Category: Oregon Level IV 3c

Early May at Camassia Photo Essay

Level IV: (3c) Prairie Terraces

All native species:

Following the Bloom at Camassia

Dropped into Camassia today to check on the progression of the wild flower phenology.  The Fawn Lilies are just about bloomed out, Trillium ovatum is gone except for a few wilting stragglers, while albidium is still found in fine shape.  Rooting around in the duff i found Wild Ginger in bloom.  Fringe Cups are coming out and the first False Solomon’s Seal is unfolding.  Blue-eyed Mary, Early Saxifrage, and Rosy Plectritis are still in their prime.

The best find of the day: California Darner!  Not a record early flight (15 April) but my earliest by 6 days.  The eyes are still grey so it is recently emerged, just past teneral.

As an update: earlier i identified a geranium as Dove’s Foot Geranium.  Well, when i was checking on it today the population had been eradicated.  I talked to one of the naturalists there and she said it was actually Shiny Geranium, an invasive.  In my defense — none of the floras i consult (see references page) has Shiny Geranium listed — oy vey!

Spring at Camassia

This is the best time of the year to visit Camassia Natural Area. There’s a few birds around, but the main reason i am sure to visit in spring is that it is one of the best places in the Metro Area for a diverse cross section of wildflowers that i know of. (well, i know of one other but i promised Lona not to tell)

Owing to a variety of habitats there are many niches to fill: woodland, prairie, wetlands, seeps and rocky outcroppings.  The preservation of this area has been remarkable.  Except for the roar of 205 on the north side, you wouldn’t know you were a stone’s throw to the Tri-county Metro area.

The show is just getting started but some of the early bloomers are already fading.  I made trips there at the end of March and early April.  A magnificent showing by Fawn Lilies this year.  And on one seep i even found a Chickweed Monkeyflower population which was quite unexpected.

Over the winter the volunteers put in a new path that leads down to the stream and into a small wetland.  I’ll be interested to see what comes up in this habitat.

All flowers pictured in the gallery are native. (UPDATE — the Dove’s Foot Geranium is mis-identified.  It is actually Shiny Geranium and it is an invasive.)
Camassia Natural area lies in Ecoregion LIV (3c) Willamette Valley Prairie Terraces