Western Moss-heather: Cassiope mertensiana

Western Moss-heather is a beautiful plant that grows high up in the alpine environment in northwestern United States, Alaska and Canada. We happened across a nice patch flowering a few weeks ago.

Beautiful little bells hanging from redish stems with the plants growing about 4-5 inches tall at most.

Some patches almost seems to be growing directly out of the rocks along this wind whipped slope.

A flower we don’t encounter every summer on our hikes but one we will always remember.

One last alpine garden

A few weeks ago we we lucky enough to take a hike along a ridge above tree-line once again filled with alpine wildflower. Most growing only inches tall yet the display of color was stunning.

Carefully stepping from rock to rock to avoid smashing these fragile flowers that somehow thrive in a cold and windy environment.

Where sunflowers and lupine grown only inches tall.

While other flower grew as if they were the earth itself.

Happy Friday and wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Blurple

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Rocky Mountain Penstemon.

Are they Blue?

Are they Purple?

Oh Heck, let’s just call them Blurple. Seeing them growing wild in the fields or in the garden around they house  always bring a smile to our faces.

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We are not sure there can be a more saturated color and the sculptural beauty just leaves one shaking their head.

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Blowing on the breeze as summer lingers on.

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And the bees dig them as well.

Happy Monday and have a great week ahead.

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A nice bouquet of wildflower left uncut yet not unnoticed. Above: Richardsons Geranium.

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These Alpine Forget-me-nots were only a few inches tall yet still swaying tightly as the wind was blowing that afternoon.

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Some blooms were just starting others were wide open.

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Blue flower melding with a bright blue sky were also on tap.

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The Forget-me-nots not only came in blue but in white and grew no more than 2-3 inches tall.

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Happy Friday and wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Perennially

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Our annual tribute to a perennial favorite wildflower of ours Painted Brush or Indian Paintbrush if you will. The plant belongs to the genus Castilleja of which there are over 200 documents species in the Americas. With 24 species in the Rocky Mountain region and with of those species nine in our local area we are always noting the subtle differences in colors, texture and shapes among these beautiful plants.

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This years photos were taken on a hike up an alpine ridge with this beautiful orange-red variety being most prevalent that day.

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Until we meet again.

 

Campion

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Campion or “bladder” flower is one of those weed or wildflower flowers. Our local agricultural extension classifies it as a nuisance. We have several species in our area and this one is either a Bladder Campion: Silene latifolia or Parry’s Campion: Silene parryi. My untrained eye is unable to distinguish between the two and even if it is a weed it is a fine looking weed. 

In an alpine garden

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Just above tree-line we encountered a wonderful alpine garden. Innumerable varieties of alpine wildflowers packed to the gills growing in rockiest of rocky soil most only inches tall.

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It was had to traverse the path up the ridge without an ill feeling of stepping on these wonderful flowers. Alpine_gardens_0003

So we just settled down close to the ground and photographed a field of flowers that seemed a universe unto it’s own. Alpine_gardens_0004

Wishing you a wonderful weekend and hope you can all enjoy a bit of time outside.

ants in the plants

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Granted no one wants ants in the pants but ants in the plants is another thing all together.  One a fine summer day the ants were just as abundant as the wildflowers along the trail from the Rocky Mountain Penstemon pictured above to…

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the Townsends daisies and Larkspur…

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and the Painted Brush.

It’s not so bad to to have ants in the plants.