Posts Tagged ‘Horsepasture Mountain’

Back to Back Trips to Horsepasture and Lowder Mountains

The view of the Three Sisters is outstanding from the summit of Horsepasture.

The view of the Three Sisters is outstanding from the summit of Horsepasture.

It’s been a busy week, so I’m just going to post some photos from my last two trips. On Wednesday, June 22, I went up to Horsepasture Mountain with Jenny Lippert, Willamette National Forest botanist, to scout for an upcoming trip that she’ll be leading during the Native Plant Society of Oregon annual meeting in a few weeks. Then on Sunday, June 26, I led a trip to Lowder Mountain for Oregon Wild with Chandra LeGue, their Western Oregon Field Coordinator, and six other hikers interested in learning some Cascade wildflowers. Both trails are in the Willamette National Forest McKenzie District. The flowers on both mountains are still great, but we are definitely a few weeks earlier than “normal”, and things are moving along fast. Read the rest of this entry »

Natural Rock Gardens at Horsepasture Mountain

One of the big thrills of the day was the discovery of a Pacific giant salamander dining on a succulent slug along the road on the way up.

Yesterday (October 15), Sabine Dutoit, Loren Russell, and I took a special visitor from Sweden to Horsepasture Mountain. Peter Korn is touring the West, speaking to many of the NARGS chapters. He was in town to speak to our chapter the night before. Peter has an extraordinary 5-acre botanic garden and nursery near Gothenberg, Sweden (click here to check out his website), where he grows an enormous collection of plants from around the world, including a great many Pacific Northwest natives. He wanted to see these plants in the wild and hopefully collect some seed. I figured Horsepasture Mountain would be an ideal spot to give him a taste of the Western Cascades. The hike is fairly quick, and the cliffs are small enough to allow one to access the front without a difficult climb up a talus slope like many cliffs I have explored.

The view from the summit of Horsepasture is a real bonus, and we were very lucky that clouds drifting above us when we arrived at the trailhead disappeared quickly. By the time we reached the top, we had a great view of many of the High Cascade peaks as well as nearby mountains including Lowder, Olallie, Tidbits, and Castle Rock. The closest peak to Horsepasture is O’Leary Mountain. There was a great display of fiery vine maples on its shrubby slopes. The sun was appreciated on this chilly autumn day. About the only thing left in bloom was tiny Polygonum cascadense and some reblooming skyrocket (Ipomopsis aggregata). It is biennial or monocarpic (dying after setting seed), so somewhat like an annual, it is opportunistic, blooming as long as it can get moisture. Read the rest of this entry »

Stellaria obtusa at Horsepasture

Yesterday, Sabine, Ingrid, and I went to Horsepasture. The Ipomopsis aggregata was at peak and the hummers were going nuts. It was also peak time for the Antennaria luzuloides. The little propagules are forming on non-flowering branches.

Stellaria obtusa

Stellaria obtusa at Horsepasture Mountain

The only interesting addition/change to the list is that the Stellaria there is obtusa, not crispa. There is some growing along the trail right at the beginning by the road and again before the first damp Alder thicket. I’d never heard of this species before this year when I finally attempted to sort out the Stellarias. I’d seen it on the list for Grizzly Peak near Ashland and was pleased to find it blooming there when I went down in June. Since then I’ve been looking carefully at every patch of low-growing Stellaria. In the past, I found them easily ignorable and assumed they were all crispa, so all my listings for that one are now suspect. John and I discovered it at Wild Rose Point over the border in Douglas County a couple of weeks ago. Then last week, I saw it growing all along the Buck Canyon trail in the Rogue-Umpqua Divide. My next 2 hikes there were just over the ridge and I expected to see it again, but instead found some small patches of S. crispa. My trip to Blair last week also turned up several patches of S. crispa. Read the rest of this entry »

Unusual Trillium

double trillium

Odd-looking double trillium. Note that it has 6 sepals as well as multiple petals.

I was up on Horsepasture yesterday afternoon. It was lovely. The lower part of the trail is lined with Mertensia bella. I found this bizarre but not particularly garden worthy Trillium ovatum right along the trail. There was plenty of Castilleja rupicola in bloom below both cliffs. Lots of Glacier lilies on the slopes below the cliffs (no I didn’t go down to get a closer look!). Never found any Saxifraga cespitosa though. Also could not find evidence of any Claytonia lanceolata though I saw all the other snow melt species and have a good search image in my head from all the Claytonia I’ve seen elsewhere. Does anyone know where it’s been seen up there? At the bottom, southern facing end of the upper rocky meadow the phlox is amazing. There were 3′ wide plants in full bloom. The air was perfumed with their fragrance. The Penstemon procerus was particularly nice as well. And the rocks right around the corner from the trailhead on the O’Leary trail are covered with Collinsia grandiflora. Very nice with the accompanying Erigonum umbellatum.

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