Posts Tagged ‘sundew’

Lots of Wildlife and Unusual Tiny Plants at Anvil Lake

Pond lilies (Nuphar polysepala) bloom in both Anvil Lake and this smaller lake.

Pond lilies (Nuphar polysepala) bloom in both Anvil Lake and this smaller lake.

It had been 4 years since my last trip north to Clackamas County to see some of the many wonderful wetlands in the area, so it was high time for another visit. After a pleasant night and some early morning botanizing at the campground by Little Crater Meadow, on Friday (July 19) I headed over to the short but botanically terrific Anvil Lake trail. The trail starts out in the forest, but it is damp, with lots of undergrowth and some giant western redcedars (Thuja plicata). I measured one at over 4.5′ DBH. There is a wonderful open bog just a few hundred feet off to the left, but I was determined to have lots of time at Anvil Lake and its bog, so I planned to do everything else on the way back—if I had time. I seem to go slower and slower these days, studying plants more carefully and taking more and more photographs. Spending the whole day on a mile and a half long trail might seem ridiculous to some, but it is quite easy for me. As it was, I never did have time for the trailhead bog. Read the rest of this entry »

The Stars are Shining at Ikenick Creek

The pond in the northwest wetland was created by a beaver dam. Later in the summer, it is filled with aquatic plants.

The pond in the northwest wetland was created by a beaver dam. Later in the summer, it is filled with aquatic plants.

Sundews (Drosera rotundifolia) and starflowers. All we needed was a moonwort (Botrychium spp.) to complete the celestial theme.

Sundews (Drosera rotundifolia) and starflowers. All we needed was a moonwort (Botrychium spp.) to complete the celestial theme.

I had been to the wetlands along Ikenick Creek four times before, but it had always been late in the summer to see the interesting aquatics, so on Friday (June 7), Sabine Dutoit and Nancy Bray and I headed up to Linn County to see the early flowers. The wetlands are hidden away on the west side of Highway 126, just across the road from Clear Lake. In fact, the lovely clear water of the lake is fed by Ikenick Creek. The day before our trip, the Forest Service had apparently done a controlled burn nearby, and while we were there, many trucks were pumping water out of the creek where it crossed Forest Road 2672. We had to park a little farther away and listen to the pumping all day, but it was a small price to pay to explore a really interesting wetland.

Actually there are four wetlands in an area the Forest Service has designated as the Smith Ridge Special Wildlife Habitat Area. There are several more just outside this area, and all together they refer to them as the Smith Ridge wetland complex. I didn’t know this when I first noticed the intriguing set of wetlands on Google Earth. Smith Ridge is not named on the maps, and although it does drop off hard along the east edge where Hwy. 126 heads south, when you’re in it, the area appears to be basically flat, so it’s hard for me to start using that name now. Whatever you want to call this area, these wetlands contain a diverse collection of wetland habitats, including wet meadows, bogs, sedge marshes, shrublands, swampy woods, creeks, and small ponds. Navigating numerous beaver channels and sudden deep holes in the thick layer sphagnum bog makes exploration tricky, but on this trip, we managed to get everyone back to the car with dry feet (not always so in the past!). Read the rest of this entry »

NPSO Trip to Lowder Mountain

A handsome longhorn beetle on queen's cup (Clintonia uniflora)

Last Sunday (July 31), I led a trip to Lowder Mountain for NPSO. The original plan to take people to Balm Mountain had to be changed as a result of the amount of snow on the road (see Not Balmy Yet at Balm Mountain!). But a number of people hadn’t been to Lowder Mountain, and those that have usually enjoy it so much they are happy to return. The woods were really pretty with an especially good show of both queen’s cup (Clintonia uniflora) and Columbia windflower (Anemone deltoidea). So many forest wildflowers are white or light-colored. These show up better in the shade for the pollinators—and wildflower lovers. At the first dry opening, there were many tiny annuals growing in still damp soil between the masses of Eriogonum compositum, including a yellow-flowered plant. I like to point these out because so many people miss these miniature gardens that fill in the spaces between larger perennials. Read the rest of this entry »

Warfield Creek Bog report

Yesterday I made it to the wetland NNW of Wolf Mountain and had a really good day, so it is time for another report….

newly emerged dragonfly

newly emerged dragonfly

I began the day trying to check out some wetland areas right off of 2308. Road 2308 itself has a big rockslide after half a mile so the first ones were a no go. I went up a little dirt road near the intersection of 2308 and 2307 to look at stuff at T22S.R4E.sec 35. There was a very boring old wetland of 5′ Scirpus microcarpus and such. The pond that shows on the maps is no longer there. But the big lake to the northeast was very nice. Not much of a wetland (unless you’re a sedgehead!), mostly tall stuff including cattails, also lots of Comarum palustre. Loads of aquatics though. The pondlilies were really tall, some of them sticking 3′ above the water. There was Sparganium with a few blossoms left, duckweed and 3 kinds of Potamogetons. I saw Potamogeton pusillus for the first time. There was lots of P. natans and some other one I couldn’t get near enough to even photograph. There’s no bank, so I had to go out on some logs to get to the open water. I scared up a bunch of yellow jackets nesting in one, and was extremely thankful they didn’t sting me. I was not so lucky last year at Bristow Prairie in almost the same situation. I was able to avoid testing my luck again by returning on a different log. In a more pleasant insect encounter, I saw a newly emerged dragonfly pumping up its wings. It was really pale. I wonder how long it takes the color to develop?

