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Native wildflowers bloom early, and already in flower is the mules ear, a member of the sunflower family, and the grass widow,  one of the earliest blooms in the eastern Gorge.

The Memaloose Hills have become one of Janet’s and my favorite places to enjoy nature’s wonderful wildflower shows. The hiking trails are user friendly, never too crowded and the variety of flowers almost endless. And to add another plumb to the pudding the forest service has mapped out a 6.5 miles loop hike that starts at Memaloose rest stop on the east bound lane of I-84; just three miles east of Mosier, Oregon.

Call it global warming. Call it climate change. Call it a whim of Mother Nature. But whatever name you give it this winter has been a disaster for the winter sports industries, wheat farmers and orchardists.

It’s been a tough year to have much enthusiasm about going outside. For us that seldom happens, but this winter the skiing has been awful. On top of that, most days at lower elevations were nothing but dreary and the bald eagles were pretty much a no-show. Last Monday we hit the wall; we had to get out of the house or we would go nuts.