The Klamath National Forest is home to many rare and endemic species. As such they have several botanical areas which have been protected (link) including the Kangaroo Lake Botanical Area. “A 430 acre site located on the southeast edge of the Salmon/Scott River Ranger District (T40N, R7W, SEC 14). The area varies in elevation from 6000′ to 6857′. It provides a diversity of plant habitats ranging from wet seeps and meadows to rock walls. The high level of habitat diversity is associated with a correspondingly high botanical species diversity. Sensitive plant species present include Phacelia dalesiana and Epilobium siskiyouense.” Source: Klamath NF
I have fond memories of Kangaroo Lake from my childhood when we camped nearby, and my dad spent hours fly fishing.
On this day though we were out to explore the Fen Nature Trail, a word that only came to my attention over the past few years.
We found plenty of fens with Darlingtonia californica aka Cobra Lilies or California Pitcher Plants.
We were hoping to find the rare Scott Mountain Phacelia, which I’d been lucky enough to stumble across unexpectedly a few weeks earlier at a different location (link).
Are you hiding down here?
How about here?
Calochortus elegans aka Elegant star tulip and Northwestern mariposa lily
Calochortus nudus aka Naked Mariposa Lily
Owl’s Clover with bug for extra credit.
Allium (onion) but not the rare one.
Sedum (aka Dr. Seuss trees)
Buckwheat, but not the rare species.
Intense butterfly or moth mating.
We enjoyed several views of Kangaroo Lake and distant views of three other listed botanical areas including China Peak, South China Peak and Cory Peak. Someday I’ll make it a priority to spend a day botanizing in those areas as well.
We hiked the trail to where it connected with the PCT. Our trip was less than 3.5 miles and about 750′ of elevation gain/loss.
Bonus: roadside botany on our drive to the trailhead
When I spied a group of rare California Lady’s Slippers (Cypripedium californicum), I was giddy. They were freshly washed after a little overnight rain.
Apocynum andrsameifolium aka Dogbane
Shasta Leopard Lily
Rhododendron occidentale aka Wester azalea
Showy Milkweed (creative edit)
My botany fieldtrips have been such a fun rehab diversion. It’s highly unlikely in “normal” times I would have taken a day to drive 3-4 hours to spend 5 hours hiking 3.5 miles, followed by another 3 hours of driving. It was a wonderfully long 12-hour day filled with friendship, education, photography and visual delights.