The Dogwoods have finally opened this part week, joining the Redbuds and the Crabapples, as the understory of the forest puts on its annual show. The showers of April have given way to the warm bright days of May....and wildflowers and warblers.
And the first native orchids are in bloom. First up is the Showy Orchis (Orchis spectabilis), which is quite abundant at Wahkeena. I have found many while pulling the evil garlic mustard.
And while the majority will not be in bloom for another week or so, one of the large Pink Lady's Slippers (Cypripedium acaule) is in bloom in a sunny location not far from the nature center.
There seems to be a great abundance of Jack-in-the-pulpit ( Arisaema atrorubens) this year. And its distribution is all across the preserve. (Also found while pulling garlic mustard.)
Back along the Casa Burro Trail, the Violet Wood Sorrel (Oxalis violacea) has burst open adding a splash of color to the greening forest floor.
And phloxes have joined the show as well. The Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata) is everywhere, especially in the open edge habitats.
In more shady environs, the pink Creeping Phlox (Phlox stolonifera) blossoms are stretching up above their creeping green foliage. (Note: the stuff sold in garden centers as creeping phlox is more likely to be a variety of Moss Phlox (Phlox subulata) which produces a dense low blanket of flowers.)
The new warblers are arriving by the hour. And once again the woodland is filled with the flute-like sound of the Wood Thrush. Joining in the band are Ovenbirds, Hooded, Kentucky, Black and white, Black-throated green, Worm-eating warblers and many more. Including the Scarlet Tanager, Louisiana Waterthrush, Eastern Towhee and Brown Thrasher just to name just a few.
So now would be a great time to visit Wahkeena Nature Preserve and witness this explosive period of warblers and wildflowers