2009-06-17 21:41:57.000 – Mike Finnegan, IT Observer
Fragile Alpine Flowers
Observer Note:Author Eric Pinder and illustrator T.B.R Walsh will be at the WeatherDiscovery Center, on Main Street in North Conway, on June 20th at 1:00PM for a reading and signing event promoting their new book Cat in the Clouds. This richly illustratedchildren’s book tells the tale of former Observatory cat Nin, the poor stray who stumbled into a life of adventure atop the Northeast’s highest peak. The general public isinvited.
As the past two shifts have gone, I’ve seen some fairly pleasant weather on the mountain. It has been nice to be able to get out and hike, ride, or play music outside. In that realm, things look to be changing a bit for the beginning of this week with some rain and fog in the forecast. Today, however, was more of what I have grown happily accustomed to – sunny skies and light winds. With this weather and the knowledge that many alpine flowers are in bloom, I decided to take a walk on down to the Alpine Gardens and see the fragile beauty.
The thing about the alpine flowers is that they are around for only a short period of time. Only seeing most of them a few shifts a year makes it difficult for me to commit their names to memory. I guess it doesn’t matter too terribly much what they are named as every year I just come back and cross-reference the pictures I take with a book and discover their names once again. I saw four different flowers on my stroll today. The first and seemingly most common was Diapensia. This is also one that is most common in the Green Mountains of Vermont’s alpine zones. Often found in conjunction with this plant was a small pink flower that also grew on a mat, Alpine Azalea. Not as common in my travel was a larger pink flower, more showy than the rest, known as Lapland Rosebay. The least common of all the flowers I saw was a pretty yellow one, which I believe is known as Mountain Avens.
As more flowers come into bloom, I will try to get out and take a few more pictures. It is a special time of year on the mountain when all these colors are present, and I for one will certainly be taking advantage of it (at least when thunderstorms are not threatening!)
Mike Finnegan, IT Observer