Born from necessity, Extension wildflower videos viewed hundreds of times

Each year, Rachel Werling, an instructor in the Oregon State University Forestry and Natural Resources Extension program, leads groups on hikes in in southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley to teach them about natural history, fire safety, healthy streams, identifying plants and more.

When OSU Extension canceled in-person events in March to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Werling decided to record two wildflower walks in Jackson County and post them to YouTube.

On her first video, Werling concentrated on shooting the biscuitroots, which are in the carrot family. She identifies fernleaf biscuitroot, rock parsnip, desert parsley and nine-leaf desert parsley. The video has been viewed 269 times.

Next Werling hiked the East Applegate Ridge trail (also called East Art). It’s spectacular now, she said, with lupins, California poppies, red bells and balsamroot in bloom and the vibrant green oak trees glowing in the sunshine with the snow-covered highlands of the Siskiyous in the background. The video has been viewed 417 times.

“Thank you. Thank you,” said one viewer. “I am disabled and cannot (yet) hike to see these and I am thrilled to see new and old flower friends. This means so much that when I saw the lupins, I cried!”

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