Thursday, June 25, 2015

Alpine Flowers of Mount Hood

Hello, Everyone! Mister Chickadee Gardens here. Been awhile. I think since last winter when I reported here on my adventure to Everest Base Camp. Remember? You can revisit that post here. Many pictures of mountains and me trying to breathe? This time I am once again on a mountain, but it's local talent, i.e., Mount Hood. Yes, I am back in my boots and taking more pictures. This time, instead of mountains, I focused on flowers. Alpine flowers, I should say. Sweet, low-growing alpine flowers. 

Just below is an Indian paintbrush. I think. I am no expert. But this is what we called them as kids, and so be it here. Please feel free to share the real name. As to Latin names, indian paint-a-brushas? Haha, never mind. At any rate, I loved this little jewel. Hope you do as well.


Yep, that's me with a multitude of bear grasses behind me. They are very busy on the ridge above Zigzag River canyon. To take this hike, drive to Timberline Lodge, walk up behind the lodge to the Pacific Crest Trail and head west/north. It follows along the mountain and is not so tough. These bear grasses are just so snowy and creamy. Oddly, while there were plenty of bees on other flowers, nary a nodual of bear grassery featured a bee, bumble or otherwise. Hmmmm.




I want ice cream now, for some reason. 


This is looking due east up Zigzag River canyon. The 6.5-mile (out-and-back) hike is an annual tradition for myself and a good friend. This is by far the earliest we've gone on any year in about 30 years of going. No snow to block the trail. This looks like late August on the mountain. Yipes!



Okay, this is where the fun starts. I do not know the name of many of these flowers. I just like them. So tiny and sturdy. You have to be, I guess, to live up there at 7,000 feet. Again, if you know the name, feel free.
(Tamara the blogger here in parentheses. I shall fill in botanic names if you care to know; ignore these notes if you'd rather play along with Mr. Chickadee which is probably a lot more fun. This is Lupinus latifolius, broadleaf lupine).


More purple goodness. 


(Mimulus guttatus, monkeyflower)

That's the plant above this delicate little blossom. Sweet, soft yellow. 


And some wild life, too. Not a cougar. Not a bear. Nor a raccoon or eagle. Just a gentle, half-dollar-size butterfly (or moth).  


I am of a mind, thanks to Mrs Chickadee, that this is a sedum plant of some sort. (Close, Mr. Chickadee - a penstemon...looks like Penstemon rupicola)


These blooms were smaller than a malted milk ball (of course he compares them to chocolate). I like the color and their energy. These grow in direct sunshine. Not much water. (These oddballs are Cistanthe umbellata or Mt. Hood pussypaws. We like these.)


Fuzzy! Pink!


This is why we go, get out of the city, see some green and a mountain in the distance. Sigh. We love Oregon and good ol' Mount Hood.




Lots of this stuff about. Not sure of the name, but it seems very happy. The funny thing is that since we tend not to get on this trail until mid- to late-summer, we don't often seen all of these flowers. So this was a treat. 


Looking due south to Mount Jefferson, the Sisters and possibly Mount Bachelor.  (More lupine.)


Here is a scrubby little conifer. Dozens of these about. Reminds me of bonzai. (This seems to be a rather stunted mountain hemlock.)




This time the flower (above) and then the plant. It was growing in the deep shade on the long, switch-backed trail from the ridge to the river below. In this picture, the flash went off so the green really pops. (This is a sweet false Soloman's seal or Maianthemum racemosum.)




Flowers can be green, too, I suppose. Kind of like this one. (Aruncus dioicus, goadtsbeard, another fabulous native woodland plant.)


Here is my happy flower. About the size of a silver dollar. Reminds me of tiny seashells (oh goodness, this could be anything...!). 


 I was a day or two late for the trillium bloom. Not many, and those I saw were in deep shade around some water seeps. Very small, too, unlike the trilliums, say, in Forest Park in Portland.


(Not sure about the plant I.D. on this one, either.)


Yellow flowers really stand out on the gray and brown landscape along the trail. (Arnica latifolia, mountain arnica.)


So does hot pink! (Not sure what this was!)


These are just the teeny, tiniest flowers. Good thing I have a macro lens on the old Canon. These grow along the trail in the sun. Don't step on them. (Eriogonum umbellatum, sulfur flowered buckwheat.)


These clumps of cheer just pepper the hillside near Timberline Lodge. Looks like someone spilled the button jar. The jar of purple buttons, that is! (Phlox diffusa or spreading phlox.)


