Late in the fall we have in the high meadows some of the most brilliant colors imaginable due to the changing of the vine maple, huckleberry bushes and other ground cover to brilliant autumn shades. This year everything above 4,000 feet was covered by a mantle of snow by September 20th but warm weather following that date melted most of it away and the brilliant reds and yellows were exposed again. Late season flowers have continued to bloom in spite of the snows.
The following account of flower fields in Paradise Valley on October 1st by Ranger Preston Macy, shows rather unusual conditions:
The persistency of some of the flowers in blooming at this time of year is remarkable. The beautiful little yellow Potentilla which had been gone for several weeks has come forth again all over the hill sides and meadows in more vivid coloring but less profusion than in the summer. It seems to have sent up fresh leaves with the coming of cooler weather.
The Red Heather too was found in full bloom in localities where it had faded and gone early in the season.
The Red Mimulus is still blooming along the streams, doing its bit toward beautifying the park. The occurrence of these three at this season of year is very unusual. They apparently were dissatisfied with the showing they had made thru the exceptionally early season and in order to prove their faith in the Park and give to the late comers the beauty and joy for which Rainier is noted, burst forth in bloom again.
The Blue Gentian which is nearly always found blooming even in the first snows of October, is holding to its old traditions and no doubt will be round with its heads above the snow for some time yet.
The Purple Aster and Harebells are holding on persistently and combined with these the beautiful hues of the autumn foliage which cover the hillsides give a picture which cannot be surpassed.
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