North Bank Deer Preserve
April 8, 2006
Misty rain as we left Eugene, pouring rain on our return, and in between. . . pretty nice — mostly sunny, no rain, and a very convivial group of 10 hikers enjoying a beautiful and unique part of Oregon. And, we saw the rare Colombia white tail deer, a first for me on this hike; and although it was not close enough to get pictures to prove it, it was spotted, I swear.
This hike loops around and through the North Bank Habitat Management Area, a 10 square mile preserve for the Columbia white tail, overlooking the North Umpqua River. Our group included several people who had not had the pleasure of doing this hike before and as is often the common reaction of first timers (and returnees as well), they were very impressed with the open rolling hills, oak savannas and meadows as we followed the ridgelines which provide 360 degree panoramic views of the North Fork of the Umpqua River and its surrounds. While a wonderful trail, providing a nice change of scenery, the trail can be muddy in places, so be prepared for that if you go.
Apparently spring is arriving a little later than usual this year, so the wildflowers were not as prolific as on some of my previous trips, but we still enjoyed a variety of early bloomers. It seems like the early flowers are mostly tiny, but if you make the effort it is amazing what you find hiding in the grass and moss. According to the Jacobsen Book of Flower ID we saw blue ones, and yellow ones and pink ones, and many, many white ones, but according to the our trip wildflower researcher, Barb Revere, they were in fact spring queen, baby blue eyes, cryptantha, fawn lily, shooting star, hound's tongue, yarrow, lupine red flowering currant and madrone (which was just starting to bloom.)
It was a wonderful day, squeezed quite neatly between the rain showers, enjoying our region’s varied landscapes.
Members: Zella Andreski, Ann-Marie Askew, Mari Baldwin, La Ree Beckley, Mary Hamilton, John Jacobsen, Sue Meyers, Barb Revere and Glen Svendsen. Nonmember: Mary Peel.