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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Field Trip : Chumstick Mountain

Sunday I spent a very long day over at Chumstick Mountain with the Washington Native Plant Society.

This area was over run by the Entiat Fire in 1994 and it was very interesting to see the environment and recovery 15 year on.

The main feature of the trip was the Tweedy's Lewisia in abundance and the transition from broken forest to mountain top. Much of the area was over run by forest fire. There are cleared slopes and some slopes appear to have slipped due to loss of timber support. The Tweedy's love this environment.

It was a beautiful day and as we climbed the temperatures dropped. Down in Leavenworth it was a comfortable 80 degrees ,up on the mountain top it was a windy 65. It was easy to be out in the open under these conditions and the hours slipped by.

One member of the trip was a mushroom expert and she was most helpful in teaching me about some basics of the common edible mushrooms. I hope to put her lesson to work this coming weekend with a return to Red Top, if the weather is favorable.

We found puffballs and I brought a couple home. The large one I brought was perfect. Here it is cut open.

The view of the countryside was wonderful. The Stewart Range was in full view, this time from the northeast aspect.

To the east you can see the agriculture areas of the Waterville Plateau. At one point we could just seen a glimpse of the Columbia River.

This picture gives you an idea of the lengths some of us go to to get the shot. It was a beautiful open hillside filled with flowers and bugs.

The ubiquitous unknown little green bug ( in Spring Beauty)

Flower Crab Spider trying hard to stay out of the light

and Swarming Ladybugs at the very top. I have encountered this odd scene before at the 7000 ft level. Ladybugs all over, hiding in every possible place.

A couple who live near Leavenworth invited us to come see the Mountain Ladyslipper and Phantom Orchids on their property. I could not say no and was thrilled to finally see this local beauty in full bloom.


  1. It always amazes me to see the diversity in your landscapes. It's flat around here, so we get the bloom of all of the Spring flowers once. You get the opportunity to go to many different altitudes, and to see all of the flowers many times, if you wish.

    That last picture of the Phantom Orchid should be framed and hung.

  2. That is right. Spring has arrived over and over. At the very top of this mountain, Avalanch Lily and Yellow Bell, usually the very first flowers of spring, are just getting done.