Archive for the ‘Seep’ Category
Yesterday (June 10), my husband, Jim, and I took some friends to Youngs Rock. It’s the kind of trail where you can botanize, hike for exercise, or enjoy the scenery of the awesome rocks. Our friends, David, Bob, Carolyn, and Hank (one of the sweetest dogs you’ll ever meet), had never been there, so it seemed the perfect place for everyone—there were even lots of great ponderosa pine branches for Hank to carry around! It’s a rare treat to have my husband hike with me because he prefers a real hike to my flower-by-flower explorations. We were also very lucky that we had plenty of sun while it was apparently cool and overcast all day at home. The southeastern corner of the county is usually warmer and less foggy than the Valley.
From Mount June, you can look east across to nearby Sawtooth Rock sitting in a giant sloping meadow. It can be reached from the same trailhead as Mount June, taking a left at the first intersection you come to. You can also see a number of other, much smaller meadows in the area that are not crossed by the trail. These have tantalized me for many years. So Saturday (June 4), I decided to go check some of them out. While it was supposed to be a warm, sunny day (finally!), by the time I belatedly left the house, it was completely overcast. Oh well, still no butterflies, but at least it didn’t rain. Read the rest of this entry »
It had been three weeks, plenty enough time we figured for the flowers to be much farther along at the meadows on the south slope of Bear Mountain, so Molly Juillerat and I headed back there last Friday (June 3). Since we had only barely gotten up to the cool rocky areas on our last trip (see Knobcone Pines on Bear Mountain Meadows), we wanted to explore the rest of the area east of Indigo Creek including the area much higher up. To make sure we had enough time this trip, we headed straight to Road 2149 and the end of what’s left of Road 204 rather than checking out all the wonderful spots we pass on the drive along Hills Creek Reservoir and Road 21. Knowing now how to get to the base of the meadow complex, it seemed to take only a few minutes to get out into the open. This time, we headed straight up toward the easternmost side that we hadn’t explored at all last time. Read the rest of this entry »
Quite by accident, yesterday’s trip to Cloverpatch with Sabine Dutoit and Doramay Keasbey was on the exact same date as last year’s with John Koenig—May 24 (see Back to the Upper Meadows of Cloverpatch). Once again, it is clear the blooming season is even later than last year. There were many things in bloom, but some plants that were flowering this time last year, including death camas and several clovers, had not yet begun. The balsamroots were coming into bloom on this trip, while they were going over last year on this date (Doramay agrees with me that their unusual fragrance has an enticing hint of chocolate!). In fact, looking back at my photos from May 7 of last year (see The Rocky Meadows of Cloverpatch), it appears to be at almost exactly the same stage, making us 2 weeks later this year—and last year was a slow spring. Having such a good measure of the flowering season should help me figure out when to return to some of the other sites I went to last year to see plants I missed. Read the rest of this entry »
Whether you take the long route from the bottom or the short 1/3 mile path from near the top, the official trail to Deception Butte peters out before you reach the real reason to go up there—the glorious open slope that graces its south-facing side. Animals have made paths all over the summit, and it is easy to continue a short ways from the end of the trail down to the opening with its fabulous view. Last spring, I was up on another ridge near Oakridge scanning the mountains with my binoculars. Looking over to Deception Butte, I could see a large open area facing east, one I knew nothing about. Naturally, I just had to check it out.
