Strathcona Wilderness Institute

Toads & Lilies

| 1 Comment

We had an exciting day in the Park yesterday! We headed out to Croteau Lake on a quest to find the yellow avalanche lily (Erythronium grandiflorum) -rare on Vancouver Island – at a location we had heard about from a fellow hiker.

Jeffrey's Shootingstar

Jeffrey’s Shootingstar

On the way we noted more Jeffrey’s shootingstar (Dodecatheon jeffreyi) blooming in the meadows, on the east side of the Centennial Trail.

Western Bog-laurel

Western Bog-laurel

Already more western bog-laurel (Kalmia microphylla) flowers were open compared to yesterday. The stamens of the bog-laurel are tucked into pouches on the flower until they are pollinated, when they spring out.

Tiny Western Toad

Tiny Western Toad

In the meadows & on the way to Croteau Lake, we noticed several tiny Western Toads.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

A Bald Eagle perched atop a meadow tree and a Hairy Woodpecker tapped on a cedar snag.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagles are actually not that common in the meadows – Turkey Vultures, Osprey and Northern Harrier are more likely.

Alaska Blueberry

Alaska Blueberry

Up from the meadows on the way to Battleship Lake, the first Alaska blueberry (Vaccinium alaskaense) were blooming in the woods. Most of the blueberry blooming now is the oval-leaved blueberry (Vaccinium ovalifolium) – which flower before the leaves emerge. The Alaska blueberry blossom is distinctive with the flower being twice as wide as it is long.

Just a few patches of snow remain on the shore of Lady Lake. The trail is wet & muddy in many places so gaiters are a good idea!

Yellow Avalanche Lilies

Yellow Avalanche Lilies (Erythronium grandiflorum)

Near Croteau Lake, we succeeded in our quest – a couple of patches of yellow avalanche lilies! Higher up the rocky bluff the blooms were finished but lower down in the cooler shade they were still abundant. The plant starts to bloom through the melting snow, so we were almost too late. It was an exciting find & great timing as the flowers may just last another week.

Yellow Avalanche Lily

Yellow Avalanche Lily

One Comment

  1. Thank you for wonderful pictures; you have a remarkable eye and way of capturing the different aspects of buds, unfurling and full out flowers

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.