A crabspider (Misumena vatia) is here seen capturing a bumble bee (Bombus sp.) on the rare Kincaid’s lupin (Lupinus sulphureus subsp. kincaidii) in the Willamette Valley, Oregon. Kincaid’s lupin is interesting as it is the host of the even rarer Fender’s Blue Butterfly.
The lower flowers of the Kincaid’s lupin are turning brown. Surprisingly, this is natural pigmentation and not an indication that the flowers are dying. Another rare plant of the Willamette Valley, the thin-leaved peavine (Lathyrus holochlorus), has the same brown colour in the petals but both the function and the biochemical basis of this trait are unknown. Photographs of some of the Rare and Endangered Plants of the Cascadia (including many from Willamette Valley) are available online, thanks to the Institute for Applied Ecology. The Willamette Valley in Oregon is a fertile mosaic of drained farmland interspersed with remnant wetlands of immense nature conservation importance.
Nature resource link (added by Daniel): David Neiwert, a Seattle-based freelance journalist, has posted a written and photographic account of his recent experience with killer whales near Vancouver Island. A bit off-topic for this weblog, perhaps, but I can’t help but share this fine piece of nature writing.