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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sunshine, Snow, and Blossoms

Ahhh.....spring in the Pacific NW.  It's when my outdoor interests start to seriously conflict.  Do I go up to the mountain for a day of skiing?  But wait, there's wildflowers blooming in the eastern Gorge.  The nicer weather has me hankering to lace up my hiking boots once again.  However....ski season is going to be over soon.  I really should get in a few more days while the resort is still open.  Oh, what to do?


Sunny ski day!

A week ago last Sunday had me pondering these very questions.  It was supposed to be a sunny day on the mountain, and a day of spring skiing sounded wonderful.  But I'd also heard the fruit trees were blooming in the Hood River Valley.  Having missed the big bloom for the last few springs, I really wanted to see it this year.


Dean and Kathy make a cute couple

So I did what someone with multiple interests would do - and compromised.  I spent a fun morning on the slopes with my friends Dean and Kathy.  The skies were blue and the snow was soft.  I had a great time skiing from the resort's very top lift.


Dean riding Outer Limits

The views were so spectacular!  I could see the surrounding hills with foggy clouds hanging in the valleys between.


Foggy valleys below

By early afternoon, endless solar energy beaming down began turning the firm, slick snow into a soupy, sticky mess.  Time to quit skiing - and pay a visit to the Hood River Valley.


Mt. Hood and pear orchard

Yes, a trip home via the Hood River Valley is a bit longer than the standard direct route down highway 26.  But this time of year, the fabulous scenery from thousands of blooming fruit trees makes it well worth the extra minutes.


Blossom time!

The Hood River Valley is known for producing lots of fruit, specifically apples and pears.  It's one of the world's largest pear growing areas.


Found a pollinator

A drive down US Highway 35 is particularly scenic in spring when huge blooming orchards line the nearby hillsides.


Rows of trees

I started my quest for blossoms outside the tiny town of Parkdale.  It didn't take long for me to pass by a large field of pear trees in full flower mode.  Not only was I able to capture the full height of bloom, Mt. Hood anchored the nearby skyline.  What could be better?


Blossom macro

After several photo stops around Parkdale, I drove further down the valley towards the city of Hood River.  Although the trees at these lower elevations were starting to shed their petals, I still was able to capture some great shots of an orchard with perfect views of Mt. Adams down it's rows.


Mt Adams anchors this row

Oh it was a glorious afternoon!  Clear blue skies and acres of trees decked out in frilly white pear blossoms.


The Hood River Valley is gorgeous!

Only in Oregon - Where else can you ski all morning and tour blooming orchards on your way home!

(Have I told you how much I love living here?)


28 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you decided to split your day. These are lovely, happy, end of season snow shots, and absolutely stunning shots of the blossom. When I was a child we had a single, very tall, very old pear tree in the garden. Its blossom was a delight. I can hardly imagine how wonderful it must be to be surrounded by whole orchards.

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  2. Puts our orchards to shame, O wait we have none the EEC saw to that, thought it was too good we had better apples than Europe. I did not realise you still had snow, least stuff you could ski on. Those orchards go on for miles

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  3. Both the snow and blossom shots are gorgeous

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  4. Que maravilha de fotografias, gostei bastante.
    Um abraço e boa Quarta-Feira.

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  5. Hello, the snow covered mountains are gorgeous. But, I also love the blossoming trees. Lovely post and gorgeous photos. Have a great day!

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  6. What a difference- nicely done

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  7. That was the best of 2 worlds, wasn't it?

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  8. Loved this post and the smiling faces, Linda. You had gorgeous views all day. Like you, we drive a bit to see a blooming spring - those pear trees and the greenery surrounding them are beautiful. I love your Oregon scenery. We'll take a short trip in the next few days to do some biking near Basalt after Bob has his eye checkup. Hopefully there will be some spring blooms. Our ski mountain closes this weekend.

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  9. Fantastic! The last time we were in HR we were too early for ripe fruit but enjoyed seeing masses of young fruit on the trees. How fun you have the opportunity to see the full life cycle. I LOVE Oregon!

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  10. Great contrast in your day and both of them very beautiful.

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  11. Looks like a great time, Linda! Your photos are absolutely gorgeous and captivating! :)

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  12. I love your enthusiasm for the area you inhabit. Your photos are stunning as always.

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  13. Awesome! What a great compromise you made. We got to see you enjoying fun sking and then the amazing views of the orchards and the mountains. Loved it all.

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  14. What a perfect day! Where I live It's not uncommon for me to ski while my wife golfs on the same day...

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  15. Beautiful images no matter where you are and what season you embrace :)

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  16. What a spectacular day for you! I can feel your euphoria through your words and photos. Such a magnificent sky, snowy peaks and white blossoms. Pretty hard to beat.

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  17. Outings like that are the best. Winter in the morning then spring in the afternoon. A perfect combination. Lovely photos with snow covered mountains behind.

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  18. What a perfect day for you! The orchards are beautiful! :)

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  19. Hi! What a luxurious day you spent! Skiing at a fine day is very cool. Watching blossoms is as same as good for skiing. Your pear photos are very beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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  20. it doesn't get much better than that. great images.

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  21. I love the snow photos, always, but then now I like the flower photos better! I love the pear blossoms. Your flower photos are dream like.

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  22. Sounds like you had the perfect day! I love the blooming fruit trees.

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  23. Yes Linda, your photos do suggest that you live in a lovely part of our world - thank you for sharing. Great capture of the pollinator! Congrats on completing the marathon run (in your subsequent post), especially with the painful foot - trusting it is healing well.

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  24. What a perfect day you had! That drive from Mt. Hood to Hood River is one of my favorites, and the best view of Mt. Hood? From the back door of the Parkdale Tavern! There's an old saltbox barn that's part of the historical museum, and the roof shape mimics Hood's unique profile. Check it out next time you're there... it's beautiful!

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