Wildflowers, Host Plants, and Butterflies with WNPS to Oak Patch Lake on Tahuya Peninsula, Kitsap County
Many thanks to Stewart Wechsler for telling us about this Washington Native Plant Society field trip at the Seattle WBA meeting on March 7. Stewart tells us that this is an area with great butterflies, including a few on the state threatened list, and rarer plants, many in bloom, and, of course, many of them host and nectar plants of the butterflies! The DNR has asked us not to do any netting here, as it is a preserve for threatened butterflies, including the Shelton Pine Elfin, a threatened race of the Western Pine Elfin, (that should be flying), and the Puget Fritillary (our local, and threatened, race of the Great Spangled Fritillary), that won’t be flying yet. There are still about 5 places left (we are limiting it to 12). See attached Kitsap County Butterfly list. People have to sign up with Rio Montana at email@example.com or call 206-430-5562 for a place.
“Savannah Plants’ Bloom Time and Their Butterfly Partners’ Flight Time”
Oak Patch Natural Area Preserve
Date: Saturday, April 21
Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm from Seattle, 10:30am – 3:30pm on site
Trip Leader: Stewart Wechsler
With some of Western Washington’s driest growing conditions and at the edge of a lake, Oak Patch Lake’s natural area preserve has some of western Washington’s rarest plants and some of the best butterfly habitat in this bioregion. While Cascades butterflies’ preference for sun often confines them to sunlit openings and edges of our forests, the glacial outwash Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana) savannah has both sunnier habitat and a diversity of the “host plants” on which butterflies lay their eggs. Oak Patch Lake is also home to other species that have become locally rare, such as the western toad (Anaxyrus boreas a.k.a. Bufo boreas), as well as the savannah’s striking wildflowers.
WNPS plant identification workshop leader Stewart Wechsler started his plant studies by studying the plants on which butterflies rely. He has also studied the full range of plants, animals and fungi, and will share his knowledge about the inter-relationships between plants and the rest of the community of organisims.
Trail description: Flat. Please note there is no water and no bathroom facilities. What to bring: Water, hand lens and binoculars Contact info and directions : Rio Montana, firstname.lastname@example.org 206-403-5562 Trip limit: 12