Posts Tagged ‘Nemophila’

First Taste of Spring

A beautiful mourning cloak basks in the warming sun at Campers Flat

A beautiful mourning cloak basks in the warming sun at Campers Flat

On Wednesday, February 24, Sabine Dutoit, Nancy Bray, Ginny McVickar, and I took advantage of the dry weather to head out to Hills Creek Reservoir south of Oakridge to look for the first wildflowers of the season. This has become an annual ritual, as it is usually warmer and drier down there, and the flower season gets an earlier start than on my property. While most of the early plants are small-flowered and not particularly showy (though still exciting in February!), the highlight of the trip is always the sheets of yellow gold stars (Crocidium multicaule). I was pretty sure we’d see some in bloom but not so sure the sheets of yellow on the cliffs along the reservoir would have kicked in yet. While the other two have seen this a number of times, this was the first time Ginny had been with us, so we were really pleased that the grand display was starting in one spot. If the rains keep coming, it should be stunning in March and may last for another month or two if it doesn’t dry out. The first Sierra gooseberry (Ribes roezlii) and Halls lomatium (Lomatium hallii) were just beginning. They ought to be quite beautiful in a few weeks, especially if we get more warm weather. Read the rest of this entry »

Spring is Here!

An early bee finds one of the first open blossoms of Sierra gooseberry (Ribes roezlii).

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 »

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