Escape the Matrix
Coyote Wall · Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area · Bingen · Washington · USA
Smooth desert parsley (Lomatium laevigatum) peppers the basalt bluffs of Coyote Wall, and its yellow blooms are just one of dozens of components in a slow-motion multicolor fireworks display that unfolds over the course of every spring. (So what do I do? I take all the color out of it. Natch.) :/ Ashley and I met a nice older couple on their way back down from the network of trails that criss-crosses the Coyote Wall and Catherine Creek area, and they were passionately identifying every wildflower species they could, proclaiming the day's total at 53. Fifty-three, are you kidding me!? I'm not sure I could name 53 people on any given day if you held a gun to my head, let alone be able to recognize all the subtle differences in inflorescence, leaf structure, and growth patterns that distinguish that many wildflower species from one another. I think I was able to generalize the identity of perhaps half a dozen on my own, and that's only because I didn't particularly seek to verify them with any established authority or reference. I guess in today's world of alternative facts, I might as well proudly introduce myself to people as an alternative botanist.
TIP: If you’re looking at this image in the dark on your mobile device, jiggle the device around a little...you'll get a sense that the flower is ‘detached’ from the background and moves somewhat independently of it.
BONUS TIP: If you observe this effect under bright viewing conditions as well, stop doing drugs.