On the Gulf and San Juan Islands, stth’ulhp [HUL’Q’UMI’NUM’], mock orange, Philadelphia Lewisii, blooms fragrantly around Summer Solstice

2020 June 24 mock orange, Philadelphia Lewisi blooming, Hwmet’utsun P1010054

When protected from excessive deer browsing, stth’ulhp [HUL’Q’UMI’NUM’], mock orange, Philadelphia Lewisii, can grow up to more than 5 metres. While the full set of pollinators for this shrub-verging-on-tree at the northern margins of its coastal populations extending to the Gulf Islands has yet to be inventoried, early summer is a time when there are few blooming plants.

2020 June 24 mock orange Philadelphia Lewisi blooming Hwmet’utsun P1010131

On blooming mock orange blossoms, we have observed small flies and mites near dusk.

2020 June 24 mock orange Philadelphia Lewisi blooming Hwmet’utsun P1010135

While the names in SENĆOŦEN and HUL’Q’UMI’NUM’ remain unclear, the straight branches were sometimes used for arrow shafts and this hard, straight wood had other uses in Salish technologies.

2020 June 24 mock orange Philadelphia Lewisi blooming with pollinators,
Hwmet’utsun P1010028

Pink honeysuckle, Qit’a’ [HUL’Q’UMI’NUM’], KIDE [SENĆOŦEN], Lonicera hispidula, is an ecologically important vine that blooms around the Summer Solstice

2020 June 24 pink honeysuckle Hwmet’utsun P1010075

Pink honeysuckle, Qit’a’uylhp [HUL’Q’UMI’NUM’], KIDE, AN ELP [SENĆOŦEN with a diagonal line on the ‘A’ and a horizontal cross on the ‘L’], Lonicera hispidula, is an ecologically important vine that blooms around the Summer Solstice.

2020 June 24 pink honeysuckle Hwmet’utsun P1010120

One of the two most ecologically important vines, pink honeysuckle provides a huge amount of food for pollinators, especially hummingbirds and some insects, at a critical time of year as most plants have flowered for the year, temperatures rise, and the landscape dries out for the coming three months.

2020 June 24 pink honeysuckle Hwmet’utsun P1010120

Adding a deep pink to the landscape as the hue moves from spring greens to summer browns, KIDE [SENĆOŦEN] has powerful cultural roles for the Salish from swings for ghost people to binding people together in love charms.

One of ten Pacific Sideband land snails, Monadenia fidelis, on a large and old Garry oak tree above Maxwell Point

2020 June 11 Pacific Sideband land snail, Monadenia fidelis, Maxwell Point P1010049

Pacific Sideband land snail, Monadenia fidelis, still occurs in substantial numbers in the mixed woodland of the Gulf Islands but its southern occurrences, down to California, are increasingly vulnerable. On June 11, there were ten of these land snails on the base of this large and old oak tree and these individuals may have been forming a mating cluster.