Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Glorious Day on the East Side

The first week of June proved to be a perfect time to revisit Little Shasta Meadows Botanical Area on the east side of the Klamath National Forest.  We were treated to a lake of camas lily, brightened by pink "elephant trunks" (pedicularis sp.), the white lollipop heads of bistort and acres of yellow buttercup.

Camas lilies are beautiful!  They were also a favored food source for the First Peoples, who cultivated great seas of lilies in wet meadows of the West.  Beware to modern foragers, though: the lily bulb is harvested in autumn when it is hard to distinguish from the bulb of the death camas!

This little column of pink flowers is named for its swooping tubules.

Bistort is another edible wild plant, but beware the corn lily
 in front of it: all parts are poisonous!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

In the pink on China Hill

Bitter root (Lewisia rediviva) was the beauty of the day when we went for 
a nature walk on China Hill on the north side of town.

A gopher snake amongst the serpentine phacelia caused some excitement.

Showy phlox (P. speciosa) shows off its notched petal.

Yreka's own unique and rare Phlox hirsuta has hairy leaves and no notch in the petal.

After the snow melt: Little Shasta Meadows

Yellow bells are one of the first things to show up when spring arrives.  The highlands of 
Little Shasta Meadows are a month or two behind us here so we get to experience spring twice.

Corn lily was just waking from its winter sleep, but the woods violet was already in bloom.

Evergreens peer through a ghostly veil of aspens at the Botanical Area.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Spring Walk

We took a walk through the oak woods on our property and came across some old friends:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Indian Summer, the last bright flame of the year

Oak woodland on a private elk preserve (Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation), seen from York Road rising into Willow Creek Mountain.

Spooky things start appearing at this time of year: a one-inch wolf spider looking like a tiny tarantula, a willow bush flaming out in the meadow.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

High summer in the mountains

Mt Shasta and Goosenest rise to the south of Little Shasta Meadows.

Above, a dragonfly rests from his ceaseless patrolling over the meadow. We think this is a California Darner.

To the right, our tadpoles turned into Pacific tree frogs (despite the lack of trees in the vicinity!). The headwaters of the Little Shasta River were drying up to little more than muddy ditches in the meadow, but the frogs didn't seem to mind.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Celebrating Pollinators, again

The Klamath N.F. scheduled another wildflower walk to celebrate National Pollinators Week.  We listened to our famously funny entomologist, Dr. Carlson, and a rep from the Klamath Bird Observatory on bees, bugs and hummingbirds.  Then we toured a short section of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Siskiyou Crest above Mt. Ashland.  Here, a bumblebee in the horsemint (also beloved of rufous hummingbirds!).  
A cool 82 degrees in the high country, while Yreka broiled to 102.