Today was a most beautiful day here in the Pacific Northwest, and what better way to have relished it by visiting the Paradise area at Mt Rainier National Park! I mean…it was a picture perfect day in the mountain park: blue sky, colorful mountain flowers, warm temperatures, and NO large crowds. Since the summer season was late this year in this region, the summer flowers and autumn flowers are blossoming together in the Paradise meadows. As I walked the trails, my nose was filled with perfumy aromas, especially from the abundant purple Subalpine Lupine. I made a mental note of the flower species I observed: Paintbrush, Sitka Valerian, Subalpine Lupine, Pearly Everlasting, Subalpine Daisy, Arrowleaf Groundsel, Fan-leaf Cinquefoil, Aster, Rosy Spirea, Pasqueflower, Bistort. I’m sure I left out a few.
Paradise is an area that one can often expect to see some kind of wildlife suddenly appear. Today I was rewarded with hearing and spotting the whistling marmots (see photos above) that make their home in the meadows. Spotting wildlife is usually not very difficult here. Many of the animal species are quite comfortable with human presence in the park, perhaps a little too comfortable at times. But then again, one’s definition of Paradise may include humans and animals co-existing side by side without fear of each other.