Western Skink - Plestiodon skiltonianus

Discussion in 'Celebrate Biodiversity' started by Daniel Mosquin, May 1, 2013.

  1. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Apart from colorful reptiles what are the charms of this walk?
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    It's a short walk, not too far off the highway. I'd rate it lower than other botanical activities in the area, though it does have Trillium albidum up close in several spots, as well as a couple dozen Calypso bulbosa trailside. A sunny, steeply sloped hillside along part of the trail lets you get up close to some plants that you would normally have to get down to the ground to look at closely (all non-wooody plants). Some decently-sized Douglas-fir, too.

    It's featured in Oregon's Best Wildflower Hikes: Southwest.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    View of book wouldn't open for me but am interested to learn about the series(?). Also interested to hear about the Trillium. Vendor here have actually been carrying it in recent years.
     
  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Ah, sorry. Google Books links never seem to last.

    Yes, there is a series of books put out in the early-mid 2000s on the topic of Best Wildflower Hikes by Westcliffe Publishers (now bought out by Big Earth Publishing)

    There is 1 for Washington (the least useful of the lot as no scientific names, prefer the similar book by a different publisher -- the one with Kruckeberg's comments sprinkled throughout), 2 for Oregon (Northwest and Southwest, both excellent), 3 for Colorado (haven't had a chance to use these, but they look to be of the same level as the Oregon ones), 2 for Arizona (ditto) +1 for autumn colours in Arizona, and 1 for the mountains of North Carolina. There are also a couple similarly-formatted books for some of the Wilderness Areas (one at least for Oregon and Utah). I've purchased almost all of these used, I think the only one I might be lacking is the Utah Wilderness area.

    Very handy, trails are mapped and rated by difficulty level, plus peak season of when to go. Sometimes, though not often enough, the trail descriptions will include what you will see during different weeks of walking the same trail -- most often, though, they include what the authors saw during a particular hike. That said, they will often give descriptions of what is seen as one progresses along the trail as well as point out particular highlights. Hikes range from (0.25mile) 1 mile to ~12 miles in length.

    Some of the books use scientific names in the trail descriptions, but more often they use bolded common names, which are indexed against the scientific names in the back of the book (except for the Washington book). I've often thought of doing the indexing myself -- scientific name to trail and vice versa -- but I've other tidying projects to do first.

    All in all, a good to great series. I'd definitely recommend any of them to someone traveling to an area for period of time where they can do some of the hikes, and the whole series if you are a "botanical tourist".
     
  6. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    Seems like a great photo to me, particularly after seeing the lengths these critters will go to to get away from photographers. Thanks for the link to that video.
     

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