This was the most unusual flower. Up, down, around. Still, they are like the rest of my alpine flower friends. Struggling to survive in a harsh environment and blossoming in the sun. They can handle cold, snowy winters and dry, baking summers, but they carry on. They might be small and they might not make much of a statement, with the exception of the bear grass, but they are certainly favorites (This is a lovely wildflower called Dodecatheon hendersonii or shooting star...lovely, isn't it?)

So there you go: a tour of alpine flowers and whatnot from Mount Hood. Thanks for reading it. Hope you enjoyed it. Cheers.

(Thank you, dear husband of mine, Mr. Chickadee. I enjoyed the tour myself. To all of you readers out there, thank you for humoring us both and until next time, happy gardening!)

27 comments :

  1. This was a lot of fun -- like the tag-team approach! Alas, "alpine" usually means "won't grow for me", but I LOVE the Dodecatheon hendersonii. Plus this brings back memories of past summers when we were actually able to get into the mountains. Sigh.

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    2. David here. Thanks much. We love the mountains. And the little flowerizies.

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  2. Thank you Mr. Chickadee ! Lovely tour , and to see our garden plants in their natural settings !

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    1. DP here. When I have some mountain property, it is lupines for days!!

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  3. Thank you for taking us along! What a great place for botanising!

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    1. DP here. Little flowers and little trees can be fun. I need a more macro lens, though. Bigger lens for small subjects. Thanks.

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  4. You tow make great blog partners! I was surprised to see so many flowers on that route. They're lovely!

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    1. Hi, Kris. DP here. I was very surprised with the number of flowers, too. As to blog partners, I am the behind-the-scenes fellow that loves his wife.

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  5. Amazing how many blooming alpine flowers were at Mount Hood. Thank you for showing us, some of them were completely new to me, for instance the Mt. Hood pussypaws, just love them for the name. The Indian paintbrush is a beauty too and what to think about the bear grasses, so unusual but so beautiful.
    Thank you!

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    1. DP here. I think Mrs Chickadee made up that name, i.e. Mt Hood pussypaws!! So crazy it must be true. I wish we could grow the bear grasses down here. But the bears would hide in them.... Thanks

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  6. I love seeing other hikers' trips. Thank you for sharing this one. I need to do more trips in Oregon.The hot pink flower looks like the remains of a salmonberry blossom. The tiny seashells flower is a species of Rubus, but not sure which. The mat of feathery leaves with little white flowers, after the wooden sign, is partridge foot. I'm not sure about the white blooms before the arnica, but it looks so familiar.

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    1. Great information. Thanks. I think these low-growers are wonderful. Small, easy, and they draw me to the mountains. Sigh. Let's go tomorrow!

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  7. Anonymous4:23 PM PDT

    Very enjoyable post and great photos,thank you

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  8. You guys are having too much fun! "Mr. Chickadee" is a natural...

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    1. Thanks, Danger. I once wrote a poem. Went like this:

      A poem about flowers from the moutains.
      Something I am trying to write.
      Failure from too much sushi and Tecate!

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    2. Danger, that was from the husband, by the way.

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  9. Oh!! this is great!! and very funny how you both explain it. I love those landscapes and all those flowers are some of the ones I saw last year visiting Mt Rainier. What a wonderful place!!! I wanted to visit Mt. Hood but there was no time for both and I finally chose Rainier. Interesting...there is a parasite Cistanche here in Spain, with no chlorophyll.

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    1. Hi, Lisa. DP here. Thanks for the comment. We love Rainer, but my next goal is Little Mount Adams. No snow on it either. It is just east of Adams itself along Hellroar Canyon. Ah, the mountains.

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    2. It will be great to see the visit to Mount Adams!

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  10. Great tour! The mountain is so beautiful this time of year. (Then again - when is it NOT beautiful...?) Need to get up there before the indian paintbrushes disappear. They are a personal favorite, but you showed me many more that I haven't seen. Time to take a road trip, and escape the city heat!

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    1. HI, Anna. DP here. Well, with this heat, our little flowery friends wont last long. So get up there! Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it.

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  11. I love this post, Tamara. Please thank the hubby. Wildflowers are really fascinating, thriving despite the less than perfect conditions. Of course the Cistanthe umbellata is to die for being pink and all. I wonder how much winter wet it can handle. Great post!

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    1. Hi, Grace. Mister here. Thanks for the comment. Unlike my Nepal adventure, I was only 65 minutes from my own home and kitties. And, no lung infections--nice!

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  12. There is nothing like going to the mountains. It's a soul cleanser.

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  13. You are so right, Jen. Indeed!

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