Saturday, August 23, 2014

Yellow Aster Butte and Tomyhoi Lake Hike

Left: Hike Profile KML from Canon GPS Logger; Right: View of Tomyhoi Lake
Hike Profile KML from Canon GPS LoggerView of Tomyhoi Lake
Hike Notes
Length: 12.3 miles (according to *Garmin HCX)
Duration: 8.25 hours (8:15 am – 4:30 pm)
Elevation Gain: 4,361 (total), 6,184 ft max elevation on top of Yellow Aster Butte*, starting @ 3,670 ft
Location: North Cascades – Mount Baker Highway

For our sixth hike of the 2014 summer (and bringing us to 84.8 total miles this season), we chose Yellow Aster Butte (WTA: Yellow Aster Butte, Tomyhoi Lake). We actually went to Tomyhoi lake first and then Yellow Aster Butte. At approximately 1.4 miles from the trailhead, the trail splits and you make your choice: the left route takes you to Yellow Aster Butte, and the right route takes you up over Gold Run Pass and down to Tomyhoi Lake. The path to Yellow Aster Butte is well-beaten and easy to follow. The path to Tomyhoi Lake was bit trickier, we lost it a few times as we busied ourselves with flower pictures. Nearer to the lake, there were many paths to get to the lake edge and you just had to pick one. The lake elevation is close to starting elevation at the trailhead. It’s quite a slog to climb back out to Gold Run Pass.

On the Yellow Aster Butte trail, we encountered a lot of people. Saturday, sunshine, beautiful views, and trail popularity explains it. Not many seem to opt for the Tomyhoi Lake trail, which we found very quiet. Choose wisely.

Selected Plants Observed

Format: [Family] Genus species (Common Name). Links are to WTU Image Collection.

[Asteraceae] Petasites frigidus (Sweet Coltsfoot) – “Petasites is from the Greek petasos ‘a broad-brimmed hat,’ referring to the large basal leaves characteristic of this genus.” [1]
[Liliaceae] Anticlea occidentale (Mountainbells)
[Melanthiaceae] Veratrum viride (Green False Hellebore)
[Orobanchaceae] Castilleja parviflora (Mountain Indian Paintbrush)
[Orobanchaceae] Pedicularis racemosa (Sickletop Lousewort)
[Onagraceae] Chamerion angustifolium (Fireweed)
[Onagraceae] Chamerion latifolium (Broad-Leaved Willowherb)
[Orchidaceae] Platanthera stricta (Slender Bog Orchid)
[Orchidaceae] Goodyera oblongifolia (Western Rattlesnake Plantain)
[Phrymaceae] Erythranthe lewisii (Purple Monkey-Flower). Given as Mimulus lewisii in [1].
[Phrymaceae] Erythranthe guttata (Seep Monkey-Flower). Given as Mimulus guttatus in [1].
[Polygonaceae] Oxyria digyna (Alpine Mountain-Sorrel)
[Ranunculaceae] Anemone occidentalis (Western Pasqueflower)
[Rosaceae] Potentilla flabellifolia (High Mountain Cinquefoil)
[Rosaceae] Rubus spectablis (Salmonberry)
[Saxifragaceae] Leptarrhena pyrolifolia (Leatherleaf Saxifrage)
[Saxifragaceae] Micranthes tolmiei (Tolmie’s or Alpine Saxifrage)

Insects Observed

Pterostichus (Beetle)
Pterophoroidae (Plume Moth)
Pointania californica (Willow Apple Gall Sawfly) Gall [2]
Polygonia[3] (Angel-Winged Butterfly) on Valerian
Speyeria hydaspe?
[3] (Hydaspe Fritillary)

References

[1] Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska
[2] http://bugguide.net/node/view/185043/bgimage
[3] On the checklist for Whatcom County from ButterfliesAndMoths.org.

