In the past week or two, I have been posting a lot of landscape photos of my part of Oregon on the western side of Mt Hood. On the eastern side of the mountain, things look very different. This open, empty landscape is interupted with only a few juniper trees and makeshift fences to keep the free range cattle in their place. In the distance, there are huge jagged hills and beyond that, the Cascade Mountain Range (including Mt Hood!). The yellow "flowers" you see dusting the ground are almost always there, and are actually little spiky thistles.
UPDATE: Here is a closer look at them: