Leavenworth 5/12/12

Coordinates: lat. 47.58944
lon. -120.67466

Weather: 63 degrees F, but feels hotter under the full sun.

1:50pm-- The sun at its height and we feel it beat down on this new, dry environment. The area is technically a "woodland," populated by Ponderosa Pine (Pinus Ponderosa) and low brushy shrubs. We climb over lichen-crusted rocks and through the dry grass dispersed with individual flowers every 10ft. or so. The plants are open to the hot sun, with no canopy to protect them. Almost like a meadow, but rocky and hilly, moving upward. These exposed regions are a living host of dusty plants that are totally foreign to me! The plants here are dusty colored-browns and sage-greens, nothing like the lush evergreens west of the mountains. The plants seem hardy--accustomed to the harsh heats and cold winters. There are other growing in the shadows beneath boulders, perhaps a bit more water is preserved in these shadowy spots.
Sitting on the warm rocks I see a few small lizards scurry by, seeking protection under the rocks, just like some of the plants. In the dense Western forests, reaching the sun is in high demand, whereas here shade is the more precious and rare commodity.
Despite the muted colors of the plants--their flowers are aglow with brilliant colors! In lower-slightly protected areas we find stunning chocolate lilies, or as someone informed me, checkered lilies (Fritillaria affinis). Also dispersed through the grasses were many balsamroot, I believe Carey's Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza careyana) and Arrowhead Balsamroot, (Balsamorhiza sagittata).
In the more protected area slightly higher up, where a number of tall douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) provide more shade, larger, leafier shrubs were present. Western service berry (Amelanchier alnifolia) was in bloom all over and snowberry (symphoricarpos albus).
Certain trees here are scarred with black as if effected by fires. I wonder how frequently fires scar this region? I imagine being so close to Leavenworth it would be in the peoples' interest to make sure fires did not occur here, but I wonder if small ones could still occur?
It is amazing what a contrast exists just a few miles over a mountain pass. It is a completely different world here. Still rich with life, but in such a different, crunchier way.

Species List
Trees:
Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa)
Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)

Shrubs:
Western Service berry (Amelanchier alnifolia)
Common Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus)
Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana)
Ocean Spray (Holodiscus discolor)
Rocky Mtn Maple (Acer glabrum)

Forbs:
Carey's Balsamroot (Balsamorhiza careyana)
Showy Phlox (Phlox speciosa)
Hooked Spur violet (Viola adunca)
Death Camas (Zigadenus paniculatus)
Columbia puccoon (Lithospermum ruderale)
Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Mock Orange (Philadelphus lewisii)
Prairie Star (Lithophragma parviflorum)
Checkered Lily (Fritallaria affinis)
Harsh Indian Paint brush (Castilleja hispada)
Paeonia Brownii

Vertebrates:
Western Fence Lizard (Scloporus occidentalis)

Publicado por jesscubb jesscubb, 05 de junio de 2012

Observaciones

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Mayo 12, 2012

Descripción

This native peony was growing low to the ground in the grassy, rocky region behind Leavenworth. The plant was approx. 30cm tall. Thick petals surrounding flower appear to offer protection from the harsh sun and insects.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Bejori de Cerca Occidental (Sceloporus occidentalis)

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Mayo 12, 2012

Descripción

Darting around the dry rocks a few of these lizards could be spotted with a careful eye. Most that I saw were much smaller, but the one photographed was a full grown adult male, with a bright blue belly for attracting females.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Llovizna (Holodiscus discolor)

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Mayo 12, 2012

Descripción

Ocean spray is easy to identify for its plumed flowers that seem to be splashing off the plant like white ocean spray. Here photographed the flowers are old, so they are brown and dry rather than white. This shrub was about 2.5m tall with small, coarsely toothed leaves that look not unlike black hawthorn.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Mayo 12, 2012

Descripción

The species name lanceolata does not seem to exist within inaturalist, but according to Pojar, this is the flower native to the PNW. Many chocolate lilies were growing in the flat, meadow area with light shade. The flowers are dark purple, brownish about 4cm long.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Mayo 12, 2012

Descripción

I am not sure of the species, but this fire-work esque flower was growing all along the parking lot at our Leavenworth stop. The flowers emerge in a burst from one point on the stem, not unlike a queen anne's lace flower.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Mayo 12, 2012

Descripción

This curly wild pea-like plant winds all around the long grasses in the shady, lightly forested areas we tromped through.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Mayo 12, 2012

Descripción

Hidden amongst the grass a few of these violets were in full bloom in Leavenworth! I am not sure that this is precisely the correct species identification, however. It was the closest I could find for flowers in this region, but maybe rather than a violet it's more closely related to a columbine?

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Mayo 12, 2012

Descripción

Dispersed near the rocks and almost nearly in full bloom. Each plant had only one stem with a flower made of a series of very small blossoms.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Mayo 12, 2012

Descripción

I understood this plant to be called Western Serviceberry, but here it comes up as Sakatoon. This was perhaps the most present shrub in the area we explored. Many of these fill in the shaded area beneath trees. Most of the bushes were in full bloom, like the one pictured here.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Mayo 12, 2012

Descripción

I only found one patch of what I think is called Columbia puccoon or lemonweed. Growing in the taller grasse in the wooded, shady area above the meadow. It was not in full bloom, and therefore difficult to identify at first, but I think the spiny, dusty leaves are distinguishing enough.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

jesscubb

Fecha

Mayo 12, 2012

Descripción

When researching plants of Eastern washington I found a few sources that called the species of Paintbrush found here Harsh Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja hispada). But this species isn't recognized by inaturalist.
This paintbrush was growing in a small clump in the wooded, shady area of the hill. We did not find many of these flowers, only this one stand on the entire trip.

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