Wednesday
Jun122019

05-21-2019 Glacial Heritage Trip 

Field Report by David Hepp

The team spent their day combing through Glacial Heritage Preserve for target plants. Worthwhile finds included sea thrift (Armeria maritima), lupines, a new pussytoes (Antennaria) location and blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium Idahoense).

On a nearby birding walk hosted by two wild collect volunteers, they found American vetch (Vicia americana) in bloom along a section of the oak woodland trail, generally east of our yellow rocket (Barberea orthoceras) data points. They also found a dense patch of prairie lupine (Lupinus lepidus) along the E edge of the road just S of the trees near the south bat boxes. We are not sure if this population was seeded or not.

Meanwhile, the rest of the wild seed team divided into two groups.  Bob, Deb, and Eileen checked blue-eyed grass points in the south-central area.  Several collectible populations of Oregon iris (Iris tenax) were found.  They proceeded to the Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly release area and examined three areas with sea thrift which were plugged 5-6 years ago.  They found the plugged plants fairly easy to identify, large plants with multiple stems.  They found a good many plants with only one or two stems and less basal growth.  It appears that later are new recruits. 

The second group of Don, Mary and Marion scoped out several Lupine points in the north-central area and sea thrift in the northwest area.  Regrettably, none of the previously recorded plants were found.  The good news is that new populations of Missouri goldenrod (Solidago missouriensis), Scouler’s hawkweed (Hieracium scouleri), and pussytoes were discovered.  The pussytoes are only the second population known on Glacial.  The Burke has updated the species names, so these two populations should probably be keyed out.

After, we drove to Mima Mounds and walked south from the main parking area looking for blue-eyed grass data points. We found one population in expanded form and a couple of other previously good spots to be largely gone. Another collectible population was found further north, so we should be able to get some good seed here this year.

Thursday
May302019

05-28-2019 Scatter Creek South

Field Report by David Hepp

The team walked long loops through previously unexplored at Scatter Creek South. Access has been somewhat limited in the recent past so we took advantage to look for 2019 targets as well as anything else interesting. We met at the main south parking area and briefly explored the area south of there. We failed once again to find any signs of the tomcat clover (Trifolium willdenovii) that I saw late last summer. The two-color lupine (Lupinus bicolor) and upland yellow violet (Viola praemorsa) populations that we collected from here last year are both still doing well. They appeared to have been released after the accidental burn and are widespread. The area was being posted for grass treatment, so it may perhaps continue to recover as prairie after previously being heavily suppressed with non-natives. We then moved west in a loose group, Bob B. and David foraging ahead at a higher speed than the rest, but all following the trail towards and through the oaks towards  the large south-central prairie. This area also burned and got some mixed reseeding. We found good Oregon sunshine (Eriophyllum lanatum), two-color lupine, yarrow (Achillea millefolium) thru this area. Nearer the oaks Bob and I found a dense patch of apparent Lupinus polyphyllus in bloom, mapped a dense patch of nearby red columbine (Aquilegia formosa) and also found an as yet unidentified plant (with pictures and data point).Comparison shot of two plagiobothrys samples

On the main prairie in the area of the powerline we found additional evidence of post-burn replanting: seathrift (Armeria maritima), seablush (Plectritis congesta), large-flowered blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia grandiflora) and small-flowered blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia parviflora), and slender phlox (Microsteris gracilis). Other species may be original: sticky goldenrod (Solidago simplex), cutleaf microseris (Microsteris gracilis), deltoid balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea), good Roemer’s fescue (Festuca romerii) and one Howell’s brodiaea (Triteleia grandiflora). The Roemer’s fescue is in collectible quantities; I remember the group collecting here years ago with (I think) Dan Grosboll. Through the powerline corridor the ground plane is largely snowberry. Both groups noted American vetch (Vicia americana) here. Further on we reached a large area recently logged, with many large piles of debris waiting for Bob’s torching. The disturbed ground has been heavily reseeded with large-flowered blue-eyed Mary particularly evident. We also found abundant blue-thimble-flower (Gilia capitata) and two-color lupine, and scattered popcorn flowers (plagiobothrys). These plants are quite leggy and lax compared to our image of fragrant popcorn flower (Plagiobothrys figuratus) form West Rocky and fragrant popcorn flower we found later in the day in the south wet prairie swale.  It may be Scouler's popcorn flower (Plagiobothrys scouleri), seeded in but nonetheless an interesting addition to the day’s finds.  Further on, Bob B. recovered the population of forest scurfpea (Rupertia physodes) that he and Marion found last year. It’s coming into bloom and will be collectible, broadening the genetic mix. Continuing along the oak woodland edge, we found one good dispersed patch of Howell’s brodiaea and the west end of the nearly continuous Golden paintbrush (Castellija levisecta) population that reaches back to the old homestead.