I went up to the Warfield Creek bog via Rd 2316 to Wolf Mountain. On the way up, I passed a little creek spilling down the bank with a gorgeous display of picture-perfect Parnassia cirrata. There was also a lot of faded Micranthes (Saxifraga) odontoloma. I stopped up at the top at the intersection of the spur road up to the top of Wolf Mountain. There is a great view of the wetland and also all the ridges to the north including Bunchgrass Ridge, Verdun Rock, and Mount David Douglas. I went up the Wolf Mountain Road a short ways before deciding it was a bit too rough, and I didn’t have time to move rocks to make it safer. Loads of Rainera stricta and other things. It was probably very pretty a month ago.

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Calapooya Report

I’ve been waiting all summer to get back to exploring the Calapooyas, so yesterday I went up Coal Creek Road to Bradley Lake and Loletta Lakes. Most of this is in Douglas County, but it is all on the north side of the Calapooya crest and in the Willamette National Forest (just barely). They really ought to have run the county line along the Calapooya Divide.

Western boneset (Ageratina occidentalis) is a lovely late-blooming composite with a woody base.

I made a couple of quick detours on my way up to check on the Piperias. Youngs Flat Picnic Area was filled with people camping, but luckily they seem to be leaving the woods on the north side alone. The Piperia elongata are still blooming pretty well, although past peak. I also checked the woods across from Mutton Meadow where I’d seen about 30 Piperia plants in the spring. I managed to find 5 flower stalks. Only 2 had any flowers left. I’m pretty sure they’re P. transversa as they looked white with straight spurs. It also makes sense because they start blooming a bit earlier than elongata, so should be farther along than the P. elongata at nearby Youngs Flat.

When John and I went up Coal Creek Rd in early July, the road was a bit of a mess, lots of branches and rocks. Looks like the road has been cleaned up and even graded. I was thrilled about this until I got up to the base of the cliffs where the Epilobium luteum was in full bloom. It looks like they pushed some of the gravel right into the wet ditch and scraped some of the ditch as well. There were slashed branches. There’s still a lot of good habitat, but this is really upsetting. I don’t know what the official status of Epilobium luteum is, but this is probably the biggest population I’ve seen, and there are loads of other pretty things like Claytonia cordifolia in there. I hate to see them buried in dirt. I’m also concerned about messing with the water flow all these plants depend upon.

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Spring Meadow above Blair Lake

I got to go out yesterday and decided to explore the area along Road 730 near Blair Lake. I’ve been up there before with Neil Björkland on a butterfly trip and by myself another time but never had time to properly look around. Sabine came with me, and we had a very good day. Bruce Newhouse mentioned something about a wet meadow up that way that had Kyhosia bolanderi. I’m guessing that was Spring Meadow, just below Beal Prairie. I only had a few minutes down there as Sabine had strained her leg recently and wasn’t up to bushwhacking. I got there via the nice little trail to the lower of the two cute lakes and then cut east. I returned by heading north up to the road—a much longer bushwhack. I can’t wait to go back. In my 20 minutes or so I did see sundew, Spiranthes, loads of Kalmia, cottongrass, the same willow that’s so common down at Blair which I’m guessing is S. commutata or boothii, Epilobium oregonense (probably), Saxifraga odontoloma, and Trifolium howellii in a side creek and lots of more common things. I didn’t see any Kyhosia bolanderi, but without my boots (sitting in the car!) and more time, I couldn’t properly explore it.

The upper pond was also quite nice with some reblooming Kalmia, a little Sagittaria cuneata, both Spiraeas as well as the hybrid, Ranunculus gormanii and Packera subnuda [Senecio cymbalarioides] like down at Blair Lake, and lots of a little groundcovering Epilobium which I think might be E. anagallidifolium. Nice sedges there as well. The lower pond doesn’t have much of a shoreline and no aquatics either, just spiraea and some willows.

rocky outcrop above Road 730

rocky outcrop above Road 730 south of Blair Lake. Beall Prairie can be seen not too far away.

Our last exploration was up the huge outcrop along the side of the road just south of the upper pond. Along with lots of the usual Sedum oregonense and Eriophyllum lanatum, we saw lots of Selaginella scopulorum and Lupinus lepidus lobbii (some still blooming!) and some Eriogonum marifolium (also some still blooming) growing near E. umbellatum again. There were also several places there and along the rocky part of the road with Pedicularis contorta (like on the rock outcrop overlooking Blair Lake).

Before leaving, we did a fairly quick spin around Blair Lake. All the Sagittaria was done (I got some good pictures of it flowering last year in August), but there was another aquatic I can’t identify. There were no signs of any flowering structures. I know very little about aquatics, but will be studying them this winter. Could it be some type of Potamogeton?

I’ll definitely be up Road 730 next spring if possible when things will be a lot easier to identify. Can’t wait!

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