Meandering About Moon Point

From the rocky viewpoint at the end of the trail, we had a great view to the south of the east-west-oriented Calapooya Mountains, including Bristow Prairie where we were the day before and Balm Mountain where I went 10 days later. The coppery-colored shrub to the right is actually a very dwarf Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia), while some snowbrush (Ceanothus velutinus) is blooming to the left.

I believe this is the caterpillar of the police car moth. Its host food plants are in Boraginaceae like this blue stickseed (Hackelia micrantha). He’s clearly been eating both the leaves and the inflorescence.

After our Bristow Prairie trip (see previous post), Betsy Becker decided to stay in the area another day, so on Sunday, June 23, I brought her up to the Moon Point trail. We had a mostly relaxing day (Betsy was not so relaxed when I persuaded her to sit on top of the cliff at the end of the otherwise easy walk!). It was a beautiful day, and the flowers were still fresh. We saw some more plants she wasn’t familiar with, including the rare green-flowered wild ginger (Asarum wagneri). We also made a loop through the lower meadows to pretty Moon Lake. Here are some photos.

anise swallowtail egg

This caterpillar was running back and forth along the trail, looking for a plant to eat or perhaps a safe place to change into a chrysalis. Sadly, I the two white dots on his back are not part of his pattern. I suspect they are parasitic wasp eggs. Back in high school, I raised butterflies, and one of my first experiences was hatching grubs out of a butterfly chrysalis—quite upsetting. Not many caterpillars survive all the dangers they face before becoming butterflies.

The mountain shooting star (Dodecatheon jeffreyi) along the edge of Moon Lake were still blooming pretty well and attracting lots of bumblebees.

This pretty California jacob’s ladder (Polemonium californicum) was a new plant for my list. I’d never noticed it growing under the taller foliage near the lake, or else I might have taken it for the much more common great polemonium (P. carneum). I’m still trying to figure out how to differentiate them out of bloom.

The wetland near the trailhead was filled with the elegant plants of clasping twisted-stalk (Streptopus amplexifolius).

Leave a Reply

Post Categories
Notification of New Posts