2017 May 28--Serpentine Site in Upper Quines Creek

Two years ago, 2015, I saw this rather rocky, barren spot on Google Earth and decided to go take a look. In late March and late May of that year, I visited the site with Jimmy Billstine, looking for birds of interest. On the May trip we were successful in locating Poorwills, one of our target species. No other specialty birds were found, but it was clearly an interesting site and worth additional visits. On the first trip we accessed the site via the Quines Creek drainage, and the second trip via the Starvout Creek Drainage. The last leg of either route is not recommended for low-clearance vehicles, though you can get closer with a passenger vehicle by going up Starvout Creek. The east side of this serpentine site is on BLM land, while the west side is private industrial forest land.

On May 28 this year I went alone to look for Sagebrush Lizards! I am uncertain at this time if there are historical records for the species in Douglas County or the Umpqua Basin, as some published range maps show different boundaries (some crossing Douglas County, some not), but based on their habitat preferences and range, I figured that if Sagebrush Lizards did occur in southern Douglas County, this site would have a high likelihood of having them. I also figured I would enjoy some interesting flowers at this unusually large, open serpentine site.

The site has abundant exposed serpentine rock and very little soil. Dominant trees include Jeffrey Pine and Incense Cedar. Buckbrush, Canyon Live Oak, and Dwarf Silktassel are present, and numerous rocky site plants; otherwise, in this 6-hour visit I did not find any rare plants (that I know of). I was surprised to find a half-dozen Monadenia species snails (probably M. fidelis). Click on the landscape photos below to get a 360 degree look at the site.

SAM_100_0018

As for the lizards, they were nowhere to be found in the early morning, but by about 10:00 and 75-80 F degrees, small Sceloporus sp. were scurrying this way and that to hide in the brush as I approached. These remained unidentified. However, all of the small and large lizards I adequately observed and/or photographed were Western Fence Lizards (see the many photos). While I can't say there aren't any Sagebrush Lizards here, the abundance of Western Fence Lizards lowers my expectations and hopes of finding a Sagebrush Lizard here. But if they are not here, I wonder if they are anywhere in southern Douglas County? After all, I thought I picked the best looking spot! Well, who knows? I'll have to try a couple other locations, and I've got a couple in mind....

SAM_100_0022

Here is a bird list for the visit (some birds in the list were heard from the open serpentine area, but were in the nearby forest), and see below for documentation of some of the life I observed (click for more info and additional photos).

Posted by umpquamatt umpquamatt, June 02, 2017 02:19

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Field Chickweed (Cerastium arvense)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 06:56 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Buttercups (Genus Ranunculus)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 06:55 AM PDT

Description

Serpentine site at 4200 ft elevation.

Photos / Sounds

What

Buckbrush (Ceanothus cuneatus)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 06:57 AM PDT

Description

Mostly less than 50 cm tall here.

Photos / Sounds

What

Hooker's Catchfly (Silene hookeri)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 06:58 AM PDT

Description

I was wondering if this might be something more exotic on this serpentine soil, but it looks like hookeri.

Photos / Sounds

What

Paintbrushes (Genus Castilleja)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 06:59 AM PDT

Description

On serpentine site at 4200 ft.

Photos / Sounds

What

Siskiyou Onion (Allium siskiyouense)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 06:59 AM PDT

Description

This set not quite open. See others from same day and area.

Photos / Sounds

What

Deer Mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 07:00 AM PDT

Description

Only other in this genus is P. truei, which has longer tail and ears. These look pretty standard size. Mouse was under rock w/a small amount (1/4 cup) of grassy insulation.

Photos / Sounds

What

Serpentine Fern (Aspidotis densa)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 07:01 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. Fairly widespread, scattered, at the site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Narrowleaf Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia linearis)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 07:04 AM PDT

Description

Fairly common over much of the site, but not dense as in nearby more grassy meadow adjacent to forest.

Photos / Sounds

What

Canyon Live Oak (Quercus chrysolepis)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 07:08 AM PDT

Description

Shrub growth form on 4200 ft serpentine site. Scattered here and there.

Photos / Sounds

What

Fescues (Genus Festuca)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 07:10 AM PDT

Description

Common.

Photos / Sounds

What

Paintbrushes (Genus Castilleja)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 07:11 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Hooker's Catchfly (Silene hookeri)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 07:14 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Oregon Sunshine (Eriophyllum lanatum var. integrifolium)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 07:20 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Sideband (Monadenia fidelis)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 07:21 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. Under rock (see other observations, all under wood at this site). I hesitated just putting this in M. fidelis because I wondered about M. chaceana, and it didn't seem to fit any M. fidelis ssp perfectly (in Burke's book). Input appreciated.

Photos / Sounds

What

Tolmie's Pussy Ears (Calochortus tolmiei)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 07:32 AM PDT

Description

I thought I might find a different Calochortus on this 4200 ft elevation serpentine site, but this just looks like tolmiei.

Photos / Sounds

What

Sulfur Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 07:42 AM PDT

Description

I'm less than certain about this. Input desired.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Wallflower (Erysimum capitatum)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 07:35 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Tolmie's Pussy Ears (Calochortus tolmiei)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 07:38 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. I wondered if something more unusual might show up here, but these look like tolmiei.

