A lovely sunny day for a Friends Of Uplands Park Nature Walk on June 1, 2014. The theme was “Vernal Pools Not Mud Puddles” and we were fortunate to be led by James Miskelly, a biologist specializing in species at risk management, restoration, and native plant gardening. Also, James is co-founder of Saanich Native Plants, a certified organic nursery specializing in locally–sourced plants native to southern Vancouver Island.
James offered a wealth of knowledge about the rare plants found in the vernal pools in Uplands Park, as well introducing us to a number of native and non-native trees and grasses.
In the vernal pool ecosystems and wetland areas we learned about Straight-beaked Buttercup, Scoulers Popcorn Flower, Sneezeweed, Tall Wooley-Heads, Lupins, Scoulers Willow, and some native rushes.
There were even a few late blooming Camas and the meadows had quite a few Death Camas and yellow RattleBox in bloom. The Nootka Roses and Hardhack were beautifully in bloom and the Indian Plum berries were in various stages of ripening from peach to dark blue.
It was shocking to see how tall the invasive European Ash trees have grown with their branches towering bright green above the prickly rose thickets where they seem to like to grow.