Jeanette Oliver – Photo Credit: Clancy Cone

By Jeanette Oliver.

South end of Big Island – Photo Credit: Jeanette Oliver

The Owen Sowerwine Natural Area includes a strip on the north side of Leisure Island adjoining the property of Jeanette Oliver. 


North of this is a branch of the Stillwater River which is largely dry in the late summer and fall. 




Big Island OSNA – Photo Credit: Jeanette Oliver


And North of this is the Sowerwine “Big Island”.


Some Field Tripers – Photo Credit: Clancy Cone


On August 19, a small group of Flathead Audubon members explored these areas, identifying floodplain vegetation and birds. 



First we walked along the Leisure Island strip  where we saw
Oregon grape, sweet cicely, and chokecherry in abundance.

Sneeze Weed – Photo: Jeanette Oliver

While crossing the mostly dry bed of the Stillwater branch we saw dogbane, sneezeweed, willow and cottonwood seedlings.

On the “big island” we identified many red stem dogwood and alder shrubs in addition to things seen earlier on Leisure Island.  Other species, too numerous to mention, were also observed. 


It was an enjoyable morning with two members remaining for further exploration and photography.