Photos / Sounds

What

Oregon Sunshine (Eriophyllum lanatum var. integrifolium)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 07:50 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Siskiyou Onion (Allium siskiyouense)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 07:52 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Foothill Desert-Parsley (Lomatium utriculatum)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 08:12 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Foothill Desert-Parsley (Lomatium utriculatum)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 08:14 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Slender Phlox (Microsteris gracilis)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 08:15 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Barestem Biscuitroot (Lomatium nudicaule)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 08:21 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Sideband (Monadenia fidelis)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 08:45 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Stonecrops (Genus Sedum)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 09:04 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. No flowers yet. Perhaps S. oregonense or S. obtusatum?

Photos / Sounds

What

Jeffrey Pine (Pinus jeffreyi)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 09:23 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Canary Violet (Viola praemorsa)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 09:25 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Wolf Lichen (Letharia vulpina)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 09:26 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

California Incense-Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 09:27 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific Sideband (Monadenia fidelis)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 09:33 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. Closeups of one individual. There were three more under log.

Photos / Sounds

What

Stonecrops (Genus Sedum)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 09:47 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Saskatoon (Amelanchier alnifolia)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 09:47 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Broad-leaved Stonecrop (Sedum spathulifolium)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 09:48 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Columbia Manzanita (Arctostaphylos columbiana)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 09:48 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Yellowleaf Iris (Iris chrysophylla)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 09:50 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. Only one I saw here. Quite common in Starvout Creek drainage.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 09:50 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. Leaves on this individual more toothed and pointy than my previous example, but I don't find another option.

Photos / Sounds

What

Dwarf Silktassel (Garrya buxifolia)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 09:51 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. Seems too densely hairy under leaves for the more common G. fremontii.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spiny Lizards (Genus Sceloporus)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 10:00 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. Habitat shot where small lizard was, on top of largest rock. Camera focusing malfunctioned, so only got a couple decent photos. Time on Canon camera about an hour earlier than cell phone.

Photos / Sounds

What

Oregon Grape (Berberis aquifolium)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 10:06 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. I considered if this might be something different because it was small and on serpentine, but seems like just B. a.?

Photos / Sounds

What

Sitka Valerian (Valeriana sitchensis)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 10:07 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Giant White Fawn Lily (Erythronium oregonum)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 10:12 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. As with many things today, I had hoped/wondered if I might find something different on this site, but this keys out to E. oregonum. Beatiful nonetheless.

Photos / Sounds

What

Carpenter Ants (Genus Camponotus)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 10:13 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 10:23 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. In/under rotted log.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 10:53 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 11:03 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. 62/142 mm.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 11:07 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. 35/80 mm.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 11:12 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 11:37 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. Photographed with Canon camera, then captured. 58/140 mm. Note that my Canon camera was set an hour earlier than my cell phone.

Photos / Sounds

What

Sulfur Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 11:43 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Sunflowers, Daisies, Asters, and Allies (Family Asteraceae)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 11:43 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Little Willowherb (Epilobium minutum)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 11:45 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Speckle-winged Rangeland Grasshopper (Arphia conspersa)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 11:53 AM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Foothill Desert-Parsley (Lomatium utriculatum)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 12:00 PM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Rockcresses (Genus Boechera)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 12:02 PM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Jeffrey Pine (Pinus jeffreyi)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 12:16 PM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Woodland-Star (Genus Lithophragma)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 12:21 PM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 12:23 PM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Scorpionweeds (Genus Phacelia)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 12:26 PM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 12:29 PM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. Under bark piece.

Photos / Sounds

What

Roezl's Penstemon (Penstemon roezlii)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 12:30 PM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Showy Phlox (Phlox speciosa)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 12:36 PM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site. Phlox in more grassy area between rocky area and forest.

Photos / Sounds

What

Giant Blue-eyed Mary (Collinsia grandiflora)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 12:46 PM PDT

Description

4200 ft serpentine site.

Photos / Sounds

What

Yellow-Fronted Bumble Bee (Bombus flavifrons)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 12:45 PM PDT

Description

Nectaring on Collinsia linearis. What are those three little yellow things on its back? Mites?

Photos / Sounds

What

Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 12:41 PM PDT

Description

One photo of cone next to P. jeffreyi. I suspect this tree was planted after timber harvest.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 09:09 AM PDT

Description

Small fence lizard on log inside Ceanothus cuneatus. Updated time from photo; set ahead one hour because my Canon was recording time an our earlier than my cell phone.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 10:33 AM PDT

Description

Wish I could have caught this one for closer examination. It appears to have lots of blue and some black on its belly (like a male S.o.), but only a small amount of blue on the throat (like a female S.o.), and only on the sides, like an Eastern Fence Lizard. This is definitely a paler variety than a couple of the obvious males that were very dark and blue underneath. I adjusted the time on here (put ahead one hour) because my Canon had time set back 1 hr from my cell phone.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Spiny Lizards (Genus Sceloporus)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 10:10 AM MST

Description

Small Sceloporus ran into bushes. No photo.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Spiny Lizards (Genus Sceloporus)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 10:15 AM MST

Description

Small Sceloporus ran into bushes. No photo. Did a 360 site photo.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Spiny Lizards (Genus Sceloporus)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 10:28 AM MST

Description

Small Sceloporus ran into bushes. No photo.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Spiny Lizards (Genus Sceloporus)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 11:25 AM MST

Description

Small Sceloporus observed, not captures or photographed.

Photos / Sounds

What

Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 10:45 AM PDT

Description

Photo'd with Canon only, which had time set 1 hr earlier than cell phone (so adjusted ahead one hour in this report).

Photos / Sounds

What

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

Observer

umpquamatt

Date

May 28, 2017 11:12 AM PDT

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