Posts Tagged ‘Sorbus’

Autumn at Hills Peak

The fall color was outstanding in the wetland east of Hills Peak, mostly from the vast stretches of bog huckleberries.

A Cascades frog floating in one of the many channels near the lake.

On October 5th, John Koenig and I headed up to Hills Peak at the east end of the Calapooya Mountains. We both wanted to get in one more trip to the Calapooyas before winter, and we were looking for an easy trip—especially after John had injured his knee on our last trip out together (see Butterflying on Coal Creek Road). There are many places of interest around Hills Peak, so we can never see them all. On this trip, we made three stops: a wetland, the top of the peak, and the talus at the north end.

It was a gorgeous fall day. The clear blue sky was heavenly after months of smoke. We headed first to the large wetland east of the peak off of Road 2154, where there is a shallow lake and bog. While there was little left in bloom, the fall color was outstanding. The backlit huckleberries made the area look like it was on fire—but in a good way. Read the rest of this entry »

A “Berry” Surprising Day at Groundhog and Warner Mountains

The star plant of the day was probably western mountain ash (Sorbus scopulina) with its shiny red berries. It was abundant along the roadsides. The large meadow in back is on Little Groundhog Mountain, more or less the south end of Groundhog Mountain.

In late summer, the gorgeous berries of wax currant (Ribes cereum) ripen, and the leaves develop a waxy coating.

After hearing from my friend Doramay Keasbey that Road 2120 was actually in pretty good condition, I decided I really needed to get back to Groundhog Mountain sometime this year. I used to go multiple times a year as it is one of my favorite places and has so many different interesting botanical spots to check out. With the fire danger finally reduced and the smoke no longer affecting the area (unfortunately for Doramay, it was pretty bad for her and her friend Pat when they went in early August), I was finally able to return on September 13. I was accompanied by fellow Native Plant Society of Oregon (NPSO) member Angela Soto, who had never been to this terrific botanical area. Due to the smoke and fire danger, I didn’t get out much in August and went alone as I was never sure until morning what the air quality would be like. It was wonderful to get back to “business as usual” and to be able to take another plant lover with me. Read the rest of this entry »

Bristow Prairie

Sorbus scopulina

Sorbus scopulina in fruit

Sabine and I had a very nice time yesterday at Bristow Prairie. No problem getting up there and no hunters, unlike my last trip. We parked on the road a little before the gravel pit and walked up into the meadow from there. We headed down toward the lake until we found the cairns. I hadn’t been sure if the trail was still in existence since it is on the USGS map but not the new district map. Maybe that’s because it is actually in the Umpqua NF. We also hadn’t found the north trailhead although we drove very slowly hoping to spot it.

This is one of the few indicators that there is still a trail here.

From the cairns, we decided to follow the High Divide trail to the south first and do the lake later. We were able to follow it no problem. We found some Horkelia fusca very quickly just after the trail passes through a short stretch of woods into a logged area. Unfortunately, this and most everything else we saw was on the Douglas County side of the county line which appears to go right through the lake. The trail passes through some pretty sloping meadows. Mostly we saw lots of goldenrod, Symphyotrichum foliaceum, Eucephalus ledophyllus, old coneflowers and lots of Hypericum perforatum and miserably stinky Madia glomerata. There were lots of gorgeous Sorbus scopulina with brightly colored, shiny berries. The rocky meadows on the west facing side of the ridge were covered with fading Eriogonum compositum, umbellatum, AND marifolium. All three common little polygonums were there and blooming as well. Also some Alaska yellowcedar and a small patch of oaks. I guess that is the area called Picture Rock Prairie. Read the rest of this entry »

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