Posts Tagged ‘Balsamroot’

Abbott Butte in Glorious Bloom

Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea) lights up the meadow below the lookout.

My van was packed for an overnight camping trip, but I literally didn’t decide where I was going until breakfast. There are so many places I want to go, and so little time every summer, and it can be hard to hit the bloom just when I want it. This year’s deep snowpack has further complicated decision making, something I’m not good at anyway. But I’m so glad I opted to go to Abbott Butte, one of my favorite hikes in the Rogue-Umpqua Divide—or anywhere, for that matter. I got the confirmation from the Forest Service that I could get to the trailhead, but there might be patchy snow. That was just what I wanted because my goal was to see the snowmelt species up there. The late-melting heavy snow actually is a boon in some ways. While there were patches of snow scattered along the trail, parts of the area were quite far along. In a drier year, I might have had to go twice, several weeks apart, to see all the different plants I saw in bloom. Read the rest of this entry »

Bloom Coming on at Heckletooth

Madia elegans

Madia elegans in all its glory.

After the bad weather and resulting delayed blooming season, it was a joy to be out yesterday (June 12) at Heckletooth Mountain. The flowering season is finally coming on strong there, and Rob Castleberry and I enjoyed seeing the meadows starting to come alive with flowers. The gorgeous spring-blooming type of tarweed (Madia elegans) were starting their show of bright yellow in the large sloping meadow. On the summit slope, they were still only in bud. They seem to be taller than I’ve seen them before, no doubt because of the copious rain they’ve received. As we returned through the lower meadow at 4pm, many of the flowers were starting to close up for the day. I was actually surprised to see so many still wide open. I remember them closing earlier in the past. Perhaps they couldn’t get enough sun either!

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Back to the Upper Meadows of Cloverpatch

The promised sunny day never materialized, but with all the rain we’ve had lately, John Koenig and I didn’t let the weather stop us from going up to Cloverpatch on Monday (May 24). John once had a survey plot in one of the oak patches near the trail, so he’d been there many times, but he’d never been to the upper meadows before. I was anxious to get to the upper west meadows I’d finally reached in February when little was in bloom. So we were excited to head out for a long day of exploring.

Rock feature in upper eastern meadow

Amazing rock feature in upper eastern meadow with joints that spread out like a fan

Much of what I’d seen earlier this month (read The Rocky Meadows of Cloverpatch) was still blooming including many fairy slippers. There was even a little Crocidium multicaule still blooming almost 3 months after I’d seen it there on my first trip this year. The balsamroot was much farther along though, and this was one of the highlights of the day. Their large, sunny yellow flowerheads brightened up the mostly cloudy day and more than made up for the fact that it sprinkled off and on for most of the afternoon. Luckily, these were very light showers that didn’t soak through clothes, and we were both prepared with rain pants for all the wet foliage we had to pass through. Read the rest of this entry »

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