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Just a meandering soul sharing my backyard. Visit my Flickr page too! www.flickr.com/photos/meanderingwa/

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A May Basket of Delights

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May...

I didn't hold much promise of a fine day out since leaving work at 10am, all was gloomy and blustery. I decided to go see what was happening in Washington Park. The advantage of rain shadow or convergence zone didn't come to mind. Simply go and take what comes.

Well Hooray for rain shadow and convergence zone. As soon as I got north of the Snohomish county line, the rains let up and upon reaching the park, I was in broken skies and sun.

I walked the now familiar loop road looking for new and interesting things. A Robins egg shows that the first brood of nestlings have hatched.

At Green Point, there were few of the Shooting Stars which had dominated the grass edge in the rocks. Today, a small clump of Chocolate Lily sat unexpectedly on the rocky edge. I later found a wonderful array of them on a mossy bank further inside the island. The are exceptionally difficult to spot with their green dappled tops.

Many of the slopes were well filled with mature forms of Sea Blush and Camas. I spotted small buds of wild onions, most not yet opened.

Many bumblebees taking advantage of all the blooming Sea Blush and I spotted one butterfly. I was getting ready to take a picture when a White-crowned sparrow swooped in and narrowly missed catching it. I tried to get a fun picture of fuzzy bumblebees in the flowers but they were far too lively and fast for my camera.

I stumbled unexpectedly upon a young Red-tailed Hawk in the grass. Clearly it had something . It jumped up with its prize... a writhing snake. It was not until I got home and loaded my pictures up I looked long and hard at the snake. It is green and flat and I don't really know of a snake here that looks like this. The tide was out and the rocky tide pool were just below the slope. I thought it might be an eel, but when asked on Flickr someone I respect as a naturalist answered he felt it was a snake of unknown species.

For a closer look at this photo you can see the original size ( click the magnify icon)
There were many people out enjoying the fine day. These folks were enjoying their private fishing spot.

As usual there were many people walking the loop. I chose the woodland trail through the center of the park and had it all to myself.

The Salal is in bloom and I encountered some new plants that make we want to return in a week to see how they progress.

I believe this is a Mitrewort, thought I don't know which of two species it is. I asked for some id help on Flickr.

I am not sure what this is but I am hoping it is Pinedrops. I have never seen except in pictures and I will make a mental note to return and double check this trail. There were a couple other mystery growths that gave no clues as to what they are, simply foreign to my eyes.

The Spotted Coralroots were more bountiful.

Nootka Roses had lost a lot of petals to the rain, but these two were prime.

Orange Honeysuckle dangle from a lot of middle story shrubs and trees. Most concerning to me is that I have still to see or hear a Rufous Hummingbird this year. They should have been very busy in the area I found this honeysuckle. There are also a lot of Salmonberry and these two plants should be hummer magnets.

This park remains one of the most remarkable places in this region. I have never seen such diverse plant life anywhere on this side of the Cascades.


  1. My goodness, that first closeup photo of the chocolate lily is stunning. You certainly saw some interesting flora. You are so good at finding at photographing them. I very much enjoyed my virtual walk with you. Thank you so much.

  2. I think I'm getting spoiled going on these walks with you. Your photos are remarkable and your knowledge wonderful. Thanks for sharing with all of us who visit your blog.