Blooming antelope bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata) at the entrance to Silver Creek Marsh Campground, Fremont-Winema National Forest...........May 20, 2016.
Directions: From Silver Lake, Oregon, head west on Oregon Highway 31. Turn left (south) onto Forest Road #27 about 0.3 miles west of the turnoff to the Ranger Station. Road #27 heads south across sagebrush lowlands on a bumpy road due to frost heaving. You will want to drive no faster than 30 mph until those disappear! You will see the signed entrance to the Silver Creek Marsh Campground on the left about 10.4 miles south of Highway 31. The campground doesn't appear to be heavily used (except perhaps during holiday weekends, and when local backcountry horse groups gather there - check the ranger station to see if they know of heavy use times). Nightly rates are $6 per night. There are two vault toilets and potable water from Memorial Day weekend on. Water is also available along the front fenceline of the ranger station compound. The campground provides great birding and has a nice assortment of wildflowers. Check the grasslands at the south end of the campground. A walk west across Road #27 to the rocky rim has a different assortment of plants. Hike the signed trail across from campsite #5 south to the Fremont Trail #160. Head right to head upstream along the West Fork Silver Creek. The left fork leads down an old road to the creek, then crosses on the road bridge, then heads cross country towards Silver Creek and further east. The area is well worth spending some time searching for south-central Oregon flowers that are less common elsewhere!
Weather: Temperatures in the mid 40s in the morning climbing to the mid 50s by the afternoon. The morning saw partly cloudy skies with light wind which made the hike comfortable. The afternoon became mostly cloudy, with cold winds across the summit, although the winds abated once reaching parts of the trail in the forest.
* indicates the wildflower is currently in bloom.
Western Juniper: Juniperus occidentalis
Lodgepole Pine: Pinus contorta var. latifolia
Ponderosa Pine: Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa
Mountain Alder: Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia
Creek Dogwood: Cornus sericea
Quaking Aspen: Populus tremuloides
* Willow: Salix sp. - Just beginning to bloom in the stream.
Bottlebrush Squirreltail: Elymus elymoides
Panicled Deathcamas: Toxicoscordion paniculatum
Western Blue Flag: Iris missouriensis - New leaves.
Mountain Sorrel: Rumex paucifolius - Only leaves.
* Erubescent Miner's Lettuce: Claytonia rubra ssp. depressa
* Lineleaf Montia: Montia linearis
* Hornseed Buttercup: Ceratocephala testiculata
* Upland Larkspur: Delphinium nuttallianum var. nuttallianum
* Hartweg's Buttercup: Ranunculus alismifolius var. hartwegii - Beginning to bloom.
* Sagebrush Buttercup: Ranunculus glaberrimus var. glaberrimus
* Swamp Buttercup: Ranunculus orthorhynchus var. platyphyllus
Creeping Oregon Grape: Berberis repens
Brown's Peony: Paeonia brownii - In bud.
Reflexed Rockcress: Boechera retrofracta ? - In bud.
* Spring Whitlow Grass: Draba verna
* Bulblet Prairiestar: Lithophragma bulbifera
* Golden Currant: Ribes aureum
Wax Currant: Ribes cereum var. cereum - Leafing out.
Cinquefoil: Drymocallis glandulosa var. - Beginning to bloom.
* Broadpetal Strawberry: Fragaria virginiana ssp. platypetala
Horkelia: Horkelia fusca ssp. parviflora
Graceful Cinquefoil: Potentilla gracilis var. fastigiata
Antelope Bitterbrush: Purshia tridentata - Leafing out.
Woolly-pod Milkvetch: Astragalus purshii (var. lagopinus ?)
Oregon Checkermallow: Sidalcea oregana (ssp. ?)
Goosefoot Violet: Viola purpurea ssp. venosa
Snow Brush: Ceanothus velutinus var. velutinus
Green-leaved Manzanita: Arctostaphylos patula
Pleated Gentian: Gentiana affinis
* Dwarf Hesperochiron: Hesperochiron pumilus
* Ballhead Waterleaf: Hydrophyllum capitatum var. alpinum
* Small-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia parviflora
Common Mullein: Verbascum thapsus
Low Pussytoes: Antennaria dimorpha
Pussytoes: Antennaria sp.
Leafy Arnica: Arnica chamissonis (ssp. foliosa ?) - Lowest leaves only. Riparian.
Elk Thistle: Cirsium scariosum
Yarrow-leaved Eriophyllum: Eriophyllum lanatum var. achilleoides
False Agoseris: Nothocalais troximoides
Western Groundsel: Senecio integerrimus var. exaltatus - In bud.
* Common Dandylion: Taraxacum officinale
Sierra Nevada Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Julia Orange Tips