The prairies are blooming! 
Mike and Julie J. and I spent a sunny, birdsong-filled morning at the West Rocky Prairie, a unit of the WA DNR Scatter Creek Wildlife Area - 800 acres of prairie mounds, wildflowers, wetlands, white oak and sunshine. It was a great day for photography, and many wildflowers are blooming.
Of particular interest to me - castilleja, of course! I saw every shade from red though to yellow, excepting the pink varieties. Columbines, honeysuckle, roses, thimble-berry, violets, quamash, lupines, larkspur, daisy... so many wildflowers! We did not see or hear the Virginia Rail as we had hoped,  Ravens, hawks, diverse sparrows, hummingbirds, vultures, willow flycatchers and robins did make a showing, however.
Some portions of this prairie look as if they've been carefully and lovingly restored - other portions look like a Scotch Broom seed-farm. Work continues across this, and other local prairies. I took efforts not to include the bright yellow broom in my images, but it was not easy. One can easily see how the broom is rapidly re-colonizing restored areas, so a lot more work remains to be done over the coming years. We prefer this prairie, however, to the better-restored Mima Mounds prairie, as there is no nearby gun-range constantly triggering one's PTSD. The biggest auditory disruption is the train running along the BNSF mainline along the prairie's edge. Trains were not so frequent this day - we saw and heard but one.
We did about 4.5 miles, walking clockwise around the prairie path, although I didn't measure it. We rewarded our efforts with lunch at Ramirez's. in Tumwater.

Images taken May 27, 2018 at the WA DNR Scatter Creek Wildlife Area West Rocky Prairie Unit.
Thank you!
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