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Washington Shrub Steppe Arid, but not quite desert, shrub steppe gets enough water to support grasses, shrubs and ground covers. Much of Washington's shrub steppe areas have been converted to rangeland or farming, but this section has been preserved for many years due to it's proximity to the Hanford Nuclear reservation. It is a habitat for several interesting and even endangered species like burrowing owls and pygmy rabbits, but being winter most of the critters have packed themselves away for the season (though that also means no rattlers out either), so we only spotted a few birds of prey from afar and one lone mule deer with binoculars, but we still got to experience a disappearing Washington landscape.  Artemisia tridentata,Geotagged,United States,Winter Click/tap to enlarge PromotedSpecies introCountry intro

Washington Shrub Steppe

Arid, but not quite desert, shrub steppe gets enough water to support grasses, shrubs and ground covers. Much of Washington's shrub steppe areas have been converted to rangeland or farming, but this section has been preserved for many years due to it's proximity to the Hanford Nuclear reservation. It is a habitat for several interesting and even endangered species like burrowing owls and pygmy rabbits, but being winter most of the critters have packed themselves away for the season (though that also means no rattlers out either), so we only spotted a few birds of prey from afar and one lone mule deer with binoculars, but we still got to experience a disappearing Washington landscape.

    comments (3)

  1. I love the depth in this post. It's a great landscape shot, a species intro, and a piece of education all in one. Well done! Posted 4 years ago
  2. It's an interesting place for hiking. It's not like alpine meadow - so fragile that you need to stay off of it, it's tough and open land where formal trails are rare. Most of the "hiking" trails are game trails that people follow too, but walking overland is fine. We saw tons of deer and coyote tracks, but they hide well during the day - not to mention they could probably smell us miles away the way the wind was blowing. The Hanford Reach area is slowly being reopened to recreation as the clean up at the Hanford site progresses, but a large portion to the north and west of where we were is still closed, and as such preserved. This weather was a bit rare for this time of the year. It's been unusually warm this winter, normally this would probably have at least a bit of ice and snow around, but it hit near 60F. Posted 4 years ago, modified 4 years ago
    1. Thanks for the extra info. Sorry, didn't read it until now (I'll only get a notification from a reply). Posted 4 years ago

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''Artemisia tridentata'', commonly called "big sagebrush" or "sagebrush", is an aromatic shrub from the family Asteraceae, which grows in arid and semi-arid conditions, throughout a range of cold desert, steppe, and mountain habitats in the Intermountain West of North America. The vernacular name "sagebrush" is also used for several related members of the genus ''Artemisia'', such as California Sagebrush .

Big Sagebrush and other ''Artemisia'' species are the dominant plants across large.. more

Similar species: Asterales
Species identified by morpheme
View morpheme's profile

By morpheme

All rights reserved
Uploaded Jan 19, 2015. Captured Jan 18, 2015 13:18 in Unnamed Road, Sunnyside, WA 98944, USA.
  • X-E1
  • f/8.0
  • 1/500s
  • ISO200
  • 37.4mm