Siskiyou Eriogonum Workshop

Dear Siskiyou Field Institute Participant:
You are registered to participate in Eriogonums of the Siskiyous Friday, July 31st – Sunday, August 2nd. Please arrive to sign in and meet lab instructor Janel Johnson by 9:00 a.m. at Siskiyou Field Institute, 1241 Illinois River Rd. in Selma.

Friday, July 31

9 a.m. – 12 p.m. Eriogonum lab and keying of specimens with Janel Johnson,
1:30 – 6:00 p.m. Field trip in the Illinois Valley (possible stops include Onion Mountain, Rough and Ready Wayside, Waldo Road.)

Friday evening (optional) – Potluck dinner and socializing.. Bring a thumb drive with photos of your favorite or mystery unidentified eriogonums for a “best buckwheats of the West” slide program with the group.

Saturday, August 1

8:00 a.m. – Depart SFI. Botanizing on Siskiyou Summit and in Hilt en route to Scott Mountain. Saturday p.m. – Set up camp**. Botanizing on Scott Mountain – Julie Knorr, guide
Saturday evening – Dinner at the Etna Brew Pub and camping/botanizing at Scott Mountain campground

** Please note: Scott Mountain campground is a primitive campground, meaning there is no running water and the restroom facility is an outhouse.
If you don’t camp, lodging is available at Motel Etna, 317 Collier Way, (530) 467-5338 or the Collier Hotel, 143 Collier, (530) 340-5581.

Sunday, August 2

8:00 a.m. – Break camp. Journey over Hwy. 299 to Humboldt County.- Dana York, guide on
Horse Mountain
Sunday p.m. – California students either depart after this segment or continue with the group north to Del Norte County. If time permits, we can stop and check out E. latifolium at Tolowa Dunes State Park in Crescent City or eriogonums in the Smith River Canyon on our way home.

6 p.m. Return to SFI in Selma..

Bring Dr. Reveal’s eriogonum key, which will be mailed to you on a thumb drive. If you have a mobile device such as a laptop or I-pad, transfer the key for handy access.

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Gold Beach Birdwatching

Dear Siskiyou Field Institute Participant:

You are registered to participate in Birdwatching Sea to Forest on the Lower Rogue River Trail with Russ Namitz on April 25. Please arrive to sign in and meet your instructor by 7:30 a.m. Class will conclude by 3:00 p.m.

Tentative Course itinerary*:

7:30 am – South jetty parking lot of Gold Beach for sea watch.

9:30 am – Gold Beach harbor & marina

10:30 am – Jerry’s Flat (short hike in scrub/riparian habitat)

12:00 pm -Lunch & then medium hike (<2 miles roundtrip) along Rogue River Walk Trail

2:30 pm – Sevey’s private bird feeders (Hunter Creek Loop)

3:00 pm – End field trip

Suggested reading: Suggested texts include, but are not limited to:

The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Allen Sibley; National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America by Dunn & Alderfer.Russ Namitz on April 25.

Gold Beach, Curry, US-OR
Apr 25, 2015 7:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
25.0 mile(s)
Comments: Siskiyou Field Institute birding field trip. Birded Gold Beach marina, south jetty, Ophir pasture, Jerry’s Flat and Huntley Campground.  72 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose X
Mallard X
Ring-necked Duck X
Surf Scoter X
Bufflehead X
Common Merganser X
Red-breasted Merganser X
California Quail X
Wild Turkey X
Red-throated Loon X
Pacific Loon X
Common Loon X
Horned Grebe X
Western Grebe X
Double-crested Cormorant X
Pelagic Cormorant X
Brown Pelican X
Great Blue Heron X
Great Egret X
Turkey Vulture X
Osprey X
Red-tailed Hawk X
American Coot X
Killdeer X
Whimbrel X
Least Sandpiper X
Common Murre X
Pigeon Guillemot X
Western Gull X
California Gull X
Herring Gull X
Glaucous-winged Gull X
Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid) X
Caspian Tern X
Band-tailed Pigeon X
Eurasian Collared-Dove X
Mourning Dove X
Allen’s Hummingbird X
Northern Flicker X
Pacific-slope Flycatcher X
Black Phoebe X
Steller’s Jay X
Western Scrub-Jay X
American Crow X
Common Raven X
Violet-green Swallow X
Barn Swallow X
Cliff Swallow X
Black-capped Chickadee X
Chestnut-backed Chickadee X
Bushtit X
Brown Creeper X
Pacific Wren X
Marsh Wren X
Golden-crowned Kinglet X
Wrentit X
American Robin X
European Starling X
Orange-crowned Warbler X
Common Yellowthroat X
Black-throated Gray Warbler X
Wilson’s Warbler X
Savannah Sparrow X
Song Sparrow X
White-crowned Sparrow X
Golden-crowned Sparrow X
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) X
Western Tanager X
Red-winged Blackbird X
Purple Finch X
Red Crossbill X
American Goldfinch X
House Sparrow X

