The hike: Trapper Creek Wilderness Loop, 14.5 mi
This hike is from last weekend. We set out to “summit” Observation Peak, but found the loop snowed in at 6 miles. We could have opted for the straight shot up, but we wanted to do the loop which is longer. There was also a surprising amount of blow down in branches and trees that obstructed the trail at many points. Guess winter hit this area pretty hard. As the snow is still receding, I was able to see some early blooming wildflowers.
// Plant List //
Anemone oregana. Ranunculaceae / Buttercup Family. Anemones can be good indicators of where we are in the season – in this case, early.
Trillium ovatum. Liliaceae / Lily Family. Lilies are a plant family of 3s – 3 leaves, 3 sepals, 3 petals, & 3 stigmas. Seeds are dispersed by ants – each seed has an oil appendage that is attractive to ants. The ants bring the seeds back to their nest & eat the oil appendage, throwing the seeds into their rubbish pile. (cite: Pojar, p.102)
Viola sempervirens. Violaceae / Violet Family – It could be Viola glabella, but based on the lower leaf placement and more rounded leaf shape (vs. a distinct point at the tip), probably v. sempervirens.
Calypso bulbosa. Orchidaceae / Orchid Family – Common name Fairyslipper. Orchids have delicate root systems and are best left untouched. Even a gentle tug can break the roots, causing the plant to die.
Achlys triphylla. Berberidaceae – Common name Vanilla leaf. Known for its vanilla scent when dried &/or crushed. These were babies, barely setting out their seeded spikes.