Left: Plume Moth on Goodyera oblongifolia, near trailhead; Right: Dew drops on Moss, near Tomyhoi Lake
Plume Moth on Goodyera oblongifolia, near trailheadDew drops on Moss, near Tomyhoi Lake

Left: Angel-Winged Butterfly, on the way to Yellow Aster Butte; Right: Fritillary on Veratrum leaf
Angel-Winged Butterfly, on the way to Yellow Aster ButteFritillary on Veratrum leaf

Left: Pterostichus Beetle Near Tomyhoi Lake; Right: Potentilla flabellifolia
Pterostichus Beetle Near Tomyhoi LakePotentilla flabellifolia

Left: Sawfly Gall; Right: Larva Inside Gall
Sawfly GallLarva Inside Gall

Left: Anemone occidentalis (Western Pasqueflower); Right: Anticlea occidentale (Mountainbells)
Anemone occidentalis (Western Pasqueflower)Anticlea occidentale (Mountainbells)

Left: Castilleja parviflora (Mountain Indian Paintbrush); Right: Leptarrhena pyrolifolia (Leatherleaf Saxifrage), both in the wet meadow above Tomyhoi Lake
Castilleja parviflora (Mountain Indian Paintbrush)Leptarrhena pyrolifolia (Leatherleaf Saxifrage)

Fireweeds. Left: Chamerion angustifolium; Right: Chamerion latifolium
Left: Chamerion angustifoliumChamerion latifolium

Monkey-Flowers. Left: Erythranthe lewisii (Purple Monkey-Flower); Right: Erythranthe guttata (Seep Monkey-Flower)
Erythranthe lewisii (Purple Monkey-Flower)Erythranthe guttata (Seep Monkey-Flower)

Left: Micranthes tolmiei (Tolmie’s or Alpine Saxifrage); Right: Oxyria digyna (Alpine Mountain-Sorrel)
Micranthes tolmiei (Tolmie’s or Alpine Saxifrage)Oxyria digyna (Alpine Mountain-Sorrel)

Petasites frigidus
Petasites frigidusPetasites frigidus

Left: Platanthera stricta (Slender Bog Orchid) – near Tomyhoi Lake and smelled like honey!; Right: Valerian Feathery Seed Heads
Platanthera dilatata (White Bog Orchid, Bog Candle)Valerian Feathery Seed Heads

Left: Veratrum viride (Green False Hellebore) Single Flower; Right: Rubus spectablis (Salmonberry) Single Berry
Veratrum viride (Green False Hellebore) Single FlowerRubus spectablis (Salmonberry) Single Berry

Left: Map at Trailhead to Yellow Aster Butte and Tomyhoi Lake; Right: View from Gold Run Pass toward Mt. Larrabee and the American Border Peak
Map at Trailhead to Yellow Aster Butte and Tomyhoi LaView from Gold Run Pass toward Mt. Larrabee and the American Border Peak

View from Yellow Aster Butte toward Tomyhoi PeakView from Yellow Aster Butte toward Tomyhoi Peak

Friday, August 22, 2014

Binomen Art – Ficus carica

Left: Ficus Spelled Out with Seeds; Right: Morning muesli with Figs. What’s that in my cereal?
Ficus Spelled Out with SeedsMorning muesli with Figs. What’s that in my cereal?
We’ve been enjoying beautiful figs (Ficus carica) with our breakfast muesli and, hey, why not waste a few hours coaxing the little fig seeds into spelling themselves. I confess: I was going to spell out carica, but working with the little fig seeds proved a bit too much before it was time to go to work. The seeds stick everywhere but where I wanted them to. According to the Wikipedia entry on fig pollination and fig fruit, a single fig can contain up to several hundred to several thousand seeds. (You can easily write a small story about figs with that many.) Also, a fig fruit is a multiple fruit composed of many flowers. One way to think about a fig is to take your thumb and index finger and bring the tips close together to almost, but not quite, touch. That’s the fig, an enclosed flower. The little space between your thumb and index finger tips is called the ostiole*. Figs fruits are called syconium, but you won’t see that term in your local grocery store.

* Ostiole makes me think back to time spent at Ostia Antica (Two Days in Ostia Antica). The town is from the Latin ostium, entrance, river mouth.

We also discuss Ficus in Binomen Art - Ficus. In that post it was Ficus microcarpa (Indian Laurel), whose fruit are anything but edible. Microcarpa = small fruit.

