Posts Tagged ‘Sagina’

Group Trip to Groundhog

Field trip participants exploring one of the many wet meadows near Groundhog Mountain. Diamond Peak is in the background.

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 »

Gordon Meadows Misadventures

A meandering creek runs through all the wet meadows.

Not every day of botanizing goes smoothly and leads to great finds and wonderful photos. In the interest of a balanced representation of my pursuit of botanical knowledge, I thought I would include a report about my less than successful day at Gordon Meadows yesterday (August 5). Gordon Meadows is a fabulous wetland area east of Sweet Home. I’d been there a number of times, and, sometimes along with friends Sabine Dutoit and John Koenig, had discovered a number of exciting plants, including the first recorded spot for Montia chamissoi in Linn County and a few plants of the rare Corallorhiza trifida. There are many other uncommon plants here as well. My previous trips had all been in June and July when it is very colorful or in September for scouting trips. I’d never seen it in August and hoped there would be something I’d missed before. Read the rest of this entry »

Visiting with Whetstone Mountain’s Pikas

An adorable young pika (Ochotona princeps) poses for the camera.

Pikas have to be the cutest animals in the Western Cascades, if not anywhere. It always makes me smile to hear their nasal “eemp” sound emanating from under the rocks of a talus slope, and it is a really special treat to actually see them. I hadn’t been to Whetstone Mountain in the Bull of the Woods Wilderness in several years, and I was looking forward to spending some time looking for pikas, as I’d seen them there in the past. Along the drive up, there were great masses of pink rhododendrons and purple Penstemon cardwellii, and this continued at the parking area and much of the trail. The moist woods were also beautiful with a great show of bunchberry (Cornus unalaschkensis), queen’s cup (Clintonia uniflora), and Sitka valerian (Valeriana sitchensis). The foliage covering the forest floor was quite lush with a great variety of interesting leaf shapes, but I didn’t linger too much until I got to my favorite spot—a great talus slope next to a shallow pond. This is prime pika habitat as the rocks are large and stable, and there is plenty of foliage nearby for hay-making. Read the rest of this entry »

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