Saturday, October 22, 2011
Piperia elongata at Ross Lake
The last two weeks of August we had our seven year old grandson with us. He had come with us from Michigan and we took every opportunity to do fun things with him, going whale-watching, visiting the local fair, and going on an overnight backpacking trip.
Knowing that he was not used to hiking, we hiked in only a couple of miles to a favorite spot on Ross Lake in North Cascades National Park called Greenpoint. There we spent the day after setting up camp and there also we spent the night in our sleeping bags and tents.
The trail we took followed the shore of the lake (created by Ross Dam), gradually climbing above the level of the lake and then dropping back down on a side trail to Greenpoint and the lake. It was there we found once again a favorite orchid species, the Long-spurred Piperia.
It grew all along the trail though usually only a few scattered spikes in any location. One of the last orchids to bloom in the area, its leaves had withered and if the 30-40 cm flower spikes had not been there it would have been impossible to locate.