Posts Tagged ‘Mount June’

A Rainbow of Flowers at Mount June

So many brightly colored species clamouring for attention on the south ridge that it was hard to know where to point the camera. Here paintbrush, lupine, Oregon sunshine, and stonecrop make it into the photo.

Once again, there weren’t as many butterflies as one would expect for all the flowers, but we did see this pale swallowtail nectaring on wallflower (Erysimum capitatum). California tortoiseshells, duskywings, and parnassians were about the only other species we saw.

Mount June was one of the first places I went hiking when I moved to Oregon (back in the ’90s!). I went at least once a year for many years. I guess there are just too many great destinations to explore these days because it had been almost six years since I’d been there and 8 years since I’d seen the area during bloom season. My last report was from 2011 (see Sawtooth Rock Meadow in Gorgeous Peak Bloom)—funny how that seems like it was just a short while ago!

I’d been wanting to show John Koenig the off-trail areas on the south and west, and he was already planning a trip there, so, for my 30th trip there, we agreed to drive up separately and do a socially distanced hike together on June 22. The pandemic has reduced my already limited social life to almost completely absent, so it was nice to be out with a good friend on such a gorgeous day.
 
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Sawtooth Rock Meadow in Gorgeous Peak Bloom

Sawtooth Rock Meadow in its prime

The paintbrushes need to be this bright to show up with all the yellow and pink!

I just came back from a lovely day doing both Sawtooth Rock Meadow and Mt. June with my husband Jim. While Mt. June’s peak bloom won’t be for another week or two this year, the meadow at Sawtooth Rock is as gorgeous as I can imagine it being. It’s been a number of years since I’ve been here when it is this beautiful. Good timing and a cool, wet spring really helped. The rosy plectritis (Plectritis congesta) is amazing (the smell of so much started to get to me, however). Also at the peak of their bloom were Mimulus guttatus, Calochortus tolmiei, Lupinus albifrons, Delphinium menziesii, and the bright red paintbrushes, which here and nearby are hard to pin down to either Castilleja hispida or pruinosa but are beautiful none the less. There are also thousands of fading Lomatium utriculatum and some overshadowed but cute Phacelia verna. I don’t have time to write much, and frankly, I don’t think words are necessary. As they say, a picture tells a thousand words! Read the rest of this entry »

More Meadows Near Sawtooth Rock

Sawtooth Rock is on the east (right) end of the largest meadow near the ridge. On this trip, I explored the highest openings on the right side of this photo, taken several years ago from nearby Mt. June.

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 »

Blooming Begins at Eagles Rest

A male Garrya fremontii blooms with Mount June in the background

At only 3000′, early spring flowers are already decorating Eagles Rest near Dexter. This rocky knob is only a 15-mile drive from my house, so I don’t know why I haven’t spent more time there. I only had a few hours yesterday afternoon (March 31st) to get out and enjoy the warm weather, so Eagles Rest seemed like a good destination. While hikers looking for exercise take the long route up from Goodman Creek or farther up where the trail crosses Road 5833, I wasn’t looking for a long walk (and my leg is sore), so I took the easy path up from Eagles Rest Road.

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Unexpected Finds at Mount June

I never had gotten back to further explore the west side of Mount June (see Spring Phacelia on Mount June), so yesterday (October 7), I headed back up there. It was still foggy in the valley but had been clear above when I woke up in the morning, so I hoped Mount June would be above the clouds. It’s close enough to the valley that it often is foggy even up at the top. Thankfully, I drove out of the fog and enjoyed the sun all day.

Fog can be seen from the rocky north end of the west meadow

I headed straight up past the first outcrop to just before next opening. Here I turned right and headed down through the open woods, pretty much due west, following the least steep incline. I quickly popped out into the west meadow just above the wonderful rocky dikes. No great view of the valley this time, just a blanket of fog, its fingers creeping up the ridges below me. There was still some seed left in the numerous larger patches of Penstemon rupicola and Saxifraga bronchialis growing on the steep sides of the rocks. Some of the mats of Penstemon were three feet wide. They must have been glorious in bloom. What with the cold spring we had, I was too early to see them in flower this year on my previous trip in June, normally their peak season. Growing on top of the rocks were little tufts of Minuartia rubella. Most of the seeds were already gone, but there were at least three plants with a few fresh flowers. Considering how rarely I see this little cutie, it was quite a coincidence that this was the third trip in a row I’d seen it. And all three sites had some reblooming plants. Very little else was in bloom, only the little annual knotweeds and a few rattlesnake plantain (Goodyera oblongifolia). Fresh leaves were out on Micranthes (Saxifraga) rufidula and Lomatium hallii. Read the rest of this entry »

Spring Phacelia at Mount June

Phacelia verna is found on gravelly or rocky slopes.

Needing to get back home earlier than usual, yesterday (June 23), I decided to head up to Mount June. It is one of the closest good flower hikes to my house and still one of my favorites. I had two goals in mind: to get better photos of spring phacelia (Phacelia verna) and to figure out how to get to the large west-facing meadow that is not along the trail. From many places in the Eugene-Springfield area, Mount June is easily visible to the southeast. In winter especially, a large open area facing the valley is clearly visible. The trail to the summit passes through a small meadow/outcrop area before reaching the relatively small opening where the old lookout once stood on the top. This is only a small part of the wonderful rocky habitat of this mountain. There is also a long ridge heading south below the summit that I’ve been exploring the last few years. But the west-facing meadow was still a mystery to me. Read the rest of this entry »

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