Nature Notes

Vol. IX August 1, 1931 No. 7

Mid-summer's Flowers

tiger lilies

In spite of the fact that this is a poor flower year in comparison with other years, most of our visitors find much to marvel at in the matter of Flora. On an obscure and little known trail leading to Fairy Pool, which traverses the hillside above the public camp grounds, the flower-lover will find much of interest. There one finds at this time many Tiger Lilies - stately, tall and regal in appearance, but the most colorful bloom is the orange Paintbrush, which is present in enormous numbers. From a distance it looks as if the entire hillside were afire so brilliant are these plants. Of course, there are other flowers also, - the white tufted blossoms of the Mountain Dock swing about gracefully upon their slender stems and the fragrant Mountain Heliotrope or Valerian perfumes the air. Of course there are the Arnica and Senecio - those flowers of the Sunflower family which are so common in late summer and early fall - Their bright yellows add considerable coloring to this floral gatering. Fireweed, Polemonium, Queen Anne's Lace and Cow Parsnip are also there on the dry, southwest slope.

But dropping down to a small stream that flows at the base of the hillside those plants which prefer a moister habitat are found. In the moss of the strwam bed one finds the dwarfed Yellow Mimulus, while lining the banks of the the rivulet are large clumps of the Red Mimulus. Alaska Spirea is also present there, as are various species of Saxifrage.

Again, climbing the opposite hillside, we pass through clumps of Firs which, with the different exposure of the slope in question, make for a moister habitat. In this minature forest is the White Rhododendron - close relative of Washington's gorgeous state flower - can be seen.

sketch of wildflowers

Once again in the open meadow we find great masses of Lupine and occasionally if we look closely, we will find a clump of Gentian. The Gentian is one of the latest of all our flowers to bloom here on "The Mountain", but season is so far advanced this year that it is already beginning to come into bloom.

Seed pods of the Avalanche Lily are everywhere attesting to the abundance of that famous flower in these same sub-alpine meadows but a few short weeks ago. Another seed pod is very much in evidence - that of the Western Anemone. Its fuzzy appearance attracts much attention and is the incentive of many questions regarding its identity.

The of Scotch heritage will revel in the masses of Red Heather which still abound. The name "Heather" is really a misnomer, for it is not of the same genus as the famous Scotch plant, although it belongs to the same family - Heath and resembles the Scotch plant in habit of growth and general appearance. The White Heather is almost a thing of the past, as is our Yellow variety.

The lower elevations where deep shaded forests abound are characterized at this time by the waxy pink flower of the Prince's Pine or Pipsissewa. The Canada Dogwood, so conspicuous a while ago, on account of its white practs, is equally attractive now with its decoration of red berries. Other red-berried plants are also much in evidence - The Red Elderberry, the Baneberry and the Red Huckleberry being most prominent. Ocean Spray and Goat's Beard with their clusters of filmy white flowers are also common.

Such is midsummer on "The Mountain" a constantly changing colorful picture in deep forest as well as in alpine meadow.

--C. Frank Brockman,
Park Naturalist.

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