Such Fragile Beauty

Rainier is a formidable mountain, its towering peaks and its imposing glaciers nothing short of awe-inspiring, which makes it all the more remarkable that it’s often the fragile beauty that leaves the most immediate impression on you during a late summer visit.

My personal favorite would have to be Indian Paintbrush in all it’s vivid incarnations,

Indian Paintbrush

but it’s equally impossible to ignore waves of purple flowers cascading down steep rocky cliffs.

Purple flowers on Cliff

How can anything as delicate as the small butterflies one sees everywhere find sustenance here

Butterlfly on Rock

or endure long, bitter winters.

Blue Butterfly

One can’t help but feel sympathy for chipmunks that seem to savor the plentiful flowers

Chipmunk Munching on Flower

but are forced to forage for food in the snow for at least half the year.

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