Back to Rainier

Despite the lack of postings, we have been hiking on Mt. Rainier the last three or four weeks, though we didn’t actually see the mountain until last week.  Our first hike was one of the last ones we took last year, the High Lakes Trail.  The highlight of the day was fields covered by Avalanche Lilies, far more than we have seen in previous years.  I suspect that is because we also saw more snow than we’ve seen in previous years.  It’s almost as if the lilies were trying to replace the snowfields that were just melting.

Although it was the sheer number of Avalanche Lilies that most impressed us, the photographer in me couldn’t figure out how to convey that in a single shot, so, as usual, I went for a closer shot, 

and an even closer shot, one that shows a surprisingly delicate beauty but seems to thrive in an unforgiving environment. 

We were also greeted by a personal favorite — (Indian) Paintbrush.

I was a little surprised/disappointed that the Canada Jays didn’t join us for lunch but I was thrilled to spot a seldom-seen Sooty Grouse with several chicks that had apparently mastered camouflage because they didn’t actually show up on any of the many shots I took.

My favorite shot of the day was actually taken after we had finished the hike and had stopped for a bathroom break at Narada Falls.  Right in front of the only parking spot left in the lot were these beautiful Tiger Lilies,

the perfect way to end a nearly perfect day.

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