Sunday, July 16, 2006

Alpine Flowers near Kisa-goma-ga-take

Although alpines were about as hard to make out as anything else through the mist and rain, the mountain was certainly alive with flowers. This first shot is of the initial climb out of the glacial cirque up through a series of rocky cliffs. The rocks here were full of various white and yellow species of Silene and Ranunculus (Buttercup).
Much to my joy we soon hit upon a beautiful and very tiny species of either Shortia or Soldanella--sharply toothed pink blossoms and red-green leaves. Apparently the plant is called "iwakagami" by the Japanese.
A close-up of the flowers and leaves.
This was another surprise discovery--almost certainly a very tiny species of Dicentra (Bleeding Heart)--known as "komagusa" in Japanese.
Here is another misty meadow closer to the summit of Naka-dake, around 10,000 feet...
Here an entire field of the Shortia-Soldenalla species...looked like fairies dancing below the pine boughs.
Last of all--me, wet but happy.