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Siskiyou Native Bees

You are registered to participate in Native Bees of the Siskiyous: Biology and Identification with Dr. Robbin Thorp on May 15. Please arrive to sign in and meet your instructor by 1:00 p.m. on Friday the 15th. Class will conclude by 12 noon on Sunday the 17th.

Tentative Course itinerary*: Friday, May 15 1:00 -5:00 p.m. Mini lectures on bee families and bee morphology; short field trip on site and setting up of bowl and blue vane traps. 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Dinner break 6:30-8:00 p.m. Lecture on “An Overview of Bees” Saturday, May 16 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Field trip offsite. Net and observe bees. Lunch break. 2:00 -5:00 p.m. Check onsite traps. Process specimens 5:00-6:30 p.m. Dinner break 6:30-8:00 p.m. Bee keying; special lecture Sunday, May 17 8:00 a.m. -12 p.m. –Key out bees (collected and synoptic) 12 noon – Class concludes

Suggested reading: Useful pdfs to download and look over before workshop:

Sam’s Very Handy Bee Manual

Stephen, WP, GE Bohart, and PF Torchio. 1969. The biology and external morphology of bees with a synopsis of the genera of northwestern America. Agricultural. Experiment. Station, Oregon State University,. 140 pp.

Useful books:

LeBuhn, G. 2013. Field Guide to the Common Bees of California: Including Bees of the Western United States. California Natural History Guides. UC Press. 192pp.

Frankie, GW, RW Thorp, RE Coville, and B Erter 2014. California Bees & Blooms. Heyday, Berkeley, CA. 320pp,

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Siskiyou Lichens Workshop

You are registered to participate in Lichens and their Photobionts with Daphne Stone on Saturday-Sunday, October 18-19. Please arrive to sign in and meet your instructor by 9:00 a.m. at SFI, 1241 Illinois River Rd., Selma.

Class will conclude by 4:00 p.m. Sunday.

Tentative Course itinerary*:

Saturday, October 18
9:00 a.m. Introductions
9:30 a.m. Intro to lichen structure
11:00 a.m. Field trip
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1-4:00 p.m. Sectioning of lichen thallus, use of compound microscope
5:00 p.m. Group potluck for lodgers and day students
(Bring food/drink to share if you’d like to participate)

Sunday, October 19
9:00 a.m. Introduction to photobionts
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Examining various photobionts
12:00 Lunch
1:00 pm. Field trip
2:00-4:00 p.m. Examining thallus colors and photobionts

Other Supplies: Bring a dissecting kit and a microscope if you prefer to use your own. Otherwise, SFI provides microscopes.

Reference books/field guides: Macrolichens of the Pacific Northwest, Second Edition, by McCune and Geiser.

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Siskiyou Butterfly Workshop

Dear Siskiyou Field Institute Participant:

You are registered to participate in Butterflies of the Siskiyou Region with Dana Ross on June 20-21. Please arrive to sign in and meet your instructor by 9:00 a.m. Saturday June 20 at Deer CreekCenter. Class will conclude by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 22.

