The Glide Wildflower Show was this weekend–Saturday and Sunday. Bruce and I dropped in for an hour or so, just to see how it all came together for the public. We spent many, many hours behind the scenes as volunteers, helping to put it together. We had a lot of fun, learned a bit about flowers and botany, and met some really wonderful people.
Last Sunday, Theresa, Patty and Sam came to our farm to collect some wildflowers. Theresa is on the council which plans and organizes the show. Patty is a first year volunteer, and Sam is a botanist who very generously volunteered many hours of his time toward identifying the plants.
So, Bruce, Sara and I set out with the others and started at the upper pond. We found quite a few specimens including the rare Golden Eggs, (Camissonia ovata).
I was told that they are found in only three places in Oregon.
We also found some Meadow Foam or Poached egg plant (Limnathes douglasii ssp. douglasii). This plant has just started blooming on our farm, but it’s all over the neighbor’s pasture and it looks very pretty with all the yellow buttercups that are also out there.
This is White water buttercup (ranunculus aquatilis), found in the upper pond
Theresa knew the general areas where all the flowers were going to be found, and she and Sam identified them, and Patty put them in baggies with a floralife solution. They were then placed in coolers to keep them from sagging in the sun. I haven’t figured it out yet, but some plants were collected by digging up the entire plant and others just by taking some clippings.
We found this interesting plant nearer to the house:
It’s called Changing forget-me-not (Myosotis discolor). It has a coiled array of tiny flowers at the top of the stem. The flowers change color from yellowish-white to deep blue.
After lunch, we ventured out to the untamed forest between the house and the road. We had to watch out for poison oak and also ticks. We found a few ticks, but they weren’t a big problem. We also found some nice flowers:
Prairie Star (lithophragma parviflorum).
Cat’s ear or Oregon mariposa lily (Calochortus tolmiei)
and the iris. It grows all over the front area of the farm in various shades of purple.
We also found some interesting critters–
I thought this was a flower, until it started moving. It’s a Goldenrod Crab spider (Misumena vatia)
“This species of spider uses camouflage as its primary defense as well as offense. It will bite to protect itself as well. Goldenrod Crab Spiders are able to change their coloration over the course of several days in order to blend in better with their surroundings.
They are an ambush spider, jumping on their prey. They do this instead of spinning webs and waiting for something to get tangled. They sit in the center of a flower, preferably a Goldenrod flower which are yellow, and wait for a bee or butterfly on its way to collect pollen to wander in close enough to grab. It uses its very long front pairs of legs to grasp the insect prey then bites it to immobilize it. They are able to grab insects much bigger than themselves with these strong legs.”
Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla). We must have a lot of them, because they are very noisy at night. They grow to only 2 inches in size and are “identified by a black or brown stripe that runs from the nose, across the eye and back to the shoulder”. Wikipedia
These are just a few of the plants we found in the three hours or so that we were out hunting them and it’s just a tiny fraction of all the plants that were in the Wildflower show.
I volunteered for the show from Wednesday through Friday. Bruce missed Thursday, due to his work with the Master Gardeners. On Wednesday most of the flowers came in from various sites and were roughly identified, mostly by their family name. There were tables set up in rows with all the numbered family names. Our job as runners was to put the plants in the correct areas according to their family name. We made sure they were all watered and doing well. The next day we sorted out each family and took the plants to either the botanists to identify, or if the botanist had already identified them we took them to the “vasers”, who arranged them nicely in vases. There were hundreds of vases to choose from and I’m sure it got to be a tedious job towards the end. On Friday, we finished up from Thursday and arranged the vases to show off the flowers in the best way possible. At the end of the day we gave each plant a nice laminated card. All the plants and cards were later checked by Jeanne, who put us all to shame with her tireless work, considering she is, I believe, in her eighties. She is the only remaining member of the earliest council members and still going strong!
I only had a small part in making the show happen, but it was exciting to be a part of it. I was amazed at all the work that was done behind the scenes in so many various areas–there were even volunteers who made lunch for the volunteers!
Next year is the 50th anniversary of the Glide Wildflower Show and if you’d like to attend or read about it and its history, here is the website: http://www.glidewildflowershow.org/