Saturday, December 26, 2009

Needle Ice, kammeis (German), shimo bashira (japanese), pipkrake (Swedish)

Freezing weather usually brings ice crystals growing out of the ground. This years crop is unusual in that the crystals are up to 2" long.

What ever is on the surface gets pushed upward - dirt, roots, or Doug Fir needles

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Indian Plum, Oemleria cerasiformis

The fruit from this small tree is fairly tasty, but there is very little to eat as the seeds are huge. Red stems, dark blue fruit, and green leaves make for an interesting color combination.

Immature fruit:
Mature fruit:
Finally got a picture today (February 28, 2010) of the flowers that appear in early Spring:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Icy Little Salmon Creek

With the recent cold weather, Little Salmon Creek is starting to get icy. Water is flowing behind this 2 foot tall frozen waterfall:

Water flowing underneath interesting patterns in the ice:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Creeping Buttercup, Ranunculus repens

An introduced perennial, Creeping Buttercup is common in pastures and toxic to cattle.  This specimen was photographed in Lucia Falls County Park in SW Washington.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Reishi Mushroom, Ganoderma lucidum

Used as a herbal remedy for thousands of years in China and Japan, this shelf mushroom plays an important role in forest ecology by breaking down dead wood. This specimen is about 1" across.

This is the first blog post taken with my new Canon 7D - what a camera!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Smith's fairybell, Disporum smithii

This flower is similar in appearance to Hooker's fairybell shown in my May 1, 2009 blog entry. The main distinguishing feature is that Smith's petals flare only slightly at the tip.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Jelly Fungus, Dacrymyces palmatus

This odd looking fungus growing on a Douglas Fir tree trunk looks vaguely reminiscent of of corn kernels:

Another clump was residing elsewhere on the same tree trunk:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fireweed, Epilobium angustifolium

Fireweed is found throughout North America and spreads via seeds and rhizomes. It can grow to approximately 8 feet with striking flower spikes at the end of straight unbranched stems.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Trailing Blackberry, Rubus ursinus

The only native blackberry in the NorthWest, Trailing Blackberry grows close to the ground and produces excellent tasting berries in the Summer.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cleavers, Galium aparine

Cleavers is a weak-stemmed, native annual with very small white flowers. Every Summer I gather Cleavers for our rabbits who consume it with great enthusiasm.

After flowering, a double seed appears:

This closeup shows how the seeds are able to attach themselves to passers-by:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Self-Heal, Prunella vulgaris

Also known as Heal-All, this member of the Mint family has been used in salves to speed the healing of burns.

July 17, 2010 update: Here is an uncommon color variation:

October 3, 2010 update:
Dark clouds this afternoon made for a long exposure (1.8 seconds) on this view looking down at the top of the flower heads:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Maidenhair Fern, Adiantum pedatum

Historically, Maidenhair Fern has been used in basketry and also for medicinal purposes.

This collection of ferns is growing on a moist rock face on the East Fork of the Lewis River in Southwest Washington.

The pictures, below, taken in early Spring (4/17/2011) shows what the fronds look like before they are fully unfurled.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Spotted Coralroot, Corallorhiza maculata

Coralroots are members of the Orchid family and are unusual in that they get their nutrients from decaying organic material. This particular specimen was mowed down by the County road department two days after I took the picture.

On 4-3-15 while walking through a dense stand of old Doug Firs I came upon this group of 4 Coralroots that had not opened yet.

On 5-15-2015 most of the flowers are now open.

Here is a closeup:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chicory, Cichorium intybus

Originally from Europe, Chicory root can be baked and ground and used as a coffee substitute.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fairyslipper, Calypso bulbosa

This attractive, fragrant lily was found growing on Kamiak Butte in Eastern Washington.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pacific Giant Salamander, Dicamptodon tenebrosus

I was walking along the creek next to our house looking for wildflowers to photograph and came across this 13" long salamander:
I only see one about once every 5 years and don't know if it is due to their coloring being so similar to the rocks or that they are rare. After I took the first picture he walked/swam through shallow water and I took a second picture:

The salamander was using his front legs to walk on the bottom and his hind legs as flippers to paddle through the water.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Wild Strawberry, Fragaria vesca

Small, tasty, bright red strawberries are the main attraction on this native perennial.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Pacific Ninebark, Physocarpus capitatus

This native, deciduous bush has multi-layered bark and attractive flowers.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Oregon Grape, Mahonia nervosa

Yellow flowers give way to tart blue berries. Shredded stems and roots have been used to make a yellow dye for staining baskets.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lesser Snapdragon, Antirrhinum orontium

Found this member of the Figwort family residing in my vegetable garden. Side view of the flower:

Flower head-on:

This view is looking down into a seed pod, where the yet to be dispersed seeds can be seen. I think this picture gives an idea why this plant is also called "Weasel's snout"

Friday, August 7, 2009

Big-Leaved Sandwort, Moehringia macrophylla

This native perennial grows from rhizomes and is common throughout the NorthWest.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Queen Anne's Lace, Daucus carota

This carrot relative has a distinctive, dark red (almost black) central flower. For bonus points, can you spot the well camouflaged spider?

Central flower closeup.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Purple-Leaved Willowherb, Epilobium ciliatum

Tiny flowers on the end of long, slender, developing seed pods.

Flower close-up

Seed dispersal.

This common, native perennial has an affinity for my vegetable garden and is a real nuisance!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Common Chickweed, Stellaria media

Even though this introduction from Europe is considered a weed, the leaves are edible and the flowers have a symmetry that is attractive.