Posts Tagged ‘Drymocallis’

Looking for Pollinators at Carpenter Mountain

The parking area is worth spending some time enjoying the flowers and the great view of the Three Sisters.

A checkerspot nectaring on bastard toadflax (Comandra umbellata)

Friday (July 22), I went to Carpenter Mountain for the first time in 5 years. It’s a long drive on gravel roads, but the trail is short, and I was really in the mood to just relax and take photos. I arrived to find the road near the parking area lined with flowers. I probably spent an hour just wandering about chasing butterflies, photographing flowers, and enjoying the terrific view. That’s really my kind of a day. There were lots of Castilleja hispida, Calochortus subalpinus, Penstemon cardwellii, Fragaria virginiana, and tons of perfectly blooming sticky cinquefoil (now Drymocallis glandulosa). I noticed some little green flags that appeared to mark some plots. Carpenter is part of the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest, so there is a lot of research going on in the area. I wondered how I would find out what the study subject was here, when, lo and behold, a young woman drove up and started checking her plots. How convenient! It turns out she’s an OSU student studying pollinators—one of my favorite subjects—and one I was sort of studying myself when she drove up. I was trying unsuccessfully to photograph a two-banded checkered skipper frequenting the strawberries—also their caterpillar host species. I find it really interesting how many host species are good nectar species as well. I later got some so-so photos of one drinking from fading Arctostaphylos nevadensis but not from the Fragaria. She was having the same trouble I have been, trying to get some work done with all this unseasonably cold and damp weather. Read the rest of this entry »

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