Yesterday (May 5), Sabine and I spent the afternoon exploring the rocky summit of Eagles Rest. It was exactly five weeks since my previous trip (see Blooming Begins at Eagles Rest), and I wanted to catch the next wave of blooms. The cold, wet, miserable April weather has kept things from moving along as quickly as they might have this time of year, so I figured it would take this long to see a real change. As soon as we stepped into the woods at the beginning of the trail, we we thrilled to see a carpet of trilliums and fairy slippers (Calypso bulbosa) at the peak of their bloom. There were at least 50 of each in a fairly small area. All the trillium were facing south toward the light. Snow queen and evergreen violets were still blooming here as well. The fairy slippers continued all the way up the trail and were even perched on shaded mossy rocks up at the top. This alone was worth the trip. The sun was trying to break through a mostly cloudy day. We weren’t the only ones a little chilled—we saw two separate garter snakes trying to warm up as we headed to the top. Read the rest of this entry »
At long last, we had a sunny day on Tuesday (March 22), so Sabine and I took advantage of it and went out to enjoy one of the first days of spring. I was definitely getting cabin fever with all the cool, wet weather we’ve been having. We headed off to one of my favorite early botanizing spots, Road 21 along Hills Creek Reservoir, south of Oakridge. As expected, the adorable yellow Crocidium multicaule was opening up in many places on the cliffs on the west side of the reservoir. Unlike last year, it is not at peak yet but putting on a lovely show none the less (see Hills Creek Reservoir, take 2 for last year’s March outing to this area). We also noticed the fragrance in the air. I had forgotten about that. About the only other blooms in evidence at this time were Lomatium hallii and the equally cheery Ribes roezlii with its fuchsia-like red flowers. While a few of these thorny shrubs were fairly well open, most were still just covered with buds. I was able to recognize the seedlings of the tiny-flowered Tonella tenella, but many of the newly emerging annuals were still a mystery. There’ll be much more to see here in another month or two. Read the rest of this entry »
With the summer almost over, earlier this week (September 16), I finally made it down to southern Oregon. After a day of plant shopping and visiting with friends from NARGS, I spent another day up on Grizzly Peak. Most of the flowers are gone, but there are plenty of seeds and other interesting things to see, and I really enjoy any chance I get to see the unusual plants that show up at the southern end of the Western Cascades.
Last year, Kelley Leonard and I were excited to see some double-flowered Delphinium glaucum in one of the large patches near the beginning of the trail (see Double Delphiniums). It appeared they were actually creating seed, and instead of the usual three follicles per flower, there were many more. Double flowers tend to be sterile, so it would be very lucky to find fertile seeds. This time, it didn’t take me long to spot several double-flowered plants, even though there were only a few flowers left at the tops of some of the tall inflorescences. Unfortunately, the doubles are in fact sterile. They had formed clusters of follicles, but they were all shriveled up. In contrast, the normal flowers were setting copious amounts of seeds in their fully formed follicles. Even these, I’ve had trouble growing. Someone, maybe slugs, always eats the tiny seedlings of these and every other Delphinium I’ve tried to grow. But there’s always hope. A plant this beautiful is worth numerous tries to get it established in the garden. Read the rest of this entry »
I just can’t stay away from the Calapooya Mountains. There are so many interesting rocky areas and wetlands, and I want to see them all. So yesterday (September 4), I headed back along my usual route up Coal Creek Road 2133, but this time I went all the way past Bradley Lake to the end of Road 5451 where it deadends at the south trailhead for Bristow Prairie. When John Koenig and I went to Loletta Peak and Bradley Lake back in July (see Mystery Bedstraw Blooming in Calapooyas), we took a quick spin down the road at the very end of the day. Seeing another cliff and talus slope and several meadow and wetland areas, we decided it was definitely worth a return trip. Exploring this area was my main goal yesterday.
The road to Bradley Lake is in fine shape except for one spot that is very wavy from being washed out. It is no problem as long as you drive really slowly. There is a nice rocky spot here with loads of Erigeron cascadensis (in seed right now). Going so slow, I noticed a patch of rayless yellow composites and pulled over. It was Arnica discoidea still in good bloom. Neither rayless arnica is common in the Western Cascades, but this one I’ve only seen a few times, so I was very pleased. After photographing it for a while, I poked around the roadside outcrop and small talus slope. I heard but did not see a pika, but I was able to watch several golden-mantled ground squirrels. It must be the time of year when the babies get curious because it seemed that several of them were pretty young and running around quite a bit. An adult was busy trying to get some of the red elderberries on a large shrub growing out of the rock. At one point, when I wasn’t looking, I heard a crash of sorts. It appeared as though he or she had slipped off the branch. It was quite amusing watching all this activity. Read the rest of this entry »
Yesterday’s Forest Service field trip to Groundhog Mountain went well. As it was on Friday the 13th, I had been just a little superstitious. The crowd was much bigger than expected—17 or 18 I believe—but we managed to negotiate all the many car stops fairly well. And despite the heat in the Valley, at over 5000′ it was cooler, and there was a pleasant breeze, so we were pretty comfortable. There was plenty to see, and hopefully everyone enjoyed themselves and learned a few new plants and butterflies. Read the rest of this entry »