[Wildflower Bloom for Central and Eastern Washington: 2014]

White Bluffs North

Wahluke Slope Wildlife Unit

Hanford Reach National Monument

April 25, 2014

White Bluffs North: Wahluke Slope Wildlife Unit, Hanford Reach National Monument.........April 25, 2014

A view north along the White Bluffs just north of the White Bluffs North trailhead, Wahluke Slope Unit, Hanford Reach National Monument...........April 25, 2014. The destination for this day's hike was the large dunes atop the bluffs at the center of the photo.

* indicates the wildflower is currently in bloom.

Weather: Parly cloudy with occasional sun breaks. Winds light, 5 mph increasing to 10-15 mph late in the afternoon. Temps in the high 60s.

* Indian Ricegrass: Achnatherum hymenoides - Beginning to bloom.

* Crested Wheatgrass: Agropyron cristatum ?

* Cheatgrass: Bromus tectorum

* Bulbous Bluegrass: Poa bulbosa

* Sandberg's Bluegrass: Poa secunda ssp. secunda - Past bloom.

Sagebrush Mariposa: Calochortus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus

Yellow Bells: Fritillaria pudica - Pods maturing.

Pale Bastard Toadflax: Comandra umbellata (var. pallida ?)

Snow Buckwheat: Eriogonum niveum or Strict Buckwheat: Eriogonum strictum (var. proliferum ?)

* Veiny Dock: Rumex venosus - Mostly forming fruits.

* Spiny Hopsage: Grayia spinosa

Russian Thistle: Salsola tragus

Greasewood: Sarcobatus vermiculatus

Franklin's Sandwort: Eremogone franklinii var. franklinii

* Jagged Chickweed: Holosteum umbellatum - Fading out of bloom.

* Upland Larkspur: Delphinium nuttallianum var. nuttallianum

* Narrow Tansymustard: Descurainia longepedicellata

* Flixweed: Descurainia sophia ?

* Western Wallflower: Erysimum occidentale

* Tumblemustard: Sisymbrium altissimum

* Long-beaked Fiddle Mustard: Streptanthella longirostris

Pale Evening-primrose: Oenothera pallida - In bud.

* Lyall's Milkvetch: Astragalus lyallii - Beginning to bloom.

* The Dalles Milkvetch: Astragalus sclerocarpus

* Columbia Milkvetch: Astragalus succumbens

Scurf-pea: Laedeania lanceolata

* Low Lupine: Lupinus pusillus var. intermontanus

* Filaree: Erodium cicutarium

* Turpentine Wave-wing: Cymopterus terebinthinus

Large-fruited Desert Parsley: Lomatium macrocarpum - Leaves.

* White-stem Blazing-star: Mentzelia albicaulis

Field Bindweed: Convolvulus arvensis

Gilia: Aliciella sp. - Only basal leaves.

* Longleaf Phlox: Phlox longifolia

Silverleaf Phacelia: Phacelia hastata var. hastata - In bud.

* Threadleaf Phacelia: Phacelia linearis

* Tarweed Fiddleneck: Amsinckia lycopsoides

* Wingnut Cryptantha: Cryptantha pectocarya

* Sand Penstemon: Penstemon accuminatus var. acuminatus

* Yarrow: Achillea millefolium -Beginning to bloom.

Big Sagebrush: Artemisia tridentata var. tridentata

* Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza careyana

Dusty Maidens: Chaenactis douglasii

Green Rabbitbrush: Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus var. viscidiflorus

Gray Rabbitbrush: Ericameria nauseosa (ssp. albicaulis ?)

Threadleaf Fleabane: Erigeron filifolius - In bud.

* Cushion Fleabane: Erigeron poliospermus

* Cusick's Sunflower: Helianthus cusickii - Beginning to bloom.

Columbia Cutleaf: Hymenopappus filifolius - In bud.

Hoary-aster: Dieteria canescens var. incana

Yellow Salsify: Tragopogon dubius

Animals seen along the route of this hike:

Mule Deer - On islands in the river, but wading in the shallow waters, feeding?

Red-tailed Hawk



Common Egrets

Great Blue Herons

Canada Geese





Common Mergansers


Pied-billed Grebe


Western Meadowlarks

Red-winged Blackbirds

California Quail

Mourning Dove

American Robins

White-crowned Sparrows

Yellow-rumped Warblers

Cliff Swallows

Violet-green Swallows

Rock Wren - Heard.


Black Widow

Anise Swallowtail

Gray Hairstreaks


Carnivorous Ground Beetles

White Bluffs North: Wahluke Slope Wildlife Unit, Hanford Reach National Monument.........April 25, 2014 - White Bluffs North: Wahluke Slope Wildlife Unit, Hanford Reach National Monument.........April 25, 2014

The photo at left shows a view south along the White Bluffs at the eastern edge of the Columbia River. The trailhead is at the low flat bench barely above river level at the center of the photo. Note how erosion has caused a collapse of this section of the bluffs. Note also the deep accumulations of russian thistle tumbleweeds (10 10' thick) in wind protected places along the east sides of the collapsed ridges. The photo at right is a bit closer to the trailhead and shows the trail meandering along the top of the bluffs, with a few patches of sand remaining.

Paul Slichter E-mail