As I write this blog entry, it is snowing  here in Bend, Oregon.  While we have had some beautiful spring weather recently, days like today cause some to swirl back into a winter malaise.  Because I have been out scouting some upcoming photography shoots, I realize that spring really can’t be far away.  Some early high desert flowers such as sand lilies and alpine phlox are starting to bloom.  If you are a Central Oregon resident and have been tethered to a computer recently, I hope the following photos will give you some hope for spring.  While the alpine areas along the Pacific Crest will not be snow free for quite some time, the High Desert areas in Central Oregon are starting to bloom.

Below is one of my favorite locations in Oregon, Jefferson Park, with possibly my favorite mountain in the world, Mt. Jefferson.  While you won’t be able to see flowers blooming in Jefferson Park for a couple more months, I couldn’t resist including this image in this spring photography primer because of it’s hopeful vernal feel.

Mt. Jefferson as seen from the beautiful Jefferson Park Area

Mt. Jefferson as seen from the beautiful Jefferson Park Area

The above Mt. Jefferson/Jefferson Park photograph can currently be seen at the Sage Cafe in the Northwest Crossing neighborhood in Bend, Oregon.  My work will be hanging at the Sage Cafe through the end of April and then it will sadly leave the cafe’s friendly confines.  My work is no longer hanging at the Volcano Vineyards Tasting Room in Downtown Bend but it is still showing at Pandora’s Backpack AKA Patagonia of Bend on Bond Street in Downtown Bend.

Bitterroot Blooms trumpet the arrival of Spring in the High Desert

Bitterroot Blooms trumpet the arrival of Spring in the High Desert

The above photo of Bitterroot blooms was taken in the high desert area outside of Sisters, Oregon.  The Bitterroots are one of the earliest flowers to bloom in Central Oregon and they give a beautiful yet delicate announcement of Spring’s arrival.  Everybody get out and hike in the High Desert and let me know if you see any of these beauties in their full spring glory.

The following image of Balsamroot and lichen covered basalt columns was also shot in  Central Oregon’s High Desert.  This area near  the Alder Springs Trail Head is a wonderful spring hiking destination.  For more information about this hiking area, please visit the website for the good people of the Deschutes Land Trust.  They do a great job of preserving and protecting wild and beautiful places in Central Oregon such as Alder Springs.  Deschutes Land Trust.  Because much of the Central Oregon High Desert is lower in elevation than the city of Bend, the spring season arrives earlier in the high desert.  There are many areas in Central Oregon that will have big bright  yellow Balsamroot sharing their spring cheer in the next few weeks.  Their bloom season is short so plan a hike to one of your favorite high desert trails soon.

Balsamroot bloom with a back drop of lichen covered basalt columns in Central Oregon's High Desert

Balsamroot bloom with a back drop of lichen covered basalt columns in Central Oregon’s High Desert

The next photograph of southeast Oregon’s Steens Mountain offers another reminder that spring comes early in the high desert.  While Steens Mountain is a lengthy drive from Bend, it is a truly beautiful place and it can offer an early dose of spring.  To learn more about Steens Mountain, visit the following link to the ONDA website.  The Oregon Natural Desert Association(ONDA) was instrumental in protecting Steens Mountain for current and future generations.  Steens Mountain.

Steens Mountain in the Oregon High Desert

Steens Mountain in the Oregon High Desert

If any of you Central Oregon hikers see some great high desert flowers starting to bloom, please let me know so I can add to my spring shooting schedule.

Thanks for visiting,

Mike Putnam