Sunday, June 26, 2016

Cooper Mountain

Many of the wildflower hotspots in the area are a fair distance from Portland, but Cooper Mountain Nature Park is right in nearby Beaverton. We went recently to see what was blooming. White rock larkspur, which is an endangered plant, blooms there in white waves.  The variety in a relatively small area is remarkable. The park is managed by Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation, but luckily it is actually owned by Metro.  This means that the frequent nature education programs that take place there are accessible to all, with no out of district fees for those who live outside of the sometimes cryptic park district boundaries.  We try to always pick a cool day for visits, because the park can get really hot on summer days. 

Yellow parentucellia.
Self-heal.
Oregon grape.
Snowberry.
Douglas's spiraea.
Yarrow.
Vetch.
Oceanspray.
Self-heal with bumblebee visitor.
Grass pink with tiny lacewing visitor.
Bachelor buttons.
Cinquefoil.
Moth mullein.
Bachelor buttons.
Galls on black cottonwood leaf. An insect injects hormones into a plant, causing it to form a gall, where the insect then lays
her eggs. Most of the time the galls we find were made by wasps, but these were made by aphids.
White rock larkspur.
Rabbit's foot clover.
Forktooth ookow.
Red columbine.
When butterflies emerge from their chrysalises, their wings are compact. They must pump fluids into their wings before they can fly, a process that can take a few hours.  We guessed that's what was happening with this tiger swallowtail.
Tiger lily.
Jasper found this piece of torn wasp nest.

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