Katie’s Sightings

By Katie O’Hara Kelly

Carmen Valley

Carman Valley 5/6/22

One of my absolute favorite places to go in mid to late Spring is Carman Valley. It is a lovely valley west of Sierra Valley, with a mile or more of wet meadows along Carman Stream. The valley doesn’t have the bird population that Sierra Valley has, but it hasn’t been grazed by cows in its recent past, and the wildflowers are plentiful. This year the wildflowers were more abundant than I’ve ever seen before, and the meadows were still full of water! I’ve been over there twice already, and hope to go again soon before the meadows dry up!

View of Beckwourth Peak from Carman Valley 5/6/22

I’ve been a bit overbooked lately, putting on a community art show, so this blog is filled with photos, not words! Next week I’ll have more natural history information to share! When I came home from Carman Valley, my camera was filled with beauty! Hope you enjoy the photos!

Common Camas Lily – Camassia quamash

The wet meadows were overflowing with thousands of beautiful, knee-high, brilliant purple-blue, Common Camas Lilies! In the Nez Perce language, “camas” means “sweet.” The bulbs of these plants were the most important bulb utilized by the Native Americans. Areas where these bulbs were abundant were sometimes fought over!

Common Camas Lily – California Hesperochiron – Beckwith’s Violet
Meadow Baby Blue Eyes – Fan Weed/Penny Watercress
Camassia quamashHesperochiron californicus
Viola beckwithiiNemophila pedunculataThlaspi arvense

In the drier areas different flowers were blooming, along with a few Camas. Everywhere we went we found new kinds of wildflowers! So exciting!

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