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It's About Time - May 2013

This truly is Wildflower Month, as the majority of our valley native plants achieve their peak of bloom in May. The blue camas is at its peak early in May. People driving  south should keep an eye out for the ivory colored camas that is found along the freeway from Sutherlin to Riddle. Its ivory petal color is different from the pure white of albino forms of the related blue species.

The highlight of the season for nature lovers is the wildflower show presented by the local chapter of the Native Plant Society of Oregon with support from botany students and faculty from Lane Community College and the University of Oregon. The wildflower show is the centerpiece of the Wildflower & Music Festival staged at the Mount Pisgah Arboretum on May 19.

While the herbs and shrubs are busy making seeds, the birds are also generating offspring. Hummingbirds have already fledged a nestful of hummers. Baby crows are out and about in May, crying for attention and feeding. They stay in the nest only 15 days after hatching. That’s the period of time the mommy and daddy crows are likely to attack anybody that comes too close.

Having said goodbye to the winter waterfowl, expect to see a great number of Canada goose goslings and mallard ducklings in our local waterways. Other ducks will have families, too, but the mallards and geese are the most often seen. Avoid feeding them bread as it causes a debilitating malformation of their wings.