Did you know that flowers can deceive bees? This month the shady forests of our Cascades and Olympics showcase the blooms of our native Calypso Orchid. Newly emerging bumblebees find the purple petals and the yellow fringe of the white bottom petal lip irresistible. Adding to the attraction is the orchid’s sweet scent-reminiscent of vanilla. But when the bee investigates the enticements of this miniature jewel it realizes that it has been duped: there is no nectar in the flower! Disappointed, the bee moves on to another orchid…unknowingly carrying waxy pollen structures that stick to the bee’s legs and thus pollinating the next orchid it visits. This bit of plant trickery is known as Pollination by Deception; by the time the bumblebee realizes that the calypso orchid is an empty promise it has already unwittingly done what the plant had intended all along…cross-fertilized the flowers! And both the bumblebee and the calypso orchid carry on…
Fairy slipper (Calypso bulbosa) photo by Forest Service Northern Region
This month we honoring the legendary band Alice in Chains as we look ‘Down in a Hole’ to find our Pacific Northwest ferns! They lie in the understory in our forests and even overhead in our trees. Our ancient ferns are part of the cultural identity of this region and some are part of our dining menu. Grab your smartphone, fire up iNaturalist, and find those ferns!
Join us in Seward Park during a point in the day where the bird's calls and songs are lifted high above the din of the busy day that follows. Lead Naturalist Ed Dominguez leads our trek through the fields and forest as we tune in to migrating and resident birds and bring them into view as the opportunity allows.
Once you learn how important our native plants are to our ecosystem, you’ll suddenly see more native insects and wildlife reaping their benefits. Join our Lead Naturalist Ed Dominguez on a walk through Seward Park. As plants are flowering and growing new leaves emerge, you’ll learn about we benefit from their presence.
We don’t want to lose these good trees that we got, so let’s learn what we can about them. Lead Naturalist Ed Dominguez has returned to Audubon and will reveal intricate details about our trees both big and small. In our trek through the park, we will find our fruiting trees, nut bearers, and the trees that provide homes to our wildlife.
We are inviting you to come tumbling down to the park and join us in our examination of Seward's geology. Lead Naturalist Ed Dominguez has returned to Audubon and will explain how glacial retreat and seismic events have shaped our region and our park. We'll traverse the park to find visual evidence of our region's geologic journey.
Seward Park is the home and hunting grounds for several species of owls. Lead Naturalist Ed Dominguez will introduce our audience to the traits and habits of these masters of the night, then lead a trek through our forest, under the cover of the night, in search of these owls.
Due to the pandemic, the Center remains closed, but we are now accepting orders for curbside pick-up. Choose from many birdfeed options, fun jigsaw puzzles, handmade bird boxes, and our favorite books. Place your order online for pickup on Saturday or Sunday mornings. All orders must be placed online. No walkup purchases allowed. We’ll see you back in the park soon!