Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hike up Mount Tzoulahem and a Walk in the Preserve

Calypso bulbosa

Tzoulahem is a small mountain, really just a very steep big hill up from Cowichan Bay on Vancouver Island. It was a short hike, but I'm going to play it up like it was everest. There certainly was nice plant life, and if it impresses the reader more, I will admit that I deviated from the trail, as I often do, early on and followed game trails.

The fine Pacific Northwest native, Sedum spathulifolium. I've seen it on rocks on beaches, waterfalls, and mountainous crags in BC, WA, and OR. It has potential for turqoise-on-red colour combinations. Grow it in your garden.
The uiquitous skunk cabbage. Lysichiton americanum. We also call members of the Veratrum genus, a mountain-meadow dweller of the world, "Skunk cabbage."

Dodecatheon hendersonii (thanks to Gordon for the ID)

Let's play a game: spot that Fritillary. I took this picture for that purpose, now i cannot even see it myself. But that day it revealed itself...
The bashful Fritillaria affinis, Ricegrain Fritillary.
Let's see that one inside.

I almost didn't include the Madrone, Arbutus menziesii. Pictures rarely capture the majesty of these smooth-skinned elegances. At least, mine don't.
To prime our taste for orchids, here is a nice strong-netted-vein specimen of Goodyera, or the "Rattlesnake Plantain." I think this is G. oblongifolia, but that is a guess.
On this hike I saw my first Calypso bulbosa. A special beauty who, I found that day, has a fragrance exactly like a rose- the only time I've seen, or rather, smelled this phenomena.

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