Slopes above the east side of Swale Canyon at Wahkiacus
Middle Klickitat River Drainage
April 12, 2012
Several of us were fortunate to be able to visit some private property on the canyon rim above the east side of Swale Creek today. This is property that is about two miles south of the private property visited on March 31. The slopes above the east side of Swale Creek are some of the best quality bunchgrass prairie that I have seen anywhere near the Columbia River Gorge. There aren't alot of balsamroots, which indicates there may have been some grazing a very long time ago, but there is evidence of only a few plants of one weedy composite, and a small presence of bulbous bluegrass and cheatgrass at this site, which indicates the high quality of the area.
Weather: Mostly sunny with light winds and temperatures in the 50s most of the day, although a brief rain squall "blew" through late in the afternoon.
Wolf Bane Lichen: Letharia vulpia
Juniper Haircap Moss: Polytrichum juniperinum
Fragile Fern: Cystopteris fragilis
Imbricate Swordfern: Polystichum imbricans
Ponderosa Pine: Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa
Douglas Fir: Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii
Oregon White Oak: Quercus garryana
* Willow: Salix sp. - Bushy form to about 8-10 feet high on dry, open slopes
* Elk Sedge: Carex geyeri
Lemmon's Needlegrass: Achnatherum lemmonii - It's still too early to confirm that this species is here. It may be Idaho fescue instead.
Silver Hairgrass: Aira (caryophyllea ? ) - Seen along the access road near the abandoned camper.
Cheatgrass: Bromus tectorum
Bottlebrush Squirreltail: Elymus elymoides (ssp. ?)
Idaho Fescue: Festuca idahoensis ? - It's still too early to confirm that this species is here. It may be Lemmon's needlegrass instead.
Prairie Junegrass: Koeleria macrantha
* Leiberg's Bluegrass: Poa leibergii - A very large number of this attractive grass species was observed.
* Nevada Bluegrass: Poa secunda var. juncifolia
* Sandberg's Bluegrass: Poa secunda var. secunda
Bluebunch Wheatgrass: Pseudoroegneria spicata
Sagebrush Mariposa: Calochortus macrocarpus var. macrocarpus
Glacier Lily: Erythronium grandiflorum var. grandiflorum
* Yellow Bells: Fritillaria pudica
Bicolored Cluster Lily: Triteleia grandiflora ssp. howellii
Panicle Deathcamas: Toxicoscordion paniculatum - One plant nearly in bloom.
* Grass Widows: Olsynium douglasii var. douglasii - Not observed on this property but nearby along the creek we drive to access the property. Peaking on the Klickitat plateau.
Rein Orchid: Piperia sp.
Northern Buckwheat: Eriogonum compositum var. compositum
* Jagged Chickweed: Holosteum umbellatum
* Common Chickweed: Stellaria media
Shining Chickweed: Stellaria nitens - In bud.
* Upland Larkspur: Delphinium nuttallianum var. nuttallianum - Beginning to bloom.
* Dalles Mt. Buttercup: Ranunculus triternatus
* Oaks Toothwort: Cardamine nuttallii var. nuttallii - Beginning to bloom.
* Spring Whitlow-grass: Draba verna
Gooseberry-leaved Alumroot: Heuchera grossulariifolia var. tenuifolia
* Bulblet Prairiestar: Lithophragma bulbifera (now lumped with Lithophragma glabrum) - Beginning to bloom.
* Northwestern Saxifrage: Saxifraga integrifolia var. claytoniifolia
Mock Orange: Philadelphus lewisii
Serviceberry: Amelanchier alnifolia (var. ?) - Leaf buds and flower buds ready to open.
Hood River Milkvetch: Astragalus hoodianus ? - Young leaves extending from the ground.
Velvet Lupine: Lupinus leucophyllus
Columbia Gorge Lupine: Lupinus sp. (latifolius X sericeus ?) - Some plants with racemes in bud.
Bighead Clover: Trifolium macrocephalum
Filaree: Erodium cicutarium
* Sagebrush Violet: Viola trinervata
Deerbrush: Ceanothus integerrimus - New leaves appearing.
Slender Clarkia: Clarkia gracilis ? or (Small-flowered Godetia: Clarkia purpurea ssp. quadrivulnera ?)
Burr Chervil: Anthriscus caucalis ?
* Columbia Desert Parsley: Lomatium columbianum
* Biscuitroot: Lomatium macrocarpum
* Pungent Desert Parlsey: Lomatium grayi
* Barestem Desert Parsley: Lomatium nudicaule
* Salt and Pepper: Lomatium piperi (with possibility some were L. gormanii) - Corms were palatible. Some plants were caulescent, others seemed to be acaulescent. Fading out of bloom except in shades places.
Suksdorf's Desert Parsley: Lomatium suksdorfii - Leaves beginning to emerge from the ground.
* Nineleaf Desert Parlsey: Lomatium triternatum var. triternatum - Beginning to bloom.
* Desert Shooting Star: Dodecatheon conjugens
Columbia Frasera: Frasera albicaulis var. columbiana
* Midget Phlox: Microsteris gracilis
Show Phlox: Phlox speciosa - Beginning to leaf out.
* Annual Jacob's Ladder: Polemonium micranthum
* Ballheaded Waterleaf: Hydrophyllum capitatum var. thompsonii - Beginning to bloom.
Silverleaf Phacelia: Phacelia hastata var. hastata
Tarweed: Amsinckia sp. ?
Common Cryptanth: Cryptantha intermedia ? - Still in bud.
Common Houndstongue: Cynoglossum officinale - In the woods along the access road.
Puccoon: Lithospermum ruderale
* Small Popcornflower: Plagiobothrys tenellus
Small-flowered Blue-eyed Mary: Collinsia parviflora
Cleavers: Galium aparine
Blue Elderberry: Sambucus cerulea - Beginning to leaf out.
Common Snowberry: Symphoricarpos albus - Beginning to leaf out.
Yarrow: Achillea millefolium var. occidentalis
Spearleaf Agoseris: Agoseris retrorsa
* Low Pussytoes: Antennaria dimorpha
Heartleaf Arnica: Arnica cordifolia - Not observed on the property, but observed nearby under the oaks along the creek we drove in along.
Carey's Balsamroot: Balsamorhiza (careyana?) - Only a few balsamroots were observed at this site, with one plant showing some small yellow ray flowers emerging from the flowerhead bud.
Knapweed: Centaurea (diffusa?)
Dusty Maidens: Chaenactis douglasii
Gray Hawksbeard: Crepis intermedia
* Gold Stars: Crocidium multicaule
Scouler's Hawkweed: Hieracium scouleri (var. cynoglossoides ?)
Western Groundsel: Senecio integerrimus (var. exaltatus or var. ochroleucus ?) - In bud.
Yellow Salsify: Tragopogon dubius - One plant observed.
Mule deer - spoor observed on ground
California Ground Squirrel
American Robins - numerous
Frogs singing in Swale Creek far below.