Monday, May 30, 2016

A Woodhaven Phenology

My family went for a walk in the Woodhaven Nature Conservancy Park in the Okanagan and I recorded the phenology of some of the plants. The wild roses were blooming profusely and most of the bumblebee action was happening at the forest edge, just outside the chain link fence that encloses the park.

This little bumblebee was buzz-pollinating the roses.

 Even more popular than the roses were the tiny cup-shaped snowberry blossoms.

I love the fuzzy texture of the beaked hazelnuts.

It's a park with diverse biosystems, and trails that lead through different flora.

Hello! This is the sign that I followed, of course.

You know, I was lucky enough to see a flash of a daylight flying owl and I'm pretty sure it was one of these screech owls. It was squat and fluffy.

 It's on my bucket list to see the Okanagan sunflower in bloom. Although I did see some from the bus window  blooming at higher elevations, these had already gone to seed.

Apparently squirrels love the seeds, so it's tricky to get a few to germinate. Anyway, they are best left where they are, so the population can regenerate.

 I didn't realize Douglas asters bloomed so early.

 Excellent signage regarding habitat logs or snags.

 This is goat's beard--an introduced species also found widely on the prairies.

Most of the Saskatoon berries are green, but I did find a few ripe ones--in May!

 I believe the trees below are pin cherries, another great bee plant.

 The nettles are blooming.

 The whole floor of the park is covered with Oregon grape, which along with the Saskatoons and arrowleaf balsam root must be essential food for bumblebee queens here.

You can see how the snowberry is a great companion for the Oregon grape.

And now for three mystery flowers I couldn't identify. One. ETA: It's spreading dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium).

Two. ETA: Threadleaf phacelia (Phacelia linearis).

Three. ETA White campion (Silene latifolia). This was ID'ed with the help of posts by Lori Mairs on the Woodhaven Project Blog.

Back in the cosy Woodehaven Eco-Retreat, we saw cranesbill geranium in bloom.

And a bumblebee queen enjoying the perennial sage in the garden--this is obviously a great long-blooming perennial to add to these Okanagan native plants for bees in your garden.

So this is a garden escape on the road by the park. It's Italian bugloss. This is an example of a plant that one should not grow in a garden next to pristine wilderness because it could creep in and become invasive, so a word of caution on this plant to Okanagan gardeners and of course Viper's Bugloss is invasive, and would be a potential problem here as well.

Thanks again to the Okanagan team of Border Free Bees  for a lovely experience.

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