Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Wildflowers

Monday, March, 16th, was a beautiful sunny day and my wife and I decided to take the day off and head for the coast to see which spring wildflowers were blooming after a very mild winter and a very early start to spring weather.  We especially wanted to see the Grass Widows, Olsynium douglasii, one of the earliest spring wildflowers in our area.

We went first to the area of Deception Pass and walked the bridge there to Pass Island, a small, steep-sided island that connects the two parts of the bridge.  We only found a few Grass Widows - they seemed to no earlier than usual - but found quite a few other wildflowers blooming and spent most of the morning photographing our finds.

Finished at Pass Island we went a little to the northwest of the bridge to Bowman Bay where we had some lunch and sat enjoying the sunshine before hiking the Bowman Bay to Rosario Bay trail, a trail that follows the bluffs to the north of Deception Pass.  The trail is only a couple of miles round trip and we spent most of the time taking photos.

We found wildflowers in bloom that we had not expected to find in spite of an early spring, including some Harsh Paintbrush, Castilleja hispida, but the real find was the first Western Fairy Slippers, Calypso bulbosa var. occidentalis,  They are not usually blooming until early April, so we were surprised to find them, though there were only a few in bloom.

From Bowman Bay we went briefly to Washington Park to see if the Fairy Slippers were blooming there also, as indeed they were, though again, only a few.  We did not stay long at Washington Park because we wanted to go on to see the tulips and daffodils in the Skagit Valley, but that and what we found besides the spring bulbs is the subject of another post.

Deception Pass and Bridge

Fox Sparrow

Sara's Orange Tip

Grass Widows

Common Camas

 Spring Gold

 Shepherd's Purse
(not at all sure of this one)

Early Saxifrage

 Coast Strawberry

 Prairie Star

  Western Buttercup

Douglas Fir
male and female cones

Douglas Fir

Tall Oregon-grape

Red-flowering Currant

Pacific Madrones

 Mushroom, Lichens and Moss

Bowman Bay

Bowman Beach to Rosario Beach Trail

Pacific Madrones

 Western Red Cedar

 Birch Catkins

Harsh Paintbrush

 Red-flowering Currant

 Dog Lichens

 Pixie Cup Lichens

 Many-flowered Wood Rush

Giant Rattlesnake Orchis

Western Fairy Slipper


  1. I have only been to Washington Park and did not see Grass Widow last weekend. Only 2 calypso and a few Fawn Lily open the rest coming on.
    Went over to whiskey Dick ( west of Ginko) and had good early flower action

    A am envious of the Sara Orange Tip, they never settle!

    1. Very few Grass Widows this year for some reason. The Orange Tip was still warming itself in the sun on a cool morning. Thanks, Marti.

  2. So many beautiful flowers & plants!! Some exquisite shots, too =) Thank you for sharing these wonderful places 'n' things!

    1. Thanks, Fizzie. One of our favorite areas.


I have had to increase the security on this blog because of the flood of spam that has been coming through recently. I apologize for the extra burden this puts on those who visit the blog but am sure they will understand.