Medicinal Herb Garden 4/9/12

Coordinates: Lat: 47.65277
Lon: -122.30917

Weather: 50-55 degrees F and very muggy. Completely overcast but without the slightest precipitation.

12noon -- I'm sitting on the grass next to a 2m tall Evergreen Huckleberry hedge (Vaccinium Ovatum), buzzing with big fat bumble bees. The end of the medicinal herb garden is a small circular grass area with a man-made pond in the middle, grown over with water plants. Though the garden has certainly been planted with various species from all of the world, the surrounding area has a concentration of native plants. This grassy area is also surrounded by a number of tall conifers, making the space feel enclosed with an over story. Small wild-ish areas like this provide a home for many birds on campus, even though it may be "artificial" the space feels inhabited by animals, birds and insects. I hear 6 or 7 separate bird calls that I struggle to identify. I am certain that I hear an American Robin's multi-toned song and of course the piercing caws of crows. But the other little cheeps are indistinguishable to me, and so difficult to describe!
Two mallards swim in the water, eyeing me when I move and nibbling the algae along the waterside. After I've been seated long enough (perhaps 25 minutes) they are brave enough to approach me and walk within three feet of my sit spot to reach the upper pool. After a bit of awkward struggle, both birds make it into the slightly larger upper pool and make a ruckus of bathing, splashing everywhere before stepping out to tuck their beaks under their wings - to nap?
Other birds come down to dip in the water and drink. On a hot day like today the water seems especially precious. The longer I sit, the more birds that come down, risking a few moments of exposure. When they are in view it is easier for me to get a hold of their calls, though I still can't begin to describe them!

Species List: Not including labeled med. herb garden plants
Trees--
Western Flowering Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii)
Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata)

Shrubs--
Evergreen Huckleberry (Vaccinum ovatum)
Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton americanum)
False Solomon's Seal (Smilacina racemosa)
Salal (Gaultheria shallon)

Birds--
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Spotted Towhee (Pipilo maculatus)

Publicado por jesscubb jesscubb, 01 de mayo de 2012

Observaciones

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Abril 10, 2012

Lugar

UW Campus (Google, OSM)

Descripción

Growing as a hedge around multiple part of the medicinal herb garden, it was around 1m tall and very thick. Many bees are already attracted to the many tiny flowers adorning this plant.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Ortiga (Urtica dioica)

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Abril 10, 2012

Lugar

UW Campus (Google, OSM)

Descripción

Found in patches around the medicinal herb garden, I am not sure whether or not this was planted, but it seems to be fairly freely growing in the shade under the trees outside Benson Hall.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Abril 10, 2012

Lugar

UW Campus (Google, OSM)

Descripción

Growing beneath and between a lot of other shrubs, including a ground cover of english ivy, were these 3 lone false solomon seal plants. There are no flowers at all as of yet, despite spring having arrived, this plant is still in full shade.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Romero (Salvia rosmarinus)

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Abril 10, 2012

Lugar

UW Campus (Google, OSM)

Descripción

This rosemary bush was growing among a number of different shrubs in a bit of garden outside of Benson hall, near to, but not in the medicinal herb garden. I think that rosemary is actually native to Europe, specifically the Mediterranean, but I see it growing everywhere in Seattle- it's evergreen needles seem well-adapted to the climate here. The needles on rosemary bushes are very fragrant all year around and even when the flowers are long fallen, the needles remain delicious to smell and eat!

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Abril 9, 2012

Lugar

UW Campus (Google, OSM)

Descripción

This plant is growing in clumps around the lower part of the medicinal herb garden, right outside of Benson Hall. I thought at first that it was a type of false Solomon's Seal, but the leaves are growing up and on top of each other rather than splaying outward and flat the way that Solomon's seal does. The leaves don't look unlike a lily, but the flowers not like any I could find in Pojar. The plants were around 3 ft. tall, growing in damp soil very near water. One of the pictures depicts the contrast between this plant and the false Solomon's Seal.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Pato Norteño (Anas platyrhynchos)

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Abril 9, 2012

Lugar

UW Campus (Google, OSM)

Descripción

This pair was "swimming" in the little pond at the bottom of the medicinal herb garden. For 20 minutes or so, they moved along the water scooping algae off the sides of the pond with their beaks (perfectly shaped for algae scooping!) After these 20 minutes they hoisted themselves out of the water and waddled cautiously past me to the slightly larger pond at my back where they dunked themselves, seemingly bathing before laying down for a nap at the pool side.

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