We were there for a very specialised sort of : reporting on the life cycle phases of flowers at various study sites for meadowatch.org/ . That doesn't always mean there are lots of flowers--data from well before and after peak bloom also matter--but we were there at a good time for flowers this year.

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Several of the study sites have Sitka Valerian, and that's also one of the plants that takes over when there's a recent disturbance like a rockslide. It was absolutely covered in these small black-and-white butterflies.

The trails themselves are beautiful and varied: the project inherently needs sites with a wide range of snow melt dates, so they take us across almost the whole range of terrain there that doesn't need specialised equipment to access. I had to pass on today's hike because I woke up with gut and back pain (maybe one causing the other?), but even the little walk I could handle while waiting for the rest of the party was a delight.

...then noticing the smoke in the air, and coming back to cellphone reception to learn of the El Paso shooting. That neither thing surprised me is no comfort whatsoever.

Two important updates from @rainhead: those "butterflies" seem to actually be pnwmoths.biol.wwu.edu/browse/f ... and he's a lot quicker than me at getting full photo albums up, so his are already at flickr.com/photos/rainhead/alb including a nice marmot.

@sunconscious thank you. It's such a beautiful place that photography there is definitely easy mode.

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