Monday, December 24, 2012

Photo of the day: Fringed grass of parnassus

In early September, my good friend Crow joined me on a hike I've been wanting to do for years, climbing up to the crest of the Tatoosh Range on its eastern end. After the long, snowy winter we had last year, many of the wildflowers were still in high bloom, especially at the elevation of the subalpine meadows, while at the same time the grasses were turning amber with the approach of fall. The weather was near-perfect -- a little warm, but clear and sunny and full of light. It took us all day to reach Tatoosh Peak and return to our car, and a major reason was the abundance of wildflowers we "had" to stop and photograph along the way. I was especially intrigued by these frilly white blooms, which I had seen before but couldn't quite remember the name of. For the record, they're "fringed grass of parnassis." Like any white flower on a sunny day, they're challenging to photograph in such a way that the whites aren't blown out against the deeper shadows behind them. It was also breezy, which makes any close up photography difficult. Still, I'm pleased with these blooms, captured just where the trail rose out of the deep forest into the subalpine light.

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