Pad Thai and Mima Mounds

20170503_195729 Pad Thai and Mima Mounds
Common camas ( Camassia quamash ) is blooming along I-5 between Tacoma and Olympia, and that means it's time for my annual pilgrimage to the Mima Mounds with a to-go order of pad thai. The Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve is about 16 miles south of Olympia, west of Little Rock. It's managed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources to preserve the mounds themselves and the prairie ecosystem that covers them here. This Puget prairie grassland, formally known as the Roemer's fescue–white ...
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Botanize Big, part 2

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How About a Hike? Or a class? Or go to a chapter program? There's plenty going on. Check out the field trips , programs , and other activities for plant lovers statewide. Here are a few activities I'm hoping to attend: " Revising the 'Flora of the Pacific Northwest'-What did we Learn and What's Next" by David Giblin, at the Mountaineers in Seattle. This is the Central Puget Sound Chapter's monthly program on June 1, 2017. Click for more info . I'm going to miss the Study Weekend (and it's waitin...
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197 Hits

Bridging the Gap

Bridging the Gap
​It's November. Days are short, nights are long, and leaves are down. A friend of mine inelegantly calls November "the armpit of the year." And nationally, we have just finished an inelegant presidential campaign. We face the future with a federal administration and Congress that are not likely to support environmental issues or scientific evidence. I've found some relief by taking a virtual hike at Wallula Gap, with a slide show now anchoring the Washington Native Plant Society page at Network ...
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137 Hits

Dates to Remember: Botanical Activities Abound!

Dates to Remember: Botanical Activities Abound!
Cue the overwhelm. The spring rush is upon us. Washington Native Plant Society activities Opportunities from other organizations Washington Native Plant Society Activities April 1, 2016 No fooling, applications for the South Sound Native Plant Stewardship Training are due April 1! The Washington Native Plant Society (WNPS) and its South Sound Chapter are offering a Native Plant Stewardship Program for Pierce and Thurston Counties in Spring 2016. The six-week, no-cost program combines classroom l...
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January 2016 News and Notes from WNPS

January 2016 News and Notes from WNPS
Botanical Rambles wishes you a happy new year and offers you this capacious—but nowhere near exhaustive—list of things to do and learn. Contents Washington Native Plant Society News Kudos! WNPS Chapter News WNPS Chapter Activities Conservation—Opportunity to comment Trainings Volunteer Opportunities Grant Opportunities Plant Sales Washington Native Plant Society News The WNPS Office Welcomes Visitors. Located in Seattle's Magnuson Park, the office is generally staffed Monday–Thursday, 9:00am to ...
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146 Hits

Stewardship Training Opportunity in Everett

Stewardship Training Opportunity in Everett
Newsflash: New Dates for Training The training has been re-scheduled for November 12 through December 3. Fall is always a great time to learn something new. While the Washington Native Plant Society isn't currently offering its Native Plant Stewardship Program , here's a training opportunity from one of our partners that you might find interesting. National Wildlife Federation Habitat Stewards Training Program The National Wildlife Federation is offering a Habitat Stewards Training in Everett st...
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135 Hits

Just Because It’s June, June, June: News and Notes from the Washington Native Plant Society

Just Because It’s June, June, June: News and Notes from the Washington Native Plant Society
Where Have You Been Rambling?  You may be forgiven for wondering if Botanical Rambles had rambled off in to the sunset, considering that the most recent post was May 6 th ! Your humble blog curator has been overly busy with her day job, notably helping to organize the 2015 Salmon Recovery Conference and then (trying) to catch up on many end-of-biennium tasks. It hasn't been all work. I introduced an out-of-town visitor to the pleasures of the loop road at Washington Park in Anacortes . She ...
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Botanical Bonanza!

Botanical Bonanza!
April and May always leave me gasping for breath. Each year, the onrush of flowers and field trips and plant sales and programs whooshes in and sweeps me along. I hope that you, too, are having a botanically busy bonanza of a time. Here's just a sampling of what's going on in the weeks to come: April 26 to May 2: Native Plant Appreciation Week Native Plant Appreciation Week is a great time to celebrate Washington's floristic diversity. With over 3,000 native plant species growing in deserts, rai...
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153 Hits

A Visit to Galiano Island

A Visit to Galiano Island
If you are looking for a winter break that doesn't include airfare, look north to a little island in the Salish Sea that provides quiet shorelines, forested trails, an escape from winter rains, and a community investing big in land conservation. Galiano, located in the Canadian Gulf Islands, is a short ferry trip from the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. The island has a year-round population of 1,100 people. Its many miles of community trails are enhanced by camping sites with splendid shore views an...
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129 Hits

