Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Washington Park

The first native orchids are blooming!  We had made plans to visit Washington Park near Anacortes, one of our favorite places, on April 7th, hoping to find the Oregon Fawn Lilies in bloom.  Knowing that a friend, Marti Anderson had been there the day before, we checked her blog, Meandering Washington, before leaving and were surprised to see that the Fairy Slippers were blooming and well along with their season

We met another friend there, Melissa Duffy, a expert on lichens from whom we learned a great deal.  We spent the whole day at the park wandering the trails, enjoying the wildflowers and taking photos, a lot of photos, especially of the Fawn Lilies, which were at or near their peak, and the Fairy Slippers.  It was a beautiful day and we had a fabulous time, ending the day with a cold IPA and a burger at Bob's Burgers in Burlington, before heading home.

These are some of the pictures we took, and as always I've included some of my wife's photos.  Inevitably she gets photos that I wish I had taken or that are better than mine and I always steal some, though she also posts them on her own blog: Quiet Nature Trails.  I believe I have all the wildflowers identified correctly but am always willing to be corrected.  I also wish I had brought along a note pad to jot down all I was told about lichens.  Maybe another time.

The park is a peninsula of  220 acres on the west side of the city of Anacortes.  There is a two mile one-way road-way through the park and miles of trails, many of which follow the bluffs.

We went to see the Oregon Fawn Lilies, Erythronium oregonum, and found them at the peak of their blooming season, which is always very short.

The Western Fairy Slippers, Calypso bulbosa var. occidentalis, were everywhere and well along in their blooming, some of them already fading.

Washington Park is always a place where we enjoy the trees, especially the Madrones, Arbutus menziesii, with their strangely colored wood and peeling back

We found a few of what we thought were fungi, but which Melissa thought were actually lichens, and a very beautiful little Sedge which I have not identified.

The wildflowers included Western Buttercup, Blue-eyed Mary, Early Saxifrage, Gold Stars, Prairie Stars, Sea Blush, Spring Gold, Miner's Lettuce, Seep-spring Monkeyflower and Field Chickweed.

The Red-flowering Currant and the Tall Oregon Grape were also in bloom near the parking area, but I am pretty certain that they were planted there.

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