MOUNT RAINIER NATURE NOTES
Those who enjoy floral beauty will find much of interest in Mount
Rainier National Park at this time. It is still several weeks before the
alpine meadows, for which Mount Rainier is most famous, will be at the
height of their beauty. Yet even now, one need not go far to satisfy his
desire to see and study our flowers.
The roadside and trails everywhere at the lower elevations are
broughtened with the Canadian Dogwood (Cornus canadensis), Forest
Anemone (Anemone deltiodea), Star Flower (Trientalis latifolia),
Wild Lily of the Valley and the Pink Cordyalis (Capnoides scouleri).
The Bear Grass or Indian Basket Crass (Xerophyllum tenax) seems to be on
the threshold of a big year. The large, spectacular flower clusters of
this plant are found in abundance -- particularly in the "Silver
Forest" where conditions are most suited to their best development.
Star-Flowered Solomon's Seal (Vagnera sessifolia), Queen's Cup or
Clintonia (Clintonia uniflora) and Fairy Bells (Disporum trachycarpum)
are found everywhere. In fact so numerous are the flowers at this
season that we are of the opinion that the principle reason that
"The Mountain" is more famous for its alpine flowers in mid summer is
simply because that is the time when most people have the opportunity
to visit this region. For our flora is equally as interesting and as
varied at this time of the year.
Red Mimulus (Mimulus lewisii) and Indian Paintbrush can be found
quite readily -- the latter is particularly noticeable on the new
West Side Road in suitable locations while the light blue bells of the
Mertensia are much in evidence in the region of the Nisqually Glacier
bridge on the Paradise highway.
Paradise valley itself is beginning to give one an idea of its floral
brilliance yet to come. Where the snow has melted we find large numbers
of the famous Avalanche Lilies (Erythronium montanum) as well as the
Yellow Lilies (Erythronium parviflorum).
Many Western Anemones are in bloom and in places which have been free
from snow for some time these flowers are already beginning to form
their characteristic seed pods. Buttercup, Marsh Marigold and many
other flowers are also in bloom -- the advance guard of these that will
come a few weeks hence.
AN EXPRESSION OF APPRECIATION.
The Educational Department of Mount Rainier National Park wishes to
publically express their appreciation for the fine spirit of
helpfullness and cooperation on the part of the Washington State Museum
on the University of Washington campus. Their generosity and desire to aid us
in presenting a more interesting and adequate story of the natural
history of this region has resulted in the loan of a great deal of
museum exhibit material. We are sure that everyone visiting the Park
this summer will find it very much worth their while to visit the Park
Museum for, without a doubt, any visit to "The Mountain" will be made
more enjoyable by so doing.
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