In spite of the fact that Rainier's world famous flower fields contain more than 500 different varieties of wild flowers there are some that do not grown here.
Two of the questions most commonly asked at the office of the Park Naturalist are, "Does Swiss Edelweiss grow on this Mountain", and "Do you have the snow plant here?"
Edelweiss does not grow native in America anywhere. The Indian Tobacco or Pussy-foot cudweed is its nearest relative. There is a decided family resembelence, but the flower is considerably less highly developed than that of the edelweiss.
The snow plant is a showy, bright red plant which grows in the forests of the Sierra's of California, especially in the vicinity of Yosemite National Park. So far as I know it does not grow anywhere else.
Other flowers frequently expected here, but not found, are the Shasta Daisy, the Mount Hood lily, the California poppy and Scotch heathers. The heathers so common on Mount Rainier are closely related, but not the same, as the Scottish heather, having a larger ball and courser folage.
Saturday, Sunday and Monday, July 3rd, 4th, and 5th marked the influx of hoards of visitors to the White River Public Camp. The festivities were unsurpassed in the short history of the northern section of the park. Many feasts were partaken of and everyone finally departed unanimously agreeing that the holidays had been well spent.
But lo and behold! No sooner had the human intruders taken their departure than a similar if not more pronounced celebration was staged by the natives of the vicinity. Led by small armies of chipmonks, and squirrels the small creatures feasted and partook of riotous living for two days longer. Foot races, broad jumps, and other forms of outdoor sports were indulged in. Perhaps this was the annual White River track meet. At any rate many records were broken and our small friends will no doubt look forward to the next anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence with considerable pleasure.
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