One Way to Share Your Enthusiasm for Plants with Kids

One Way to Share Your Enthusiasm for Plants with Kids
Imagine you are outside. The sun is shining, illuminating the new growth on the western red cedars. It's been a great growing season and the plants at Washington Park Arboretum are thriving. The backdrop of evergreen trees is a lovely frame to all of the native and non-native plants in the collection. Now, if those kids would just get here! Just when you thought you couldn't wait any longer, here comes the bus holding a bunch of school-aged children just bursting with energy and excitement to be...
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Visit Kruckeberg Botanic Garden This Summer

Visit Kruckeberg Botanic Garden This Summer
If you have not been to the Kruckeberg Botanic Garden in Shoreline lately, this summer is a great time to visit. Along with public tours and family events each weekend, the on-site MSK Nursery offers native plants propagated directly from the garden. Admission to the garden is free, but donations are accepted and memberships are encouraged. ​ The public botanic garden is now part of the city of Shoreline's park system, and it is managed by the non-profit Kruckeberg Botanic Garden Foundation. The...
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Appreciating Common Camas (Camassia quamash) during Native Plant Appreciation Week

Appreciating Common Camas (Camassia quamash) during Native Plant Appreciation Week
And we're off! Native Plant Appreciation Week began with a rousing start for me! While botanizing at 60 mph isn't ideal, I love to glimpse the blue of one of my favorite plants, common camas ( Camassia quamash ), along Interstate 5 between Tacoma and Olympia during my weekly trek. The week is full of field trips, programs, plant sales and a couple of garden tours. For more information, see the full Native Plant Appreciation Week listings. Opportunities coming up include: Field trips to Juniper D...
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Waterworks Canyon

Waterworks Canyon
Editor's note: Mark Turner posted this piece on his blog, Passions , on April 22, 2013. He's generously agreed to share it with Botanical Rambles. Waterworks Canyon is part of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's Oak Creek Wildlife Area . I took the liberty of adding the scientific names from the WNPS plant list for the area—any errors in those are mine. It had been six years since my last visit to Waterworks Canyon , a gem of a place for early season wildflowers west of Yakima, Wash...
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Revisiting Resolutions, 2014 edition

Revisiting Resolutions, 2014 edition
Well, 2014 has launched. How about those resolutions I made so publicly last year? Last January I noted some blooming resolutions for 2013. I had typical results on my general resolutions. Eat fewer sweets (Fail! If anything, I ate more sweets in 2013, since I discovered dark chocolate M&Ms.) Get more exercise (Actually, I did pretty well on this one.) Be an all-round better person (Probably not for me to say. I don't think I became a worse person. Let's call this one a draw.) I definitely d...
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129 Hits

Another Take on Fall Color

Another Take on Fall Color
I don't know about you, but I am shocked to find that it is November again. Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that we began Botanical Rambles with a post about fall color ? This year I had a chance to roam around Fort Worden State Park for an afternoon, and here is some of what I saw. On the beach: Large-headed sedge ( Carex macrocephala ). The leaves of this distinctive sedge become a lovely golden in the fall, enlivening the tan and gray-green of the dunes. The dark-brown flower stalks—the large ...
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129 Hits

Watch Out for Watchable Wildflowers

Watch Out for Watchable Wildflowers
Here's some good news. An excellent, but out-of-print, guide to wildflowers in the Columbia Basin is now available online as a pdf, thanks to the Bureau of Land Management. Watchable Wildflowers — A Columbia Basin Guide features great writing and great photos. Here's how it opens: Eastern Washington—Flat, Drab, & Dry, Right? Wrong! From the freeway, the eastern half of the state may appear an endless open space to speed through without stopping, rather than a destination. As you look out the...
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142 Hits

Three Photo Contests

Three Photo Contests
While you're out and about this summer, botanizing, hiking, gardening, or lying on the lawn, you may find yourself taking pictures. If so, here are some opportunities to get Washington's native plants into the public eye: WSECU Calendar Photo Contest While it's not yet time for our Washington Native Plant Society photo contest (that call will come later this year), the Washington State Employees Credit Union Calendar Photo Contest is open until July 15, 2013. This contest is limited to photos ta...
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126 Hits

NAPs and NRCAs: Three Special Places to Know About in Eastern Washington

NAPs and NRCAs: Three Special Places to Know About in Eastern Washington
I'll be completely honest here, and confess that I have a hard time keeping all the different types of special places and public lands straight. I'm getting better at it, but still. I heard of a study once that found that most Americans basically think that all public lands are national parks. I'm not quite that confused, but there's a bunch of categories and alphabet soup out there. So many agencies: WDFW, USFWS, USFS, NPS, NMFS/NOAA, BLM, BPA, DOE, and DNR*—and that's just for starters. The ag...
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84 Hits

