Saturday, April 13, 2013

Reecer Creek Canyon

On our way home from Spokane April 3rd we made a brief excursion up Reecer Creek Canyon west of Ellensburg, Washington.  We had a bad experience the last time we were up there.  Our parking brake jammed and we were unable to drive the car and had to get a tow truck to take us back to Ellensburg at considerable expense.  This time we had no problem with the vehicle.

The area we were in suffered from severe wildfires last summer and the evidences of the fires were still to be seen, but we were surprised how new, lush and green growth was already covering the burned off areas.  Indeed, it appeared that fires have resulted in a bumper crop of wildflowers this year.  For lack of time we did not drive all the way to Lion Rock, but did get plenty of pictures.

First some of the scenery, and as usual many of the pictures are my wife's.  There was still a considerable amount of snow further up the canyon and that and the colors of the moss and algae made for some spectacular views.  I concentrated on the flowers, though she also took pictures of them, some with the scenery as a backdrop, while she did the landscapes.

Then the wildflowers.  We were surprised again at how early things were.  We had not expected to find a lot of wildflowers but many of the spring flowers were already in bloom with some of them finished in the lower areas.  The stars were the Sagebrush Violets which were blooming by the thousands (see above) and the Yellow Bells which were still blooming further up the canyon.

Sagebrush Violets
Viola trinervata

Yellow Bells
Fritillaria pudica

Fern-leaf Lomatium
Lomatium dissectum

Gold Star
Crocidium multicaule

Ballhead Waterleaf
Hydrophyllum capitatu

Arrowleaf Balsamroot
Balsamorhiza sagittata

Western Spring Beauty
Claytonia lanceolata

Dagger Pod
Phoenicaulis cheiranthoides


  1. Need to make a point to get to Harney Meadow and Tronson Ridge late June early July to check on their bloom. Harney Meadow in particular

    1. Are Harney Meadow and Tronson Ridge up Reecer Canyon Road? We're going to eastern Washington again in a week and need some places to visit.

  2. Wonderful. The Yellowbells and the Violets are quite showy, really. Excellently put in scene again. Very strange you got an early year this time.
    Here things went from freezing to 25°C in two weeks. Very warm weather at the moment. Also got plenty of warm rain. We are racing toward an outstanding orchid season, or so it seems.


    1. Thanks, Martin. Our early season probably has a lot to do with the fact that we had a very mild winter, though a cold and wet spring. Thus far the orchid season looks to be good, though I though the Fairy Slippers at Washington Park were a bit sparse. That may have to do with the fact that some idiot went through the area last year and picked most of the flowers. The plants do not always recover from that kind of treatment.


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