a large and scattered grove of seaside juniper, PETEṈILĆ [SENĆOŦEN], Juniperus maritima, on S,DÁYES (Pender Island) including two trees with nearly ripe berries

Seaside juniper, Pender Island 2020 September 17 * P1010004
This was one of two of ten individuals in this landscape with ripening berries.
The smoky sky was due to the Oregon fires.

There is a landscape in the centre of North Pender Island evocative of the grasslands with lodgepole pines, with bison and mastodon, soon after the retreat of the glaciers roughly 14,000 b.p.

Seaside juniper, Pender Island 2020 September 17 * P1010055
This was one of two of ten individuals in this landscape with ripening berries.

While this endemic, island species of juniper, PETEṈILĆ [SENĆOŦEN], Juniperus maritima, is relatively rare throughout its range, there are over ten trees scattered in this landscape with this pine-grassland exceptionally rare on the Gulf Islands and evocative of central British Columbia or further north.

Seaside juniper, Pender Island 2020 September 17 * P1010044
This was one of two of ten individuals in this landscape with ripening berries.

Seaside juniper, Pender Island 2020 September 17 * P1010060
This was one of two of ten trees in this landscape with ripening berries.

Of these junipers, only two were fruiting with the aromatic berries perhaps a month from the peak of ripeness.

Seaside juniper, Pender Island 2020 September 17 * P1010001
This was one of only two out of ten juniper trees, that all appeared to be under fifty years old, with ripening berries. The smoky sky was due to the Oregon fires. Surrounding these
junipers was mesic grassland with old lodgepole pines and young Douglas fir trees.

seaside juniper, PET̸EṈILĆ [SENĆOŦEN], Juniperus maritima, is endemic to the drier islands of the Salish Sea and was used to ward off disease

seaside juniper, Tsawout lands, Saanich, Vancouver Island 2020 August 7 P1010017

Seaside juniper, PET̸EṈILĆ [SENĆOŦEN], Juniperus maritima, is endemic to the Gulf and San Juan Islands and the adjacent Olympic Range. This is one of the rarest of the North American juniper species. The Salish relied on this conifer to to ward off disease.

seaside juniper, Tsawout lands, Saanich, Vancouver Island 2020 September 10 P1010002

This relatively young juniper, probably less than fifty years old, is on Tsawout, W̱SÁNEĆ, territory near the beach south of the southern line of the 1852 treaty. This mosaic of dunes, marsh and meadow is vulnerable to the rapid sea level rise taking place on the south-east coast of the Saanich Peninsula.

seaside juniper along Burgoyne Bay in the Hwmet’utsun protected landscape,
Salt Spring Island, 2020 September 13 P1010003 The juniper is in the centre of
the image with a young arbutus (madrone) on the left and a young Douglas fir
on the right. This juniper is probably twice or three times the age of this arbutus
and fir tree. This is the more typical form and habitat of seaside juniper though
are larger bush forms that grow near shorelines as well.

fruit of black hawthorn, MÁT̸ŦEN ILĆ [SENĆOŦEN], Crataegus douglasii, a week after the peak of sweetness

2020 August 24 Douglas black hawthorn above Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island P1010040

An important traditional food tree, black hawthorn, MÁT̸ŦEN ILĆ [SENĆOŦEN], Crataegus douglasii, (in Canada, Crataegus douglasii var. douglasii) is also ecologically important especially for the nectar and fruit. One of the few seaside areas where this species grows on the Northwest coast of North America is the Gulf and San Juan Islands where this fruit tree established in drier times with colder winters. Consequently, this species was more important to indigenous communities east of the Coast Range.

2020 August 24 Douglas black hawthorn above Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island P1010009
This area appears to have been heavily bulldozed twenty to forty years ago with the tracks
collecting sufficient water, on this sunny, south-west facing site, to allow this mesic, wetland
edge species to get established in this early seral stage of succession.

MÁT̸ŦEN ILĆ [SENĆOŦEN], Crataegus douglasii, (in Canada, Crataegus douglasii var. douglasii), is one of two black hawthorn species on the Gulf and San Juan Islands. This, the smaller species, generally produces more accessible fruit and grows in mesic (damper) areas in drier regions.

2020 August 24 Douglas black hawthorn above Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island P1010012

This beautiful small tree is highly adaptable to urban and other degraded landscapes but so far has been rarely used in Coast Salish food sovereignty, permaculture and ecological restoration initiatives.

2020 August 24 Douglas black hawthorn above Fulford Harbour, Salt Spring Island P1010039

Wasps pollinating mid-summer blossoms of snowberry, PEPKIYOS ILĆ[SENĆOŦEN], P’up’q’iyasulhp [HUL’Q’UMI’NUM’], Symphoricarpos albus

2020 August 10 wasp pollinating snowberries, Salt Spring Island

On the Gulf and San Juan Islands in August there are few blooming plants aside from a few asters and some other forbs. So for native wasps, mid-summer blossoms of snowberry, PEPKIYOS ILĆ[SENĆOŦEN], P’up’q’iyasulhp [HUL’Q’UMI’NUM’], Symphoricarpos albus, are a major form of sustenance. In fact, on powerlines near this thicket of snowberry, a large wasp nest has been constructed just in a few weeks.

