Went to the Zigzag Ranger District this morning for a firewood permit. The station has several “old-growth” rhododendrons that are putting on their annual show. Here are two of them. Click for a larger image. BTW, the community of Zigzag, OR, is just down the road from Rhododendron, OR.
3 thoughts on “Ranger Station Rhododendrons in Bloom”
Always kinda funny when the pro-logging side calls young understory plants “old growth.” As a Rhododendron Society nerd who spends most of every June deadheading and pruning rhodies much larger than these (my record is 70 in a season) I can assure you these aren’t old growth.
They were planted in the early 50’s and are now in the 70 year old range: “The Wy’East Rhododendron Gardens are located on the grounds of the Zigzag Ranger Station. The gardens were conceived in 1952 as a roadside beautification project. Local nurseries and individual horticulturists donated 100 plants to start the garden. When it was officially dedicated on 24 May 1953, the garden had grown to 235 rhododendron plants. James P. Langdon, the Zigzag District Ranger at the time, donated additional trees and shrubs from his private nursery to complement the rhododendrons, including the rare Dawn Redwood. While not all the original plants survived, Wy’East Rhododendron Gardens still have examples of 50 different types of rhododendron and over 150 other plants.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zigzag_Ranger_Station
I passed by this place at the start of the month while checking out some of the new mapping of mature forests under Biden’s recent order: https://apnews.com/article/old-growth-forests-climate-change-biden-b18e4133a96718aa508af87d3071cae2 As always, it’s hard to find mature or primary forest that haven’t already been logged unless its on an impossibly steep slope that made the logging too challenging back when their was no shortage of easier areas to log.
Looking at those old buildings in ZigZag in early May rain got me reminiscing on being a witness at the deposition of native american elder Rip Lone Wolf back in 1995 when we were fighting in court to prevent logging trucks from using/building a new USFS roads to destroy a scared native american gathering site of Enola Hill, which was long ago sold off as a private inholding on Mt. Hood National Forest to further the genocide against the indigenous people by preventing their traditional practices.
We lost in court by the usual routine of them doing all the logging before the case had its day in court and the case was found to be moot and dismissed.
Sadly, if you look at google maps right now you’ll see every last 100+ year old tree on the ground just after the inholding was clearcut but before the yarding of the logs had begun. Clearly the use of the logging road wasn’t still moot in 2021 when they hauled the entire inholding to the sawmill. Had the orginal plaintiff, local historian Michael Jones, had still been alive (died in March of 2020) we may of tried to take them back to court.
The horrors and atrocities the white man have brought to the native peoples and their land is something I will never shut up about. It’s always been wrong and always will be wrong and major reparations are essential if we’re every going to address these horrific injustices in a meaningful way.
Wow, I didn’t expect any responses to the photo of the rhodies in bloom. Thanks, Deane, for the backstory on their planting.
Steve, Thanks for posting this beautiful photo. Reminds me of my time in the early 2000’s when I worked in the R6 RO as FS CIO apoligist, I lived near Sandy, I would take any oppurtunity to go out to the Mt Hood NF districts just to breath and take it all in. I would sit right on the curb of the sidewalk shown and eat my lunch.