Posts Tagged ‘oddballs’

Some Oddities at Skipper Lakes

A herd of elk just before they dashed away

I’ve been exploring the Calapooyas of late, and a couple of days ago I went to Skipper Lakes on the south side of the Calapooya crest at the base of Balm Mountain, less than 3 air miles south of Loletta Lakes where I was a few days before. The lakes themselves weren’t nearly as productive, and the area around them not nearly as wet as I expected, but I did find some unusual things. Not so surprisingly, given the close proximity to Loletta Lakes where I just discovered it, I found 2 separate areas of Oxypolis occidentalis. Also Geranium richardsonii in fading bloom, Horkelia fusca, loads of Stellaria obtusa (also some S. crispa and S. borealis, they’re popping up everywhere now that I’m paying attention). There was also quite a bit of Ribes erythrocarpum in fruit. I noticed a specimen from there on the OFP Atlas but have not found any other list for Skipper Lakes. It’s hard to imagine that the Roseburg Herbarium ladies didn’t do a list for this pretty trail. I didn’t think they missed much. It must be beautiful earlier in the season near the south trailhead as it was filled with Balsamorhiza deltoidea, Linum lewisii, and Ipomopsis aggregata. The big trees in the woods are nice too. It looks like a lot of incense cedars are crowding the openings, however. It’s a nice trail, too bad it requires so many miles of gravel.

Odd broad-lip twayblades (Listera convallarioides) with three leaves instead of two

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Double Delphiniums

Delphinium glaucum

Normal type on the left for comparison. The spurs of the doubles were unusual too, practically missing in some and short and twisted in others.

Here is a photo of some fully double Delphinium glaucum that were blooming on Grizzly Peak in Ashland on Monday. My friend Kelley spotted them while I was taking photographs. There were at least 3 plants mixed in with a large regular population near the end of its bloom season. They were forming seed capsules, but we didn’t find any as large as the ones on the regular plants, so maybe they won’t be viable. But then again, there were several plants scattered about, so I don’t know how else they were propagating. Maybe the population is genetically prone to doubles.

They were attracting lots of butterflies and a clearwing (hummingbird) moth. The day before, at Hershberger Mountain, there were oodles of hummingbirds in a large stand of Delphinium glaucum. How I wish I could grow this at home! My seeds germinate, but they always get eaten by slugs or someone. I pressed one stalk for the OSU Herbarium. I don’t see how anyone can press a plant that can be 8 feet tall (I measured one this high!).

Olallie Mountain Trip

Dicentra uniflora

Unusual two-flowered steer's head (Dicentra uniflora)

I went to Olallie Mountain yesterday. Perfect time for all the snow-melt stuff I was looking for (still some small patches of old snow as well as some of the new fallen stuff from the other day). Lots of fresh glacier lilies, lovely swaths of Mertensia bella with many more in bud, fading Caltha leptosepala in the meadow creek, great clumps of trilliums some with their flowers browsed on, blooming Orogenia fusiformis and my first look at a Dicentra uniflora still in bud. Also saw a Dicentra “biflora” with 2 flowers! That was a first. The Ribes erythrocarpum was in bloom weaving through the clumps of beargrass and over fallen logs.

One of the most interesting things of the day was after I relocated the Polystichum andersonii. The new fronds are still unfurling and the old ones are tattered and flattened on the ground. Having discovered they have vegetative buds like some of the garden Polystichums I have (a friend gave me some off of her plant and they are growing well), I looked at the old leaves and discovered almost all of them did have one bud. Some were already rooting and pinning the old leaf to the ground. While I still only found the 2 large plants from last year, there will be more there in the future! I never understood what good it did having all those plantlets up on the frond if they don’t fall off. But now I see that the problem in my garden is there is no snow to press the frond onto the ground. It’s actually (not surprisingly) a very efficient system.

Unusual Trillium

double trillium

Odd-looking double trillium. Note that it has 6 sepals as well as multiple petals.

I was up on Horsepasture yesterday afternoon. It was lovely. The lower part of the trail is lined with Mertensia bella. I found this bizarre but not particularly garden worthy Trillium ovatum right along the trail. There was plenty of Castilleja rupicola in bloom below both cliffs. Lots of Glacier lilies on the slopes below the cliffs (no I didn’t go down to get a closer look!). Never found any Saxifraga cespitosa though. Also could not find evidence of any Claytonia lanceolata though I saw all the other snow melt species and have a good search image in my head from all the Claytonia I’ve seen elsewhere. Does anyone know where it’s been seen up there? At the bottom, southern facing end of the upper rocky meadow the phlox is amazing. There were 3′ wide plants in full bloom. The air was perfumed with their fragrance. The Penstemon procerus was particularly nice as well. And the rocks right around the corner from the trailhead on the O’Leary trail are covered with Collinsia grandiflora. Very nice with the accompanying Erigonum umbellatum.

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