Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Flowers At Mount Rainier!

Flower meadows along the Naches Peak loop trail at Mount Rainier National Park, Cascade Range, Washington, USA.
Flower meadows along the Naches Peak loop at
Mount Rainier National Park.
 If you sense some excitement in my prose, you would be correct!  Flower season in the mountains is so short, because the growing season is so short.  These meadows spend the majority of the year buried under a deep snowpack, and only get to come out to play for a couple months out of the entire year! Different varieties of flowers can have different schedules.  Some years these schedules match for the most part, some years they do not. So when everything starts coming together it is reason to get excited!

At Mount Rainier, the flower show arrived a couple weeks ago in typical fashion - by beginning their tour on the east side of the park around Tipsoo Lake and Sunrise.  While these areas are no longer in peak, others are!  Try a hike up to Spray Park or Indian Henry's Hunting Ground or simply enjoy a short walk/hike around Paradise or Mazama Ridge.  Now is the perfect time!

Please remember to be respectful of the meadows.  The growing season is so short that even the lightest of tread can cause irreparable damage.  As my kid's patches used to say (handed out by the National Park Service), "Don't Be A Flower Stomper!"

This year is even crazier than most.  I spent a weekend morning at Sunrise photographing a couple weeks ago.  When I arrived back at the parking lot shortly after 7 am, it was already full.  By 8:30 am, the entrance was already closed and there were cars lined up for a quarter of a mile!  (By comparison, I came up the very next day - a weekday, and it was quite the opposite).  With this increase in traffic comes an increase of pressure on such fragile environments, which we all should be cognizant of.

Flower meadows along the Naches Peak loop trail in Mount Rainier National Park, Cascade Range, Washington, USA.
Flower meadows at Mount Rainier.
This is not unique to our area.  It's happening all over.  I just returned from the Sawtooth Wilderness in Idaho and experienced much the same.  A shuttle service I used told me he had never seen such crowds in all the years he has been in the area.  His thoughts were that it was the culmination of cabin fever and not being able to travel.  I can't say that I can argue with his assessment.

Anyway, back to the flowers!  Lupine, paintbrush, asters, common cow parsnip, false hellebore, and so much more!  Or, maybe you know them as the red ones, purple ones, yellow ones - that's alright too!  The importance is the enjoyment!

If you would like to see more images from this area, feel free to visit my Mount Rainier Gallery.

As always, thanks for looking!

No comments:

Post a Comment