The Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre at Paradise Meadows will open for the season on Saturday June 15. The annual Strathcona Bird Search will be on Saturday morning at 9 a.m. so the team will be wandering the meadows counting birds. After that the Centre will be open for visitor info or for an impromptu nature walk around the boardwalk at 1 p.m. for anyone interested.
After setting up yesterday, I had a preview walk around the meadows. Right away on the path I found a Sooty Grouse pretending to be invisible. They will remain motionless unless you approach too closely, then explode in a flurry – extremely startling even though you are expecting it! I didn’t disturb this one.
Hermit Thrush, Varied Thrush, and Olive-sided Flycatchers were singing. In the big pond a Mallard pair were in the deep water, and a Spotted Sandpiper foraged around the edges.
Alpine white marsh-marigold is the most abundant bloom right now. A few globeflower are among the white flowers, so look closely at the leaves to distinguish the two species.
Several violets are blooming, mostly the yellow stream violet.
In a small streamside area several striking plants were blooming – yellow skunk cabbage (swamp lantern), pink shootingstar, and pale mauve marsh violet.
Some of the Jeffrey’s shootingstar is in quite large patches and easy to photograph.
The marsh violet actually blooms earlier than the early blue violet! which is the other purple violet.
The first pink mountain-heather is opening , and a bit of the western bog-laurel, which is exactly the same shade of pink. Oval-leaved blueberry & Alaskan blueberry are also flowering, and false azalea is just starting to bloom.