Ficus carica seeds
Ficus carica seeds

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Binomen Art - Vaccinium

Left: Vaccinium spelled with blueberries; Right: Blueberry cross section.
Vaccinium spelled with blueberriesBlueberry cross section
We’ve got blueberries on our minds and in our mouths. We recently bought a flat at the Fremont Sunday Market, and we’ve been seeing blueberries and their relatives, huckleberries, quite a bit on our hikes in the Cascades. It thus seems right to honor Vaccinium (the genus name for blueberry) in a Binomen Art piece.

Quattrocchi on the origin of Vaccinium:

Vaccinium (Plinius), a Latin name for the blueberry, whortleberry, a corruption of the Greek hyakinthos “the hyacinth, purple, dark red,” Bakinthos; Akkadian bakkitu “professional mourner, paid mourner,” bakku “lachrymose,” bakum, bikitu “lamented”.

Wikipedia says explicitly “It is not the same word as vaccinum ‘of or pertaining to cows.”

The blueberries used in the photos here are from Hayton Farms, and they are set in front of our small blueberry bush (Vaccinium x ‘Sunshine Blue’ - Southern Highbush). Our bush does produce nice berries when we get to them before the blue jays and robins. The blueberries from Hayton Farms are likely Vaccinium corymbosum, the most common commercially grown blueberry. Regardless of where the blueberries come from, they go into a pile of fruit on our morning muesli.

Left: Morning Muesli with Blueberries; Center: Blueberries Close Up; Right: Binomen Art Morning Muesli with BlueberriesBlueberries Close UpBinomen Art

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Schmitz Park Bridge – Graffiti

Location: SW Admiral Way as it passes over Schmitz Park.
Creator: Various
Description: Tags and a bits of pieces of street art. On our way to a dinner at La Rustica, we stopped off to see the graffiti under Schmitz Bridge (built in 1936).Schmitz Park Bridge – GraffitiSchmitz Park Bridge – GraffitiSchmitz Park Bridge – GraffitiSchmitz Park Bridge – GraffitiSchmitz Park Bridge – GraffitiSchmitz Park Bridge – GraffitiSchmitz Park Bridge – GraffitiSchmitz Park Bridge – GraffitiSchmitz Park Bridge – GraffitiSchmitz Park Bridge – Graffiti

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Writers on the Storm

Maybe it’s the heat. Maybe it’s the turmoil in the world. Or, maybe I’m just tuned in to it, but there seems to be a storm of graffiti in Seattle. And, right behind the writers? Building maintenance if the building is occupied, or demolition if the building is abandoned. 

A good site for deciphering the tags is the Cat Branchman, kozemchuk flickr stream.

Alley Writing: These three images were taken in an alley between 8th Avenue N and 9th Avenue N and Aloha Street and Valley Street.

 

Cleaning Graffiti: No, this isn’t someone writing on the wall. He is cleaning it. It shows a member of building maintenance removing graffiti on the side of Hotel Max in downtown.
a member of building maintenance removing graffiti on the side of Hotel Max in downtown

Left: A shipping container under the Ballard Bridge; Right: Side of King’s Hardware, Ballard.
A shipping container under the Ballard BridgeSide of King’s Hardware, Ballard

Pieces on the former Northwest Caster Building in Fremont (41st and Aurora)
Pieces on the former Northwest Caster Building in FremontPieces on the former Northwest Caster Building in FremontPieces on the former Northwest Caster Building in Fremont

Dexter, Just North of Garfield – Abandoned Lot – Tags
Dexter, Just North of Garfield – Abandoned Lot – TagsDexter, Just North of Garfield – Abandoned Lot – TagsDexter, Just North of Garfield – Abandoned Lot – TagsDexter, Just North of Garfield – Abandoned Lot – TagsDexter, Just North of Garfield – Abandoned Lot – Tags 

On Dexter, Nearby: Labor, Knats

Clepto – 8th Ave N and Aloha St
Clepto – 8th Ave N and Aloha St

Fremont Alley
Fremont Alley