The season has been odd this year and today shows that what I though might happen has come true. All season many have said the plants are lagging behind by three weeks. Today I see that many plants came and went and "Poof" many are past it.
But that is OK. I hiked up the Blue Creek Trail to Red Top and then decided to return down via the Forest Service Road 9702. On this road I had some previous butterfly encounters and I knew there was a boggy area that might yield something fun.
Right were the FS road starts at Hwy 97 there is an abandoned log cabin. I found a plant growing early in the spring. It was only a pair of leaves but their feel and structure screamed "orchid" to me. I went back today and sure enough a very large Elegant Piperia was in bloom. This was the first time I had seen this plant in person.
Bee on Sub-alpine Daisy
Atlantis Fritillary , Speyeria atlantis
The boggy area was filled with grass, Paintbrush and Bog-orchids. I found a lucky butterfly as well
Greenish Blue Plebejus saepiolus