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The Wenatchee Valley Chapter

Chapter Information

OUTINGS FOR MAY AND JUNE HAVE BEEN SCHEDULED

Check out the great offerings below. Be sure to RSVP if required. You don't want to miss out!  

Date/Time

Leader

Description and Details

Partner

 New Date!

June 24, Saturday 8:30 to 4:30 

Ann Fink and Joan Frazee

Chumstick Mountain

Join Joan Frazee and Ann Fink in exploring a high elevation (5500 feet) dry alpine environment on a mountain almost outside our backdoors.  Chumstick Mountain is an old fire lookout site with views all around.  This is a great place to see a selection of buckwheats and Calitryipidium umbellatum (Pussy Paws) and an assortment of over 20 plants in the Asteraceae family.  We will walk about 1.5 miles on a rough road bed and explore on some steeper, uneven ground. Wear appropriate footwear and be prepared for wind and cooler weather.  Bring a lunch.  This trip requires 12 or more miles on dirt roads and is highly dependent on road conditions!  RSVP by contacting Ann Fink at (northfork@nwi.net) or (509 548-4137). Limit 12.

 
June 8, Thursday 8:30 to 6:00

Cindy Luskus

 

 

Iron-Bear 

This all day hike has it all!  The views are amazing and we will travel through several ecosystems.  We will gain 1900 ft. of elevation in 3.5 miles (7 miles round trip), but, at a leisurely pace to accommodate the numerous flower distractions along the way. The trail climbs through forest and then along an exposed serpentine ridge (1.8 miles).  The trail then traverses long switchbacks to a 5489 foot knoll. We will see many lovely forest plants, including endemics such as Wenatchee lomatium (Lomatium cuspidatum)  and Cryptantha thompsonii.  Bring a pack with lunch, water and gear appropriate to the mountains and any possible changes in weather.  Good hiking boots are essential and poles are recommended. Flower guide books will be well used.

Meet at the Penny Road Park and Ride at 8:30am. We will pick up Leavenworth area folks at the Big Y Park and Ride at 9:15am before continuing south on Highway 97 to Forest Service Road 9714 and a bumpy 3.5 mile ride to the trailhead. Plan on being back at the respective Park and Rides at 5:30pm and 6:00pm.  To join this trip, contact Cindy Luksus at cluksus@nwi.net or (509) 888-0245.

 

June 9, Friday

9:00 am

Keyna Burger

Camas Meadows

Join Keyna Bugner, DNR Natural Areas assistant ecologist in exploring the unique geomorphology and wildflowers of Camas Meadows. We should see a nice collection of flowers in the meadow including mule’s ear (Wyehia amplexicaulis) and silky lupine (Lupinus sericeus).  If time allows, we can walk an old road where we will find a few different types of buckwheat. Wear hiking boots, bring water, lunch and dress for the weather. Meet at the Park and Ride at the junction of Highway 2 and Highway 97 at 9:00 AM. We will be joined by members of the WNPS Kittitas Chapter, so there is a limit of 10 Wenatchee Chapter participants.  Sign up by contacting Ann Fink at (northfork@nwi.net) or (509 548-4137). 

 
Saturday, June 17 9:00 to 3:00 Joan Frazee 

Chiwaukum Creek 

Take a walk up Chiwaukum Creek with Joan Frazee, retired US Forest Service botanist.  Nearly 200 vascular plant species have been recorded in the first three miles of the trail.  We will find sufficient floral diversity to saturate our neural resources and test our botanical savvy.  Plan to walk six miles round trip, and we will go further if the group is so inclined.  Meet at the Chiwaukum Creek trailhead at 0900 Saturday June 17.  Chiwaukum Creek trailhead is accessed from Highway 2, west of Leavenworth, a couple miles beyond the bridge crossing the Wenatchee River at north end of Tumwater Canyon.  Group size is limited to 12 participants so RSVP required to je_frazee@hotmail.com [Note that there is an underscore character in Joan's email address, or click on the address to automatically launch an email with the address filled in.] Or call 541-801-5513.  Bring lunch, water, rain gear, and be prepared to explore for about 6 hours.  We will plan on being back to trailhead by 3:00 pm or so.

 

Saturday, June 24, 2017 

9:00 to 1:00

Don Schaechtel 

Introduction to Grass Identification

In this four-hour clinic you will learn how to identify common grasses in the Wenatchee Valley and the basics of grass identification.  This is a hands-on clinic.  We will look at grasses as they are growing and then look at the details that separate one genus and species from another.  Bring a hand lens and lunch or snacks.  A hand-out will be provided.  Limit 8 with preference given to students in the Shrub-steppe Stewardship Course.  Meet at 54 Wedge View Lane, Leavenworth from 9:00 to 1:00.   Sign-up by email to don.safety@nwi.net before June 16.

 

 

 

Wenatchee Chapter 2016 Plant of the Year:

Nicotiana Attentua (Coyote Tobacco)

by Molly Boyter

Nicotiana attenuata is a rare annual that is found in Washington east of the Cascades, as well as other parts of the West.  It is strong smelling, hairy, and sticky, and grows to 3-10 dm.  The leaves are larger and lance-ovate at the bottom to reduced and more linear at the top.  The corolla is up to 3.5 cm long, white, and blooms from June to September.Coyote Tobacco

As part of my job as a botanist at the Bureau of Land Management I am responsible for monitoring rare plants, and have been trying to relocate Nicotiana populations since 2010.  After reading the descriptions of this flower I thought it would be easy to recognize, monitor, and report my findings.  However I was unable to find the plants at any of the former sites on BLM lands in Douglas Creek and Moses Coulee.  What was I missing?

In 2015, while driving through an area that burned in the 2014 Palisades fire, I saw a few rather tall forbs with white flowers which stood out starkly against the rocky coulee walls.  I thought it was strange to see a showy flower so late in the season since most things have begun to dry up on the Columbia Plateau by this time.  It was just about the only thing blooming at this location, which was just starting to recover from the fire the year before but had very little vegetative cover.

I hopped out to see if I could identify this mystery plant.  Maybe, just maybe, this was the elusive Nicotiana!  It was sticky, and stinky, and growing big and bold where almost nothing else was.  There were hundreds of these plants growing on the coulee floor and even into the rocky slopes.  I returned a few days later with a botany intern and we counted over 2000 plants on 40 acres, an astounding number since most sites in our records reported only scattered handfuls of individuals. Pam Camp graciously volunteered her time to look at the plants and confirmed their identity.  It was Nicotiana attenuata!

Since noting this population in 2015, I have become a fire follower, looking for ‘new’ Nicotiana populations in areas of likely habitat that have recently burned.  In 2016, BLM interns and I have documented sites in many recently burned areas of Douglas Creek, Burton Draw near Jameson Lake, and the Columbia River.  Though recent large fires have been extremely devastating to the sagebrush habitat in our region, it has been fascinating and exciting to discover the persistence of this little plant that has been hiding in the seed bank.  Where will it pop up next?

 



Updated: June 4, 2017
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