2020 August 10 wasp pollinating snowberries, Salt Spring Island P1010004

2020 August 10 wasp pollinating snowberries, Salt Spring Island P1010004

In efforts to restore native ecosystems on the Gulf Islands, snowberry has often been overlooked for supposedly being ‘invasive’. Snowberry is an edge and early seral species that will move into native grass and forb lands. But snowberry is part of a group of low precipitation, interior species, more associated with today’s Prairie provinces on the east side of the Rockies. Soon after the last glaciers receded from these lands, possibly as early as over 14,000 years ago, these landscapes, perhaps not all islands as they are now, were dominated by grassland and lodgepole pine woodlands — mostly likely with large thickets of snowberry regularly shaped by large mammals such as mammoth, mastodon, and bison.

2020 August 10 wasp pollinating snowberries, Salt Spring Island P1010003
2020 August 10 wasp pollinating snowberries, Salt Spring Island P1010010

a large grove of chokecherry, tuluµulhp [HUL’Q’UMI’NUM’], Prunus virginiana, with fruit a week before the peak of ripeness & blooming vines of the native clematis, Clematis ligusticifolia

2020 August 6 chokecherry a week before peak of ripeness, Hwmet’utsun, Salt Spring Island P1010099
2020 August 6 blooming native clematis on Hwmet’utsun, Salt Spring Island P1010072
trunk of old chokecherry tree with sapsucker holes, Hwmet’utsun,
Salt Spring Island 2020 August 6 P1010013

This grove of chokecherry, [cf tuluµulhp [HUL’Q’UMI’NUM’ with this word sometimes also used for bitter cherry], Prunus virginiana, on Hwmet’utsun on Salt Spring Island, was visited on August 6, 2020 with fruit (drupes) a week before the peak of ripeness. This area has a long history of Cowichan stewardship and harvesting that has only be partially obstructed in the last half century.

2020 August 6 blooming native clematis Hwmet’utsun P1010030

This exceptional chokecherry woodland, similar to communities in the southern Puget Sound on more mesic and wetland edges of Garry oak woodland, has a subdominant vine, western white clematis, Clematis ligusticifolia. This native West Coast clematis is rare in the mid and north parts of the Salish Sea. At its northern margins , this species rarely occurs on the coast and is associated with areas of hotter, drier summers in the British Columbia Southern Interior.

2020 August 6 chokecherry on Hwmet’utsun P1010063
2020 August 6 a sunny afternoon in one of the North-West Pacific coast’s rarest woodland types dominated by relatively old, dominant chokecherry trees on Hwmet’utsun P1010020

Chokecherry is an important element of local efforts at food and medicinal sovereignty and has exceptional value in ecological restoration of more mesic, south-facing sites as well as well as sunny sites on the edge of wetlands.

2020 August 6 chokecherry a few days from peak ripeness on Hwmet’utsun P1010120

a week from the peak of ripeness, the fruit (drupes) of chokecherry, SC̸ET̸EṈILĆ [W̱SÁNEĆ], Prunus virginiana

2020 August 3 chokecherry, Prunus virginiana, Ruckle Provincial Park * P1010001

Chokecherry, SC̸ET̸EṈILĆ [W̱SÁNEĆ and also used for bitter cherry], Prunus virginiana, is the only wild fruit tree in Canada that is native to every province and territory. On the Gulf and San Juan Islands, this small tree, that sometimes grows to over 10 metres, is a keystone species for numerous pollinators, birds, and humans.

2020 August 3 chokecherry, Prunus virginiana, Ruckle Provincial Park * P1010016

A crucial food and medicine for hundreds of indigenous communities in the northern half of North America, this species is so under-valued in settler horticulture that plants are rarely available in commercial nurseries. Fortunately, the pits are often highly fertile and at an experimental farm plot operated by ḴEXMIN field station, trees planted from drupes just four years ago are already over 2 metres in height and flowered for the first time this spring.

2020 August 3 chokecherry, Prunus virginiana, Ruckle Provincial Park * P1010016

Seeds of ḴEXMIN, Lomatium nudicaule, six weeks from maturation as the land dries in early summer

2020 July 4 ḴEXMIN @ Lək̓ʷəŋən lands, Vancouver Island P1010019
2020 July 4 KEXMIN @ Lək̓ʷəŋən lands P1010060

This field of ḴEXMIN [SENĆOŦEN], Lomatium nudicaule, is in an urban park in Lək̓ʷəŋən territory and has been spared one of the most serious contemporary threats to northern populations of this species: excessive deer browsing due to predator suppression.

2020 July 4 ḴEXMIN @ Lək̓ʷəŋən lands, Vancouver Island P1010022

On the 4th of July, 2020, the land is drying out for the summer, the thick stalks of this carrot species have gone fully erect and the swollen green seeds are beginning to turn red and tan and desiccate. These seeds are roughly six weeks from being fully maturing and beginning to blow away and be harvested for Salish ceremonies.

 

 

 
 

 
View this post on Instagram
 

 

 

 
 

 
 

 

 

 

 

A post shared by ḴEXMIN field station (@kexminfieldstation) on

Coastal sage, Artemisia suksdorfii, flowering and going to seed in the early summer

2020 July 6 coastal sage in an exclosure of repurposed sheep fencing in the
ḴEXMIN field station restoration area P1010012

There are several species of West coast mugworts or sages with the ecology of coastal sage, Artemisia suksdorfii, associated with dry maritime cliffs often with salt air and relatively uncommon, is somewhat unclear.

This pungent species had some uses for the Salish, particularly related to its aromatic oils, extending to digestive medicine.

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.