Hunting the Wild Calochortus

July 17, 2007: Marvin and I were on a field trip, headed for the Alvord Desert and on the hunt for Calochortus sp. The forecast was for temperatures in the nineties, a drop of about ten degrees from the previous week. Forest fires have been raging in the area of Burns but no road closures had been announced.

We left Gresham on US 26, crossed over the Cascades and continued toward Prineville. Out of Madras a few miles we began to see Calochortus macrocarpus blooming roadside. Its beautiful lilac colored blooms are always a treat.

At Prineville we turned toward Post and Paulina. Calochortus macrocarpus can be found roadside along this route as well.

Mimulus cusickii
Mimulus cusickii Paulina Izee 7/17/2007

We found Mimulus cusickii, an old friend, blooming roadside.

Our families had a deer hunting camp out of Seneca, up Camp Creek, so we took some time to visit the old stomping grounds. We were delighted to find a “butterfly bush”… loaded with at least fifty fritillaries… (Speyeria sp.)

Our plan was to overnight in Burns, top off the fuel tanks and head for the Alvord Desert early the next morning. Motel rooms were hard to find and we didn’t make reservations so we were nearly out of luck. We managed to get the last room in town, even though it was still early in the day. Apparently bird watching is popular at this time of year and the nearest motels can be found in Burns.


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