Dune wildflowers

By The Curry Coastal Pilot June 20, 2014 08:08 pm

A week after inviting Del Norters to pull up European beach grass, the Redwood Parks Association and Tolowa Dunes Stewards will host an activity that focuses on the dune’s wildflowers.

Laura Morgan, a biology science technician with Redwood National and State Parks and a Humboldt State University graduate, will host a slide show presentation at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 22, about the plants that thrive in Tolowa Dunes State park. She will also lead a 2-mile “slow and easy” hike into the dunes to view the different plants and wildflowers.

Even though it’s been a drier season than normal, Morgan said there are flowers blooming in the dunes.

“I’m expecting to see some lupine and maybe some beach morning glory or beach primrose,” she said. “It will be fun and interesting to see what is (blooming) and what isn’t.”

Morgan, who has helped collect and identify plant specimens for the Ruby Van Deventer Wildflower Show, said this will be her first solo presentation and field trip. 

As a biological science technician of plants for Redwood National and State Parks, Morgan has been leading the park’s Sudden Oak Death program for the past three seasons, focusing on early detection and monitoring. There is currently an infestation in the Brookings area of Curry County and in Humboldt County, she said, but not in the park itself so far.

“Redwood Creek in Orick has tested positive,” she said. “We’re just monitoring to make sure it’s not spreading, which it hasn’t so far. But it’s pretty unrelated to what’s blooming in the dunes.”

When asked if she has a favorite flower, Morgan answered that she loves them all.

“It’s a free walk,” she said of her presentation. “It’s a great way to discover the natural beauty in the area of Tolowa Dunes.”

Attendees are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and a hat and bring drinking water and mosquito repellant. Folks are also encouraged to come early and enjoy a cup of coffee and cookies.

The presentation starts at the Lake Earl Wildlife Area Information Center at 2591 Old Mill Road, off of Northcrest Drive, outside Crescent City. For more information, call 707-465-6191.

Story by Jessica Cejnar/WesCom News Service