Skip to main content

The Backyard Science group regularly features the Daily Bucket.  We hope you will add your own observations of the world around you.  Bees buzzing?  Sun shining? Aphids on the roses?  Please tell us about it. Insects, weather, meteorites, climate, birds,  and more are all worthy additions to the Bucket.  Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment.  Include, as close as is comfortable for you, your location. Your impressions support our understanding of the mysterious cycles of life that are quietly evolving around us.

                                                    Mt. Shucksan in the mist

A few days ago I took another trip to the Mt. Baker National Forest but this time there was less snow and the trails were partially cleared. We were able to access the Table Mountain trail from the parking lot at Artist Point. Several plants and shrubs were out that just a few weeks ago were deep under snow. Also different from my previous diary on the mountain, was that it was cloudy or misty, or whatever one wants to call visible water vapors at 5,000 to 10,000 feet.

On the way up to Artist Point there is the obligatory stop at Picture Lake that on clear days is the foreground for classic photos of Mt. Shucksan, said to be the most photographed mountain in the country. The mist rolled in and out so if one waited, you could see the lake and wild flowers.  Along with lots of huckleberries just becoming ripe, the Red fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) was out in all its splendor around the lake.

                                                 Fireweed along Picture Lake

I think I also might have found the bridge to nowhere from Alaska with Huckleberries along the side.

On up the road a couple of miles past the ski area to Artist Point parking lot, we found several Table Mountain trailheads that were all under snow just three weeks earlier. The grandkids of course took off up the steepest one.

                                                         Table Mountain

 Along the trail there was lots of newly exposed flora such as these heathers. Both Red (Phyllodoce empetriformis) mixed in with an ample array of huckleberries,

                                           Red Heather with Cascade Huckleberry

and White Heather (Cassiope meretensiana),

                                                          White Heather

The fern below caused some debate. After considering that it might be some miniature version of Alpine Lady Fern, I finally decided that it is more likely Fragile Fern (Cystopteris fragilis). The photo in my field book even has the picture of it sitting under the same type of rock shown here. If people more expert than I have another idea, please comment and help with identification.

                                                          Fragile Fern

The saxifrage (Saxifraga tolmiei) were also plentiful along the trail, interspersed amid the rocks.

                                                        Saxifraga Tolmiei

Clumps of Mertens Rush (Juncus mertensianus) sprang from the rocky slopes.

                                                            Mertens Rush

And something that I have yet to identify although it is fairly wide spread amid the rocks. I am thinking that it is some type of moss but cannot get any more specific as to species. Help anyone?

                                                        A moss of some type?

I remain fascinated by the rock formation and variations on these mountains. I particularly like the formations that were prominent on this hike. I believe these are examples of platy jointing, probably a result of some volcanic andesite extrusions into ice fields. The rapid cooling assumedly causes the platy features.  

                                                          Platy jointing

 And finally on our way down the mountain we spotted a couple of delightful Ravens (Corvus Corax) who were kind enough to pose for a few photos at the entrance to the White Salmon Day Lodge.

And now it is your turn to show what you are seeing in your backyard and around.

                                "Green Diary Rescue" is Back!
After a hiatus of over 1 1/2 years, Meteor Blades has revived his excellent series.  As MB explained, this weekly diary is a "round-up with excerpts and links... of the hard work so many Kossacks put into bringing matters of environmental concern to the community... I'll be starting out with some commentary of my own on an issue related to the environment, a word I take in its broadest meaning."

"Green Diary Rescue" will be posted every Saturday at 1:00 pm Pacific Time on the Daily Kos front page.  Be sure to recommend and comment in the diary.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site