Saturday, May 5, 2012

Slate Creek, Meadow Valley Creek, Part 1

I took a morning drive up Slate Creek Road to Deane's Valley, then returned to Meadow Valley, crossing Meadow Valley Creek at one of my favorite wildflower spots.  Despite seeing some good color, m favorite photo from the trip is one I call "Alluvial Sprouts."  I stopped by a little creek that had nearly dried up, and a cute row of embryonic leaves of some flowering plant had popped up out of the fresh layer of mud left behind by the creek.  If stop by a week from now, the definitive adult leaves of the plant should have emerged and I might be able to identify it.  If not, I'll wait for the flowers.  That is, if the deer don't graze here first.  Near this spot, I saw one nice patch of Spreading Phlox.  Here and there along the entire trip I saw freshly bloomed Mahala Mat.  Between the Slate Creek Crossing and Deane's Valley I several interesting plants including the two species of yellow violets pictured here.  I believe the first one is Douglas's Violet, Viola douglasii, and the second I think is Wood Violet, Viola lobata.  I'm taking a big chance here, because the many species of yellow violets confuse me.  The third photo from the top was taken by a little tributary of Meadow Valley Creek where I saw the greatest concentration of Henderson's Shooting Star, Dodecatheon hendersonii, I've ever seen.  The blossoms are past their prime, so hurry on up there if you want to see them.  They're lining a little creek just past the bridge over Meadow Valley Creek, driving south.  Right hand side.  Can't miss 'em.

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