This last weekend was Decoder Man’s and my 16th wedding anniversary. Since we’re currently kidless (the girls are visiting his family), we decided to go somewhere we’d never been before, and chose Sandpoint, Idaho. Why Sandpoint? A couple of reasons. One, I’ve got friends who go there every summer and are always talking about how great it is. Two, while Idaho is a great state, we don’t exactly live in a picturesque part of it, and we wanted to see someplace pretty that wasn’t named “McCall.” (Those of you who live nearby will understand.) Third, Sandpoint recently won Rand McNally and USA Today’s Best of the Road competition for the Best Small Town in America.
On Saturday we went to Schweitzer Mountain Resort. We rode up the Great Escape Quad chair lift and walked the Nature Trail back down, about 2.5 miles. The top of the mountain offers beautiful views of Lake Pend Oreille (pronounced pon-duh-ray). There were also many beautiful mountain-climate wildflowers to take macro photos of.
Bear Grass (Xerophyllum tenax), also known as Indian Basket Grass, is a truly spectacular plant that greeted us once we got off of the chair lift. Its leaves and stem resemble the yucca plant. Centuries ago, the area’s Native Americans used the leaves to weave into baskets and hats. Meriwether Lewis, in 1806, called it “luxouriant.”
Bear Grass is actually not a grass at all, but a member of the Lily family. Its buds open from the bottom up, exploding with delicate, star-like creamy white flowers.
I had a heck of a time getting a focused macro photo of a bud because it was so windy on the mountain. I don’t know how long I crouched there before I finally got this shot.
The flowers themselves are dainty and beautiful. These shots were also difficult to get because of the wind. Decoder Man finally had to hold the stem of the plant for me, and even then I took many unfocused photos before I got a couple good ones.
Hope you enjoyed the photos of this interesting plant. Next time I’ll post some macro photos of other wildflowers we saw on the Nature Trail on our hike down Schweitzer Mountain.