Saturday, August 24, 2013
The Olympics - Second Day
After spending the night in Port Angeles, the next day we headed for another area of the park up the Deer Park Road, a gravel road that took us some twelve miles up into the eastern side of the park.
We immediately found there another Piperia, the Slender White Piperia, Piperia candida. This was finished at lower elevations but here it was in bloom everywhere.
Growing with them we found the Pipsissewa, Chimaphilia umbellata and the Nodding Onion, Allium cernum, but the former was almost finished blooming.
We also found some Candystick, Allotrop virgata, on a steep bank and were perched precariously up there when another vehicle came down the one-lane road, forcing me to jump down off the bank.
Another new wildflower was the Columbia Goldenweed, Ericameria resinosa, with its very strange flowers, sticky stems and strong odor.
Others were Harsh Paintbrush, Broad-leaved Penstemon, Penstemon ovatus, Subalpine lupine, Lupinus arcticus, the massive Corn Lily, Veratrum viride, and Cascades Stonecrop, Sedum divergens.
Once we got above the treeline the scenery was spectacular especially at the very end of the road at the top of Blue Mountain. We wish now that we had done the trail there, but did not for lack of time.
On the way down we found our eleventh orchid, the Northwestern Twayblade, Listera banksiana, a tiny plant with tiny green flowers, here so close to the roads that plant and flowers were dusty.
There seemed to be a lot more deer than we've seen before and we photographed a doe with two fawns, though one of them bounded off before the picture was taken.
Nearby we found Pinedrops, Pterospora andromeda, a rather common leafless plant in the northwest forests, but these were massive, more than half as tall as my wife.
With them were growing another leafless saprophyte, Pinesap, Monotropa hypopithys, but they were nearly finished flowering.
We made a few stops, too on the way back to the ferry and home, one to photograph an old and apparently abandoned house near the road.