Tentative Course itinerary*:

Day 1 – After a classroom introduction to butterfly morphology, biology and ecology, students will be introduced to Siskiyou butterflies. We will then carpool to the Siskiyou Divide and, using butterfly nets, catch and inspect the butterflies we encounter.

Day 2 – We will carpool (via Ashland ) to higher elevation Cascadian sites near the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument where we will find additional butterfly species.

Butterfly net, notebook, camera Water – bring one extra bottle

Field texts: Butterflies of Cascadia by Pyle is recommended. Any regional butterfly field guide may be helpful.


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Tri-State Corner

Tuesday March 31st 2015. Hwy 30, I-5, 205 and I-84 to The Dalles for
our traditional stop at McDonalds. Saw the Queen of the West paddling
up the Columbia and the cherry orchards blooming along Hwy 197. Hwy
216 to Sherars Bridge and then along the Deschutes River to Maupin.
Hwy 197 and 97 to Madras and then Hwy 126 to Prineville. Hwy 27 and
Millican Cutoff to Hwy 20 and a stop at Chickahominy Reservoir.
Dinner at Burns and then Hwy 205 to the Narrows and Malheur Field

4/1 Wednesday. Business day for Larry and a rest day for me.
I caught up on my reading, (The House of Sky by Ivan Doig). Drove
into Burns for dinner and diesel. Huge flocks of Ross’s Geese and a
few Sand Hill Cranes along Hwy 205.

4/2 Thursday. Hwy 205, Hwy 78 and Hwy 95 to McDermitt on the Ore-Nev
border for lunch. Heading east we crossed the Fort McDermiitt indian
Reservation followed the road along the North Fork of the Quinn River.
Four wheel drive high clearance vehicles highly recommended. Rolling
hills of low growing sagebrush and we saw a herd of pronghorn
antelope. The elevation is a little over 6,000 foot elevation and the
roads are not well marked. We found the Ore-Nev border but probably
didn’t go quite far enough to find the tri-state marker.
None-the-less, I have been to the South Eastern corner of Oregon and I
am well pleased with our effort.

A bonus to our trip was a visit to Anderson’s Crossing on the Little
Owyhee River. I expected to see a bridge but there isn’t one. The
river is dry a little later in the year and we elected to wait. The
canyon here is quite picturesque. We then headed back to Burns and
spent the night at Days Inn.

4/3 Friday. On the way home, we went down the Deschutes river from
Sherars Falls to Jones Canyon.  Had a interesting conversation with
the local sheriff and he confirmed that rocky mountain sheep are
fairly common in the canyon but they don’t have mountain goats.
Service Berry, Bitter Brush, Service Berry and Balsom Root were
blooming and I saw a Mourning Cloak Butterfly. This is a dead end
road and we returned to the falls before heading for home.

Beautiful weather for this trip but there were some showers on I-84 in
the Gorge on our way home. Great trip and we logged about a 1,000
miles driving the diagonal of Oregon between Rainier and McDermitt.

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Columbia River Cruises

Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler Portland to Cascade Locks Cruise

Board: Caruthers Landing, Portland OR – map
Boarding Time: 7:30am Sat 4/12
Cruise Time: 8:00am-6:00pm
Notes: This event departs from Caruthers Landing in Portland. Passengers will ride the Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler to Cascade Locks, where they will then board busses for the return trip to Portland

Aboard: Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler
Board: Dock at Clover Island, Kennewick WA – map
Boarding Time: 9:30am Sat 4/19
Cruise Time: 10:00am-3:30pm

Portland Spirit Portland to Astoria Cruise — book now — more info
Aboard: Portland Spirit
Board: Caruthers Landing, Portland OR – map
Boarding Time: 7:30am Thu 5/15
Cruise Time: 8:00am-5:00pm

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Hedgehog Cactus

I have been a member of the Native Plant Society of Oregon off and on for about 45 years but I have only been to a couple of meetings and I have never gone along on any of their hikes.  This year, I went to their annual meeting at the Hancock Field Station near Clarno, OR and signed up for a hike that went to the Painted Hills Monument.  Hancock is an educational facility maintained by OMSI and we brought along our sleeping bags and slept in the dorms.  


