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Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies

07.25.16

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Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies

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  • Dollar Lake near the scenic Rae Lakes Basin along the John Muir Trail.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Grouse Meadow along the John Muir Trail.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Deer are very common along some sections of the JMT trail and around campsites.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Sunset after a thunderstorm at Lower Cathedral Lake near Tuolumne Meadows.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Indian paintbrush (Castilleja miniata) on the Bear Lakes Loop.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Sierra lupine (Lupinus grayi) on the Bear Lakes Loop.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Gaining some elevation above Big Bear Lakes.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Wildflower displays along the Sierra Buttes Trail. - Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • These aspen groves near Gilpin Lake are a delight in the fall.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Early meadows and mountain views along the Zirkel Circle.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Alpine sunflower and Indian paintbrush flower in the Cirque of the Towers.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Wildflowers around Mitchell Lake.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Wildflowers cover the ground along streams in the Blue Lake area.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Here is a late June bloom of Mountain shooting star (Dodecatheon jeffreyi) along Elk Meadow.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Later in July the common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) and Rydberg's penstemon (Penstemon rydbergii) come out in Elk Meadow.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • The view down the Middle Fork of the Boise River with the jagged Peaks 9,635 (left) and 9,266 (right).- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Wildflowers choke a steep creek that crosses the trail at 7,000 feet.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Elephant head (Phyllodoce empetriformis).- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • The wildflowers along the old Eureka Gulch road are stunning in August.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • More late summer wildflowers in Eureka Gulch.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Rock fringe (Phacelia sericea).- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Devil's club (Oplopanax horridus).- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Dwarf dogwood (Cornus unalaschkensis), which is also known as bunchberry, along the Thornton Lakes Trail.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • View of the North Cascades from the Thornton Lakes Trail.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium).- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Avalanche lily (Erythronium montanum).- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Yellow glacier lily (Erythronium grandiflorum).- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Spreading phlox (Phlox diffusa).- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana).- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Black huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum).- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Pink mountain heather (Phyllodoce empetriformis).- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Aster.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Fireweed.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Subalpine meadows along the Ring Lake Trail.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Glacial meltwater flowing down toward Ring Lake.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
  • Meadows above Hanging Lake on the hike to Madeley Lake.- Groves, riots, and Sundry Summer Flora Assemblies
Article
Team

One of the great pleasures of adventuring in the summer season is checking in on the many species of plants in your favorite area as they return from a long winter. Spend enough time admiring the local flora and the plants start to feel like acquaintances in a familiar ecosystem, from subtle lichens to stately old-growth trees. Each has a character of its own, and discovering this character is well worth a little time and observation along the way.

Spreading phlox (Phlox diffusa). Photo by Tyson Gillard.

Consider, for instance, the vast social network the John Muir cultivated on the trail; his journal doesn't just record the presence of plant species, it records his animistic interactions. Muir's plants had soul. Here's an example from early in Muir's My First Summer in the Sierra:

Found a lovely lily (Calochortus albus) in a shady adenostoma thicket near Coulterville, in company with Adiantum Chilenese. It is white with a faint purplish tinge inside at the base of the petals, a most impressive plant, pure as a snow crystal, one of the plant saints that all must love and be made so much the purer by it every time it is seen. It puts the roughest mountaineer on his good behavior. With this plant the whole world would seem rich though none other existed. It is not easy to keep on with the camp cloud while such plant people are standing preaching by the wayside.

Of course, we can't all be as gifted at seeing the souls around us as John Muir was, but that shouldn't stop you from reacquainting yourself with some of your favorite species along the trail. Whether you run with the riots of showy lupine, paintbrush, and arrowleaf balsam root crowd or you prefer the gossipy flutters of aspen and cottonwood groves, summer is definitely social hour, and Outdoor Project has heaps of adventures featuring these unique characters. We've listed a few below, but please let us know where you go to check in with some of your favorite species!

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