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
Sara's Orange Tip
(not at all sure of this one)
male and female cones
Mushroom, Lichens and Moss
Bowman Beach to Rosario Beach Trail
Western Red Cedar
Pixie Cup Lichens
Many-flowered Wood Rush
Giant Rattlesnake Orchis
Western Fairy Slipper