It’s About Time – March 2015

The gray whale cows and their calves are migrating north in good numbers this month. I finally visited the most fabulous place to watch whales: the shelter at the top of the Saint Perpetua Trail. The hike is very steep but a road allows one to drive up. Go early in the day, as the parking lot at the top is small. There are often volunteers with spotting scopes at the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center. They have information on how many whales are passing that day.

Mosses on the tree trunks and branches are moving into high gear. The season for fertilizing is approaching; spore capsules must be initiated before the rainy season comes to a close. The tender tissue at shoot tips attract bugs that chew on the tips. The bugs attract crows that rip off moss mats foraging for dinner, producing a rain of moss clumps on the ground below.

With the longer days and unseasonably warm temperatures this year, flowering season is well under way. By Equinox there should be at least two dozen different kinds of flowers in bloom out at the Mount Pisgah Arboretum. The western buttercup is the gay yellow of the open hillsides while the soft yellows in the woods are from the fawn lilies. Delicate pinks come from the calypso orchids, which line Buford’s trail. This is my favorite time of the year for weekly walks up Mount Pisgah itself, as the flushing of leaves and rush of blooming moves so rapidly.

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