Spring flowers, a little late

blue-eyed mary (Collinsia parviflora)

I took some pictures of spring wildflowers a while ago and what with one thing and another I haven’t gotten round to posting them. Well, here’s a start. 

The first picture is blue-eyed mary (Collinsia parviflora). This has to be one of my favourites, it makes an early season appearance and just twinkles in the grass and mosses.

yellow moneyflower (Mimulus guttatus)

This is yellow moneyflower (Mimulus guttatus)…

chickweed moneyflower (Mimulus alsinoides)

and this is chickweed moneyflower (Mimulus alsinoides). The pictures don’t show it, but the chickweek monkeyflower is much smaller: Pojar and Mackinnon say that M. guttatus flowers are 20–40 mm long in comparison to M alsinoides‘ 8–14 mm.

common camas (Camassia quamash)

And finally, common camas (Camassia quamash). It has edible bulbs (again according to P&M, common camas was semi-cultivated by the Coast Salish and the beds could be owned and inherited) that are NOT to be confused with death camas, for obvious reasons.

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5 thoughts on “Spring flowers, a little late

  1. I saw a death camas late this spring, and meant to go back to photograph it, but forgot until I saw this picture of yours. They are not too common. I understand that part of the tending of beds of camas by the First Nations included getting the death camas out and keeping them that way. Franz Boas, recording Elders, drew a map of the camas beds in one of the inlets up the coast. They were demarcated with their own pebble borders and were important owned and inherited places. It really was a form of agriculture.
    Interesting when combined with some of the other things that were grown and encouraged like certain rhizomes in the upper intertidal zones, also in pebble outlined beds. And the clam gardens which involve creating a high rock wall at the lowest intertidal edge, across a bay. These then trap sediments, flattening the angle of the beach, and creating a broader zone suitable for clam habitat. A very large increase in productivity results. There are hundreds of these known now all over the coast, and in some places the walls can be a kilometre or more long. The Broughton Archipelago alone has nearly 400 recorded clam gardens. Less common in the Gulf Islands, but not rare. Proving common on the west coast of Vancouver Island. On Haida Gwaii they are less commonly known, so far, and take a different form probably in response to a rapidly falling sea level in that area.

    For so called “hunters and gatherers” there was a lot of carefully managed production going on. There is even an account in one of the earliest ethnographies of fertilised salmon eggs being carried in boxes of wet moss to streams without salmon to seed the stream.

    1. Thanks for posting all this information—it’s really interesting. I was aware of some of it, but not all. It sure points out the arrogance of colonizers assuming that native peoples weren’t doing anything productive with the land, doesn’t it?

      1. Ignorance as much as arrogance I think. They must have been aware of the extensive use of the forests, what with all the scarred trees. And they traded with them for vast quantities of fish and deer meat, and other kinds of food, bought their canoes and small boats from them, and pretty much shared an integrated economy for the first few decades. I think those earliest settlers were less arrogant and better informed, many of them spoke at least Chinook trade language, and often one of the other local languages, and were married in to one of the communities too. But once the gold rush and then railways hit, the Americans brought their attitudes, and the easterners too. I think that is when things really sideways.

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