Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spring 2012

Delphinium nuttallianium, about a week ago

I didn't plant this patch of upland larkspur in the far southwest corner of the property.  I have carefully worked in Idaho fescue around what was 1 or 2 plants for years, praying that I could get them to spread.  All of a sudden this year, about thirty showed up!  They are difficult to get going.  The only patch I have been able to establish myself from seed is in the otherwise-disturbed southeast corner (a former cow manure dumping site decades ago, I was told). 

Camas is blooming!

It just really opened up in the last day or so, and it looks like there will be a nice drift throughout the middle of the property.  As with much actual news in the prairie, the most interesting thing to me is barely visible in green--hundreds of new camas plants, apparently coming from seed, everywhere.  I put a 1/2 pound of seed out maybe five years ago, and I planted a lot of locally-collected camas seed last year, so I'm not sure which planting has arrived.  Anyway, it is inspiring to see that the camas part of the project is essentially finished; in another few years when these are all blooming, there should be a nice blue pond every May.

"Standard view"

I came up with this view years ago, before I knew how this was all going to come out, and I think I have to show it for comparison, but most of the excitement is closer to the house.  In the sense that the news there is invisible because it's green, it is showing lots of promise.  There is another blue elderberry on the right, a syringa, and a snowberry.  Significant shrubs in the future.  The Idaho fescue is mature and filling in very well, and there are few weeds.  The intense cover of epilobium from the previous two years seems to have toned down and clarkia is coming back vigorously.

Lomatium triternatum in bloom

So, if I do walk towards the house, I come upon a scattering of nine-leafed lomatium.  These are spreading throughout the northern part of the property, and are interspersed with the camas too, as they are in several of the surviving camas patches around here.