Table Rocks Rocks!

For our first trip of the field season, we visited Table Rocks outside of Medford, Oregon to study Limnanthes pumila ssp. pumila, or dwarf woolly meadowfoam, a threatened endemic species that relies on vernal pool habitat. Table Rocks consists of two plateaus formed by volcanic activity and shaped by erosion. The trails up to the plateaus wind through oak savanna which is home to many different species, including Cooper's hawk, turkey vulture, lark sparrow, and wild turkey that we observed on our hikes. Once you reach the plateaus, you are surrounded by a magnificent wildflower display and a plethora of busy pollinators, and can enjoy a spectacular view of Mount McLoughlin.

Table Rocks LIPUPU closeup S.Carter

This is a mature dwarf woolly meadowfoam after it has blossomed.

Table Rocks species cheat sheet S.Carter

We monitored plant communities, which involved challenging grass identification.

Table Rocks crew S.Carter

The crew on top of Lower Table Rock after a long, steep hike.

Table Rocks Camassia S.Carter

A blanket of camas along the trail.

Table Rocks little botanist S.Carter

A young amateur botanist that we met. He enthusiastically pointed out flowers to his mom!

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A remaining vernal pool at Lower Table Rock. A home to dwarf woolly meadowfoam as well as fairy shrimp, frogs, and diving beetles!

Table Rocks elk grazing A.Frietag

We saw evidence of elk grazing on wild onion and other plants.

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A spectacular view of Mount McLoughlin from Upper Table Rock.

We really enjoyed getting to know each other on our first trip and learning about the vernal pool ecosystems at Table Rocks!
Posted in Adventures in Conservation Research and tagged , .

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