With the passing of the more gaudy flowers of Paradise Valley, the dainty bluebell comes into its own. Not until late August does this plant put forth its deep-hued blossoms. Because of the very slender stem, each topped by a single dark blue, bell-like flower, the name bluebell or harebell, as it is sometimes called, is very appropriate. This plant, generally found growing on dry, rocky slopes, is said to be the same type that is so familiar and dear to the heart of the Scotsmen.
The first botanist to approach the area now included within the Park was Dr. William Fraser Tolmie, an officer in the employ of the Hudson Bay Company. In 1833 accompanied by several Indians, he reached the northwest edge of this region in the interests of botanical knowledge. By way of recognition of his work a small peak south of the Carbon River Entrance, together with the creek that flows from it, have been named for him. Tolmie's Saxifrage, a dainty little plant the blossoms abundantly among the rocks in most inhospitable locations, also bears the name of this pioneer scientist.
Mt. Rainier, like many other volcanoes, holds but metals in its vast bulk. Although in the vicinity of the upper White River some copper ore occurs, nevertheless the mass of the mountain consists almost entirely of lava ash, conglomerate materials loosely cemented together, columns of basalt and great quantities of pumice. Deposits of copper containing traces of silver and gold have been found in Eagle Peak. But altho this mountain lies within the Park, it is far older, geologically, than Rainier, and the two have no connection with each other.
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