Mt. Rainier’s Hidden Beauty

One of the best things about receiving a gift of a book like Plants and Animals of Mount Rainier and the Cascades is that it makes you realize how many flowers you have never seen, or, at least, have never taken a picture of. That, in turn, encourages you to start paying more attention than you have before. None of the flowers pictured here standout like the flowers in the previous entry. Several of them are found at lower elevations in dense forest and are easy to overlook unless you are looking for them.

Although this Mountain Daisy was easy to identify, it was a single flower in a bed of lupine and Indian Paintbrush.

Mountain Daisy

Sometimes you find plants/flowers you’ve never seen before, but instead of identifying them quickly you’re left wondering if they’re really what you think they might be. For instance, looking through the book I thought this was probably a Pine Sap, a flower I’m sure I’ve never seen before.

 Pine Sap?

This looked quite different from the picture in the book, but an online search revealed a photo that looked exactly like this, so if whoever posted it identified it correctly it must be a Pine Sap.

I had some of the same problems identifying this flower. These are salal flowers, as noted by Mike and Brighid.

I’ve seen this flower


quite a few times before but didn’t remember it was called Penstemon until I looked it up in the book. If I look it up three more times I might remember its name when I see it again.

I might have seen this flower before

 Sitka Valeria

but i’m sure I’ve never heard the name Sitka Valerian before.

I also discovered this very small flower (the picture is at least two times its actual size)

by a hot springs, but was unable to find it in the book, or anywhere else for that matter.

Beginning flower-watching reminds me of beginning birdwatching where you spend more time trying to find the name of species than you do actually finding them. Still, it adds another dimension to something I love doing so it’s hard to complain.

5 thoughts on “Mt. Rainier’s Hidden Beauty”

  1. Flowers are fun to shoot. They present their own set of challenges compared to birds and squirrels and such; a bit of a surprise given their lack of mobility. A lot of photographers actually clip or buy their subjects and shoot them in an indoor environment.

    Sort of takes all the fun out of it, I think.

    1. Yes, I’ve noted that, too, Dave. I really started taking pictures of flowers in the local park, not birds. A quick retrospective reveals some very different photographs over time.

      The hardest part for me is keeping the important parts of the shot in focus.

  2. Good to see you are taking an interest in flowers now, Loren. I struggle with getting the right depth of field at close focus with my Pentax WG-II and I see you have a similar problem. I’m sure you’ll get it right and then you can tell me how to do it. As for looking up and remembering names that’s both fun and frustrating. There are a lot of wrong names out there on the web.
    You have a beautiful environment to practice your hobby.

  3. When it came to tiny little blossoms close to the ground, your late father-in-law (my husband) lumped them all together and called them “belly flowers” because, he said, you had to lie on your belly to look at them. There — that should simplify things for you!

  4. That flower that you had problems identifying looks like the flowers of the ubiquitous salal bush. So do the leaves.

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