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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Orchid Field Trip

Had a quick trip to a location in the Cascades.  This is the only spot for that county known to contain Clustered Ladyslipper.

It was a glorious day.  I left early so I could stop by Sun Top during my drive.  I knew I could bring you this glorious shot.  It is one of my favorite vantage points.

The snow will stay on this mountain year round, but the lower peaks really are late in melting off.

But that is not stopping the upper elevation flowers from doing their thing.  Here the morning sun really made things pop.  This is Beargrass and a little Syrphiae fly.  Click on the photo to enjoy this pretty insect.

A tangle of Red Columbine in the rocks.

A Western Anemone is more commonly called a Tow-headed Baby, due to its fuzzy , hairy seedhead.  I hope to get up here when they set seeds.

It was fun to spot the stamens in these Lupin blossoms.

Continuing on after many more miles where Pearly Mae performed brilliantly, I met with a small group and we hiked a ways to find these lovely and rare orchids.  Last year we visited some in another part of the state and they were very difficult to find in the underbrush.

Today they were right underfoot.

Clustered Ladyslipper aka Brownie Ladyslipper.

They come in a pale and a red form.  Some we saw last year were much redder, but these were bountiful and so easily viewed.  What a fun treat.

There were also some Western Coralroot and this form was so pretty with both pale and purple coloration

It was so nice to get up into the alpine area.  Many of the familiar alpine flower hikes are still snowed under and I suspect we will not have much of a year again.

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