On Friday June 7th, ten NV members and two guests spent a delightful 8 hours botanising during an 11 km hike around the Brohm Lake Interpretive Forest. Our route included a mix of steep climbs (Powerline Ridge, Tantalus Viewpoint, and Cheakamus Loop trails) and gentler strolls through beautiful mixed conifer-deciduous forest around the lake.
The weather was better than expected, a pleasant temperature with lots of sunshine and some clouds, but no rain except on the drive up. We enjoyed great views of the Tantalus range, Stawamus Chief, and the Cheakamus river valley. There was lots in bloom, and though it was still too early for the showy pink Pipsissewa, its smaller and less common relative Little Prince’s Pine provided a lovely compensation. Wintergreens, Coralroots and other mycoheterotrophs are usually plentiful on this hike, but were in scarce supply this year. We saw only one plant each of Green, One-Sided, and White-Veined Wintergreen, a few Western and a single Spotted Coralroot, one Pinesap and no Indian Pipe. Columbia (Tiger) Lily, Honeysuckle, Dogwood, Twinflower, Goat’s-beard, Colombine and many flowering shrubs were in bloom. In several drier rocky areas we found the delicate pink and yellow bloom of the Rock Harlequin, and Spreading Dogbane with its little pink bells — plants unfamiliar to many in our group.
In some areas many Salal bushes had lots of coppery dead leaves and almost no flowers, but happily all plants were showing vigorous new growth. Other species did not seem affected by this peculiar die-back, and it looks like a good crop of Dull Oregon Grape berries may compensate for the loss of Salal berries.
Clouds made a nice varied display, leaving us dry with great views of the Tantalus range and Cheakamus valley. It was early for some blooms and we only saw a couple of pinesap and coral root (in previous years we saw many pinesap, indian pipe and other mycoheterotrophs).
We noted 80 plant species and 8 birds, below in no particular order.
In Bloom: Honeysuckle; Salal (many dead branches, re-greening); Salmonberry; Spirea; Thimbleberry; Elder; Ocean spray; Strawberry; Tiger Lily; Dogwood; Twinflower; Twayblade; Pacific Coralroot; Pinesap; Rose; Goatsbeard; Colombine; Bunchberry; Bleeding Heart [bloom & seed]; Buttercup; Green Flowered Wintergreen; Little Prince’s Pine; Foamflower; Blue-Eyed Mary; Enchanter’s Nightshade; Speedwell / Veronica; Rock Harlequin; Spreading Dogbane; Ninebark; Labrador Tea
Ferns, Mosses , Lichens: Parsley Fern; Bracken; Spiny Woodfern; Sword Fern; Deer Fern; Lady Fern; Oak Fern; Pelt Lichens; Step Moss; “soldier” lichen (cladonia)
Trees & Shrubs: Willow (many species); Red Osier Dogwood; Redcedar; Douglas Maple; Vine Maple; Bigleaf Maple; Alder; Saskatoon [unripe berries]; Mountain Ash; Yew; Cottonwood; White Birch [some red bark]; Douglas Fir; Pine; Cascara; Bitter Cherry; Devil’s Club; Dull Oregon Grape [green fruit]; Gooseberry; Currant (Berry);
Misc: Kinnikinick; Saxifrage; Heuchera; Trailing Blackberry; Horsetail; Skunk Cabbage; Japanese Knotweed [invasive, herbicided]; Plumose Solomon Seal; Oyster Mushroom; Star Flowered Solomon Seal; Rattlesnake Plantain; Tall Meadow Buttercup; Pleurotus; Siberian Miner’s Lettuce; Large Leaf Avens; Bedstraw; Elf Saddle ; White Veined Wintergreen; Huckleberry; Sundew
Birds: Robin; Turkey Vulture; Kingfisher (heard); Stellers Jay (heard); Song Sparrow (heard); Pacific Wren (heard); Black Throated Grey Warbler; Violet Green Swallow; Swift