view is rubbing off on you.

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    1. Thanks, Ricki. I think I'm just trying to copy her.

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