Growiser May 4, 2007

Growiser, Summerville, Union County, OR: Wild turkeys woke us with gobbling at the first light of day. By 5:30 AM I was climbing the hill behind the research building. It was cold and frosty. Rays of the sun had not yet worked its magic on the crystals of ice. On top of the hill the tranquility of the place strikes you. It seeps into your body… clear to the bones… and refreshes the soul. Here, you can hear the breeze touch the grass… and you can hear the birds calling. It’s a place that will heal injuries to the mind. I elected to wander and look at the things nature has provided.

Andy had given us a map indicating where we might find our elusive trillium and a species of peony.

Brown’s Peony (Paeonia brownii) Growiser 5/4/2007

I found the peony, enjoyed a delightful overlook of the Grande Ronde valley at sunrise and snow covered Mount Emily to the southwest.

Mount Emily
Mount Emily from Growiser 5/4/2007
Sugar Bowl
Sugar Bowls (Clematis hirsutissima) Growiser 5/4/2007

While returning to the research facility I found Marvin wandering about so we returned to the peony patch. We discovered Sugar Bowl (a clematis) in bloom.

This day our plan was to drive to Enterprise and visit the Zumwalt Prairie. Our references indicated a population of trillium on National Forest land. The staff at the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest District office in Enterprise were very helpful, answering our questions about road conditions and providing us with a detailed map highlighting our desired destination.

We met up with an old fashioned cattle drive out on the prairie and while we waited for a pause in the action a Kestrel landed on a fence post near the car giving Marvin a lucky opportunity for a closeup photograph.

Roundleaf Trillium
Roundleaf Trillium (Trillium petiolatum) Zumwalt Prairie 5/4/2007

Using the given directions we were able to quickly locate the trillium patch.

We still had several hours of daylight so we took the “short cut” to Imnaha and tried to locate another trillium patch in the Imnaha River canyon but had no luck at that referenced location.

We returned to Growiser for the night.


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