Plants of the White Mountains

Weirdly, I’m feeling homesick for the White Mountains.  It’s not an autumn thing- we always used to go in late spring, around Dad’s (and, incidentally, Patrick Henry’s) birthday.  We haven’t been in years.

In fact, I think the last time we went was in the winter.  We’ve been a few times in the winter too.  It’s better for skiing and snowshoeing- I used to be a pretty good skier.  And the first year we went I think it was around Autumn times.  In any event, it was cold enough that I was able to feel my metabolic processes shut down when I jumped into Lonesome Lake like an idiot.  I also lived on Hershey bars that trip.

But spring is obviously the best for botanizing.  So it’s kind of weird, but I’m feeling homesick for these plants that I used to see when we hiked in the presidential range.

  1. Trillium
    I’m missing trillium maybe the most and I don’t think I’ve ever seen them anywhere else.  They come in different combinations of whites, pinks, mauves, and maroons.  Others are one color.
  2. Trout Lily
    So called because of the funny mottling effect on their leaves.  The spotting always reminds me of liver spots- those are a thing, right?  Also salmon. Sometimes I misspeak and call them salmon lily.
  3. Hobblebush
    Hobblebush is an excellent pant and one of the first more obscure ones that I learned to identify (other than jewel weed, I think I was born with that stuff).  The branches on this shrub-like plant are really spreading and kind of scraggly.  Like maybe you’ll trip on it and hobble?  I hate mnemonic devices, but this one is stuck in my brain.
  4. Gold Thread
    So called because the roots are thin and yellow-gold in color. These are cute little guys with a hidden secret underground. Kind of like dwarves or leprechauns. But more friendly and less greedy.
  5. Lady Slipper
    Rarer to spot, but much more beautiful in native surroundings than in the garden- especially because garden variety lady slippers are a bit different.  And they’re such odd plants that you get a whole bunch together and it looks- well, odd, I think.  But getting to see one just hanging out in the woods is lovely. Like finding a fairy.

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