Exploring Shy Creek Meadows Area

A view of the snow on Diamond Peak and the Calapooyas from the manzanita-covered main Shy Creek Meadow

On April 4, I brought John Koenig and Sheila Klest to see the area I’m calling Shy Creek Meadows, several meadows along abandoned forest road 034 near Coal Creek in the Rigdon area of Lane County that I first visited last fall (see Further Low-Elevation Meadow Exploration). While we didn’t find any purple milkweed (Asclepias cordifolia), we had a great day. Here are some photographic highlights.

The northernmost meadow along Road 034 has a beautiful creek that runs over the moss down its steep, rocky slope. There were many larkspurs (Delphinium menziesii) and other plants that will give it a good spring show, so I hope to get back sometime soon. The bare-stemmed shrubs above are mock-orange (Philadelphus lewisii), which will scent the air with their lovely flowers later in summer (hopefully when I’m back collecting seeds!).

Shelton’s violet (Viola sheltonii) was abundant at the northernmost meadow.

Red miner’s lettuce (Claytonia rubra) is a small annual that makes attractive rosettes of reddish, triangular leaves on long petioles.

The California tortoiseshells were very friendly again. These two sitting on John’s hand gave us a good opportunity to compare their brightly colored upperside to their camouflaged underside.

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