We checked in on Friday evening and breakfast was at 6:30 on Saturday.  After we finished our coffee we put together a sack lunch and then piled into a van for the drive to the Painted Hills.  The drive was about an hour and half and we were met by an off duty park ranger who was our guide.  After we received the customary warning about rattlesnakes, scorpions and ticks, we hiked along the base of the ancient ash deposits and identified the flowering plants that grew there.  My primary goal for this trip was to take pictures of the Hedgehog Cactus “Pediocactus simpsonii”.  They are about the size of a very spiny cantaloupe and have beautiful rose to magenta flowers that are one to two inches across.  We saw several and I took lots of pictures.


We returned to the van without seeing any snakes, ticks or scorpions and we returned to Hancock for dinner.  Our evening program was a slide show on the contribution of plants during the development of the world as we know it.  Our presenter was Ellen Bishop and in real life, she is an Igneous Petrologist.  After breakfast on Sunday, we packed up and headed for home.


My second goal for the trip was to take some pictures of the Sand Lily “Leucocrinum montanum” which grows east of the Cascades in Oregon.  The location that I was looking for was on Innes Market Road near Sisters but we ended up on nearby Fryrear Road and found a large patch of them.  The plant is a lily that is only 2-3 inches tall and it has dainty white flowers that are about an inch in diameter.


I was able to take photos of both of the plants that were on my list along with some others that happened to be blooming at the same area.  After that we stopped near Shirers Bridge on the Deschuttes and took pictures of a Western Tanager with its yellow breast and scarlet head and an equally colorful Lazuli Bunting with its blue head and orange and white breast.   We also stopped at Camp Sherman near the headwaters of the Metolius near Sisters and took some pictures of a pair of nesting white headed woodpeckers.


There are lots of really neat adventures for us to consider but we need to get out there while we still chase the  flowers. 




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The Trail Is Not a Trail

The Trail Is Not a Trail

by Gary Snyder

I drove down the Freeway
And turned off at an exit
And went along a highway
Til it came to a sideroad
Drove up the sideroad
Til it turned to a dirt road
Full of bumps, and stopped.
Walked up a trail
But the trail got rough
And it faded away—
Out in the open,
Everywhere to go.

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Saddle Mountain 2007

This was my first visit to Saddle Mountain in 2007 and I wanted to hike to the top to see if the lewisias were blooming.  The trail starts out pretty steep and I usually don’t get tired until I get to the water tank which is probably about a 100 yards from the parking lot.  The hike is a lot easier when you carry a camera because there are lots of opportunities to take pictures of the flowers while you are catching your breath.


There are two approaches to taking pictures.  One is to take the picture of a life time of your favorite flower and the other is to chronicle what is blooming.  My primary interest was to make a list but of course, I might get lucky.  I saw only one trillium and one pink erythronium still blooming.  The larkspurs, shooting stars, prickly currant and salmon berries are looking a little ragged.  Fairy bells, columbine, ginger, iris, bells, bleeding heart, thimble berries, phlox and fritillarias are blooming.  Our false Solomon seals, vanilla leaf, meadow rue and inside-out-flowered are beginning to show.  The goat’s beard, tiger lilies, onions, copper bush and lewisias have budded out will be showing their flowers in the near future.     


I turned around at the first peak (the two mile mark).  The second peak is another mile and the trail is quite steep.  It seemed prudent to save that part of the hike for a much cooler day.  I wore my pedometer and it indicated that I had walked 6.94 miles instead of 4 miles.  I realized that my stride going up hill is less than the calibration setting for level ground, but I was inclined to agree with the pedometer.


Wear a hat, bring along plenty of water and a snack.  Enjoy the flowers and the view and know that you are very fortunate to be there.                        

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