A Day in the Life….Part 17

As lateness of this post will attest, it’s been a very busy week here at the Wahkeena. Lots of visitors, programs and groups coming to see all that Wahkeena has to offer. We are entering a very colorful period as the Redbuds are now in full bloom and the Dogwoods not far behind.
The wildflowers are blooming very quickly now despite the cool temperatures. Joining Skunk Cabbage in the wet areas is Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris). 
The Trilliums are out in full force as well. We have three different species here at the preserve.
Large Flowered Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
Red Trillium (Trillium erectum)
Toadshade (Trillium sessile)
The Solomon’s Seals are quickly unfurling as well.
Smooth Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum)
And the Large Flowered Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora), despite its wilted appearance is now in prime blooming condition.
Now is also the time that the ferns are sending up new fronds. Wahkeena has 30 different ferns. Below are a few of the new “fiddle heads,” the term given to the tightly curled new leaves. 
Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)
Cinnamon Fern (Osmunda cinnamomea)
Silvery Glade Fern (Deparia acrostichoides)
On the animal side of nature, for the first time we have three pairs of Canad Geese nesting on Lake Odonata. In the past, the first pair back in the spring have driven off any other Canada Geese. There was plenty of fighting this year to drive off the other pairs, but to no avail. The female below is nesting at the base of a large white pine near the Red-shoulder hawk’s enclosure. A second nest is on top of the beaver lodge and the third is on what is left of the large island in the center of the pond.
Now is the time to visit Wahkeena and see the wildflowers. And new warblers are now arriving every day.
Posted by Tom

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