Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Return to Goose Rock

Goose Rock is located at Deception Pass Park and does require a Discovery Pass or a day fee of $10.  The loop trail is classified as an easy hike of about 3 miles with some very steep places (up and down) alternating with more level walking.  The elevation gain is about 500 feet.  Once at the top of Goose Rock there is a panorama view of Puget Sound.  It is easy to pick out the airbase at Oak Harbor; the small bay with houses and docks, there is also a fresh water lake nearby. 

Views from the top of Goose Rock

 The Navy Air Base is at the upper left

 Fresh water lake

Salt water bay

We had been there before but this time we were especially hoping to find White Fawn Lilies and to check out the other familiar wildflowers that we have become accustomed to seeing along the trails in early Spring.  There were plenty of Star Flowers, both the Siberian Miner’s Lettuce and regular Miner’s Lettuce, lots of the blue Camas, yellow sedum, foamflower, bedstraw, paintbrush, spotted coral root and a few very special plants.  Although we did not find Fawn Lilies this time, we did see two of another lily called a Chocolate or Checkered Lily and while not rare is not often seen.  The coloring on this lily blends in to the surroundings making it easy to miss. 

 Star Flower

 Spotted Coral Root

 Flowering Chickweed


Wild Strawberry

 Above & below Death Camas

Above and below, Blue Camas

 Indian Paintbrush

Above and below, Chocolate or Checkered Lily

 Above and below, Naked Broomrape

In all we were able to identify 26 different flowers and there were a few more we could not.  Besides the Chocolate Lily another elusive flower is the Naked Broomrape.  There were also many Death Camases in bloom.  They look a little like a smaller version of Bear Grass but are not related.  The Native Americans harvested the Blue Camas bulbs for food but the white flowering Camas was left alone because people who ate those bulbs became very ill, hence the name.  The meadows were somehow marked so that only the Blue Camas bulbs were dug up. 

We capped off the day by driving down to the beach to have lunch.  My uncle lives on Whidbey Island so before taking the ferry back to the mainland we stopped by and had a short visit with him too.  The day started with clouds and threats of rain but ended warm and sunny.   And, Yes, we did see and hear several geese flying overhead and swimming in the bay and the lake.

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