This! Fort Townsend State Park’s New Mural of Old-Growth Forest

This! Fort Townsend State Park’s New Mural of Old-Growth Forest
In November, 2010, I suggested to our Friends of Fort Townsend group that we commission a natural history interpretive painting for the park. We put together the funding for the project, including an education grant from the Washington Native Plant Society. Fort Townsend State Park is 2 miles south of Port Townsend off of Highway 20. The park includes seven miles of hiking trails through old-growth forest. The WNPS plant list for the park includes 215 species. We asked Larry Eifert if he would b...
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97 Hits

Botanical Birthday Greetings to Washington State Parks

Botanical Birthday Greetings to Washington State Parks
March marked the kick-off celebrations for Washington State Parks' 100 th birthday, and brought to mind the great botanizing available in these parks. One of the first centennial celebrations was on March 9 th , when the Friends of Moran State Park and photographer Martin Taylor cooperated for some aerial photos . You can see the summit of Mount Constitution on Orcas Island and the surrounding forest and environs. Looks like it was a fun time! WNPS has a plant list for Mount Constitution . A pre...
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Sign Up!

Sign Up!
It's time to sign up, step up, apply, and register. Spring is here and it brings loads of opportunities to learn, to contribute your time, and to get out and about. First off, here are some activities sponsored by the Washington Native Plant Society and its partners. Native Plant Stewardship Training Application deadline April 8 . We are once again offering free Native Plant Stewardship Training in Seattle. Native Plant Stewards help restore Seattle's forested parks. Partners with WNPS are Seatt...
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Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead
My Spring 2013 edition of Douglasia arrived Saturday, on a day of sunshine and mild temperatures. Perhaps it was the sun, but I think this edition is particularly beguiling. And reading it was a great way to top off a day spent immersed in plant life. First I spent several hours in the garden, trimming, clipping, raking, and vanquishing innocent-looking youngsters of shotweed ( Cardamine hirsuta ) and dandelion ( Taraxacum officinale ). Then I went on a long walk with my sister, through a nearby...
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141 Hits

Spring at Washington Park, Anacortes

Spring at Washington Park, Anacortes
Susan Alaynick, chairperson of the Salal Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society, offers this personal look at spring flowers in Washington Park, Anacortes . The Salal Chapter serves Skagit, Island, and Northern Snohomish counties. Washington Park is an Anacortes city park lying on the west edge of Fidalgo Island. If you keep heading west past the San Juan Islands ferry terminal, you'll get there. And here's a trail map for when you do. This walk was my first exposure to the Native Plant ...
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153 Hits

Destinations: Cowiche Canyon, Yakima Area

Destinations: Cowiche Canyon, Yakima Area
Brenda Senturia encourages us to look ahead to the flowering time of the year in Cowiche Canyon near Yakima. The Washington Trails Association website offers additional information on hiking Cowiche Canyon , including recent trip reports. It's not too soon to think about spring wildflowers, especially in the lower elevations in eastern Washington. A well-known location for a remarkable variety of spring blooms is Cowiche Canyon. This canyon has been preserved by the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy . ...
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Blooming Resolutions

Blooming Resolutions
It's the New Year. Resolution time, yet again. What do you do about resolutions? Make 'em, keep 'em, love 'em, hate 'em, break 'em, or ignore the whole thing? I like making resolutions so much that I do it several times a year: New Year's Day, Chinese New Year (it's February 10 in 2013), April Fool's Day, my birthday, Rosh Hashanah i.e., Jewish New Year (it's September 4 in 2013). Sometimes I even re-up my good intentions on the spring and autumn equinoxes and the summer and winter solstices. So...
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Destinations: Winter Walks at McCormick Forest Park, Gig Harbor

Destinations: Winter Walks at McCormick Forest Park, Gig Harbor
This week we begin a frequent feature of Botanical Rambles: interesting destinations for the botanically inclined. Please welcome Cyndy Dillon, chair of the South Sound Chapter of the Washington Native Plant Society, who has written this post. I get to appreciate the seasonal cycle of change in the lush native flora since I live within a few miles of McCormick Forest Park in Gig Harbor, and I can return often to visit. Last winter, 2011, was particularly illuminating. The season started with mil...
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102 Hits

Fall Color

Fall Color
Welcome to the inaugural post of Botanical Rambles, the Washington Native Plant Society blog. We hope to entertain and delight while providing useful and enlightening information about Washington State's plants, habitats, conservation issues and other topics. I'm Sarah Gage and I will be curating the site, drawing on WNPS's talented board members and the broader community for posts. And I'll be hoping to hear from you, too. Please comment, email, and engage. As we are launching this blog in the ...
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135 Hits

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