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.