Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Monday by Gilson Creek, Part 3

 The title of today's post is slightly misleading as none of the photos were taken near Gilson Creek.  However, when I parted with my guests after hiking to Gilson Creek and back with them, I scouted an area near Berry Creek on my way home.  I know I'd be accompanied by the same people on today's hike to Berry Creek, and I wanted to check on the status of certain plants in that area.  I found that the Leopard Lilies, Self-heal, St. John's Wort, Crimson Columbine, and several other notables were all doing fine, and there were a few small trout in the creek.  As a brief side trip, we were going to check on the area where the Mountain Lady's Slipper bloomed a few weeks ago.  I knew they would be wilted, but I found that the remnants of the blossoms combined with the well-developed seed pods were still a good photo subject.
 Likewise, another orchid, the Spotted Coralroot, had totally gone to seed and their seed pods made a nice subject.  Today my guests vowed to come back to this area when the orchids are blooming.  It's an exciting little micro-habitat beneath some very tall Douglas-firs.
 The Douglas's Spiraea is one of the hardiest and longest-blooming flowers around Oakland Camp, and it is now hosting lots of exciting insect and spider activity.  In fact,m last week, when I didn't have my camera with me, a group of campers and I saw a Goldenrod Crab Spider feasting on a large Bumblebee several times larger than itself.
 On the way home, along Chandler Road, the Teasel are beginning to mature and I stopped for a few photos.
 The weed eaters that passed by this area two weeks ago only mowed a five-foot-wide path, so another zone at least five feet wide remains between the mowing and the barbed wire fence.  Thus, not all my botanical adventures were destroyed.  There will be a couple more months of botanical adventure here so long as no one decides to mow right up to the fence.  These weedy zones are very important to wildlife.

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