Posts Tagged ‘Gordon Meadows’

Armchair Botanical Discovery

Swamp currant (Ribes triste) has really beautiful, deep red inflorescences, large, maple-like leaves, and no prickles.

For me, the dark and damp winter is usually a time of looking back over the past year and organizing for the coming one. I update my plant lists, catalog my photos, and do some research on plants I’m learning about. I recently finished going through all my photos from 2012 (over 12,000!). Now I’m upgrading the photos in my book, replacing really old photos with newer, better ones from my current camera. I miss the excitement of spring and flowers coming up every day and the thrill of discovering new plants in the mountains. By comparison, computer work is not very exciting, but it is pleasant enough, and it is necessary if I’m going to know which photos I still need to get for the coming year.

So you can imagine my surprise and thrill this morning when I discovered a new plant at Gordon Meadows—and I never even got up out of my chair! I was trying to find a replacement photo for an old one of Anemone oregana. According to my database records, I had taken a good one at Gordon Meadows in June of 2009 (I posted a report about the trip at Aquatics at Gordon Meadows, but it was originally written as an e-mail to some other botanists before I started my website, so it is not as long-winded thorough as my usual blog entries). I’m still using the same camera from 2008 (Panasonic Lumix FZ50—still love it!), so anything from 2009 is as good as my newest ones. Photos older than 2008  looked good at the time but pale in comparison to the higher resolution newer ones. Upon opening the folder in Bridge (sort of Adobe’s version of iPhoto), I was immediately stunned to see several lovely photos of swamp red currant (Ribes triste), one of my special target plants of the last couple of years. Read the rest of this entry »

Another Unusual Find at Gordon Meadows

Back in 2007, I spotted an odd-looking coralroot at Gordon Meadows. It wasn’t until I got home and compared my photos to references that I realized it was the rare northern coralroot (Corallorhiza trifida). I would have taken more time to study it had I realized it wasn’t just an odd-looking spotted coralroot (C. maculata), which does vary a bit. Sometimes it is yellow rather than red, and sometimes it doesn’t have any spots. Northern coralroot is droopier and a more greenish yellow. On a number of subsequent trips, I’ve tried to relocate it unsucccessfully. There have been coralroots blooming everywhere I’ve been lately, so I thought it might be a good time to try again.

Moneses uniflora has many common names, including one-flowered wintergreen, single delight, wood nymph, and shy maiden. The latter might not seem very descriptive, but when you see the little nodding heads, it seems quite appropriate. This little perennial is only a few inches tall and is hard to spot in the shady woods.

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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 »

Aquatics at Gordon Meadows

John Koenig, Sabine Dutoit, and I spent Tuesday (June 16) at Gordon Meadows. We found 2 unfamiliar aquatics there in the creek in several places. Might the first be Callitriche heterophylla? The second one looks kind of like some photos of Limosella aquatica, but I’d never heard of it, and it is obviously not blooming which would be helpful. Are these plants elsewhere on the Sweet Home district? They are not on the Carex WG report from 2003.

unknown aquatic

unknown aquatic in woodland creek

We had some other additions to the list: Montia fontana, Cardamine breweri, and Barbarea (1 small plant, not sure of the species, might not be the native one). We spent a lot of time looking at the willows. There are quite a few of an unfamiliar one with glaucous-backed toothed leaves, much larger than Salix geyeriana. Tall plants of it are growing near the creek in the west section of the main meadow and at the far east end of the main meadow and shorter plants in among the commutata thickets on the north edge of the main meadow. With Nick Otting’s help, we concluded it was what John suspected, Salix lasiolepis. Unusual but not precedented for the Western Cascades around there. All together we saw 4 willow species (S. geyeriana, lasiolepis, sitchensis and commutata) in the meadow complex.

It was really pretty with loads of Ranunculus populago, Dodecatheon jeffreyi, and Caltha leptosepala. Some snowbanks remained near the trail. The many species of violets were outstanding as well, especially in the east meadow. The camas was starting in a couple of places and some of the Kalmia was hanging on as well. We saw the very first Montia chamissoi in bloom in the east meadow. They are numerous in the east meadow and east end of the main meadow. They should be blooming well within a couple of weeks I’m guessing, along with all the regulars like Bistort and Pedicularis groenlandica.

More Exciting Finds at Gordon Meadows

Corallorhiza trifida

Note the greenish color and droopy tepals of Corallorhiza trifida

Yesterday (June 27), John Koenig and I went to Gordon Meadows. We had a terrific day and made some additions to the plant list (John took home a bunch of graminoids and may have more additions to the already extensive list from the Carex Project Report).

Our first discovery of the day came even before we got into the meadows. In the woods just before the trail intersection, we found 2 stalks of a very funny-looking coralroot. Of course, I hoped it might be Corallorhiza trifida, but I’ve seen many odd coralroots over the years and without a good reference we couldn’t be sure and soon forgot about it. Looking at my (not very good) photos and ones on the web this morning, however, I would say it is a dead ringer. Especially the drooping lateral petals. What do you think?

We explored a little of the bit of meadow west of the trail first. The Menziesia was blooming nicely there. The ones in the woods were barely in bud. The Microseris borealis is still blooming beautifully there. Next we went into the main meadow.

The wet meadow was filled with elephant head, bistort, and white bog orchids.

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