Final count for the hike was 10 enthusiastic hikers.
We fought the same dusty, booby-trapped road all the rest of you did and arrived at the trail head at 9:15. The temperature for the entire hike was perfect and there were zero mosquitoes! The wildflowers were wonderful, just barely past their prime with some (shooting stars for example) starting to go to seed.
We met Jurgen’s group at the overlook but had a slightly different experience. We took one look at the crowd at the overlook and went uphill a couple of hundred feet where we lunched in quiet, awesome serenity as we took in the stunning view, out of sight and hearing of the crowd scene just below us.
Altogether we identified some 55 different wildflower species on this hike. That is quite a diversity! There were also some absences I did not see.
I saw no Mimulus guttatus or any other yellow Mimulus close enough to be able to identify them. Mimulus Lewisii was present, but there seemed to be fewer of them also. There may have been a patch of guttatus way up high on the face of the Crooked Creek Falls. This is a marked shift from where I saw them over previous years about the same time of the year. Staircase falls had a lot of them previously. This year it has none. There are some sort of plants on the falls, but nothing I could confirm as being guttatus.
I did not see any American bistort.
I saw three bear grass blossoms a week ago. They too were gone.
There were a few Monk’s hood blossoms a week ago. I did not see any this trip.
Huckleberries were not ripe yet, even at the Bird Lake elevation.
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