Large-leaved lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus)After lunch we moved to the south end, parking across from the cemetery. We recovered points for Howell’s brodiaea from last year, marking some dispersed plants for possible collection. Nearby we enjoyed finding a small population of checkermallow (Sidalcea) that Dave Hayes had shown Marion years ago. The group continued west to the lower terrace and split up at the trail crossing of the west swale. Marion’s group headed south and found the nineleaf biscuitroot (Lomatium triternatum) population as well as limited numbers of Howell’s brodiaea. My group headed up the swale and into the smaller depression near the oaks. This has recently been heavily reseeded with the usual mix, highlighted by massive amounts of two-color lupine, most already past bloom. Here we found the fragrant popcorn flower, seeded or not, that compared with the other found before lunch. We returned south along the powerline, finding widespread and collectible sicklekeel lupine (Lupinus albicaulis).

Thursday
May302019

05-14-2019 Cavness Ranch/West Rocky Finds 

Field Report by David Hepp

The group met at Cavness Ranch on a breezy and intermittently damp morning. I got there first to be greeted by an adult bald eagle. Up the road, a doe with a very young fawn headed out into the restoration area for a morning feed. Mary brought along flowering samples of both redstem ceanothus (Ceanothus sanguineus) and snowbrush ceanothus (Ceanothus velutinus) to sharpen our eyes in that quest.  Once everyone was assembled we headed south past the house. We found a small population of blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium idahoense) in the usual spot across the ditch and near the trees and marked them with three flags. There may be more in the location though not easy to see before bloom. The Oregon iris (Iris tenax) was fully in bloom nearby and further east along the woods edge. Three dense Q5 patches were flagged. In the woods we also looked at an orange climbing honeysuckle and starflower (formerly Triantalis latifolia and now, according to the Burke site, Lysimachia latifolia).  On the route back to the cars, we found skunkweed (Navarretia squarrosa) near the data point and just coming up, not yet more than an inch high. We got a couple of good pictures of this emergent phase.

We drove north to West Rocky, finagled the gate lock and carpooled down the hill to the prairie. We stopped just after the turning in the road. We chased the data points for slender phlox (Microsteris gracilis) that are near the road, finding widespread but sparse plants. We flagged many individuals and small groups, not knowing if we’d find more. And we did as we headed out towards the flats already blooming with fragrant popcorn flower (Plagiobothrys figuratus). Good upland yellow violet (Viola praemorsa) were recorded and Marion was first to identify a new, for us, population of western buttercup (Ranunculus occidentallis). It amounts to four or five scattered patches, perhaps 30-50 plants total. We located the narrow-leaved mule’s ears (Wyethia angustifolia) specimen that we have seen in many previous years. This year we found at least two younger plants nearby. Also nearby, surrounded by fragrant popcorn flower, we found a few American bistort (Bistorta bistortoides) plants, a couple of which were in bloom. This is another new species location for us. Both the American bistort and western buttercup show on the comprehensive plant list for West Rocky. Here also was additional slender phlox in collectible quantities. A bit further along the wet prairie edge we flagged a dense population of slender phlox growing between scattered broom. We retreated under some doug firs to get out of the wind for lunch. After lunch we made a loop along the oak edge hoping to recover a data point for a small group of sea thrift (Armeria maritima). Only one plant remained to be found. This part of the site, as with others, has increasing encroachment by broom and invasive grasses. Bob W. fortuitously spotted a ground nest; our initial guess leaning towards dark-eyed junco. There are large areas of good upland larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum) back in this section of open woodland. Marion and Mary noted these as well as a few little buttercup (Ranunculus uncinatus) along the trail.

Potential Dark-eyed junco nest

We then drove the track north along the western edge of broom to the north end. Don and I took a long loop east across the flats and into the mounded area. The flats are heavily impacted by invasives, with few native highlights other than a widespread and successful looking repopulation of golden paintbrush. The mounded area yielded a few more natives: field chickweed (Cersastium arvense), early blue violet (Viola adunca), common camas (Camassia quamash), western buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis), wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), prairie lupine (Lupinus Lepidus), spring gold (Lomatium urticulatum), nineleaf biscuitroot (Lomatium triternatum), Oregon sunshine (Eriophyllum lanatum) and two mounds with a bit of Howell’s pussytoes (Antennaria howelli).

Can never leave out the golden paintbrush (Castellija levisecta) at Cavness Ranch