Hiked into Black Wolf and Cottonwood Meadows on a sunny August day. Best birding was early morning at Black Wolf. The hike down to Anvil Lake and an unsuccessful attempt at Dinger Lake (too much of a scramble for the dog) yielded a few of the expected montane birds. On the return trip back through Black Wolf there was a trio of Lewis’ Woodpeckers, a first for the ecoregion. By mid-day at Cottonwood most birds had hunkered down against the heat. A couple of Common Nighthawks cruised overhead.
The alternate naming of species reflects differing common names.
Faraday Reservoir to Little Crater Lake.
All native species:
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!
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