The second of my reflective posts was inspired by the Twitter account Wildflowerhour, a wonderful account that highlights the stunning array of wildflowers of the British Isles. I’ve really enjoyed following them, learning more about native British flowers and even recognizing some relatives of flowers here in BC. It’s great therapy!
In November, they invited followers to tweet about their “favourite find” of the year, to showcase the flowers that people had, say, discovered for the first time, or particularly good displays of flowers. And of course, that got me thinking. What were my favourite finds of 2019? Much as I love my glacier lily finds, I felt that I should choose something more distinctive. I had to think about it for a few minutes, and sifted back through our hundreds of photos in order to jog my memory. But I quickly found four flowers that I would call my favourites of the year, all of which were new to us.
In chronological order:
- Satin flower – I first saw photos of these flowers last year thanks to a flower aficionado I follow on Instagram who lives on Vancouver Island. I was really pleased to have an excuse to visit the Island in early April and, while they were approaching the end of their bloom, I managed to find a few on the summit of Mount Finlayson.
- Avalanche lily – the names avalanche lily and glacier lily are often used interchangeably for both flowers, though I believe the most common convention is for Erythronium montanum and E. grandiflorum respectively. We found a patch of E. montanum at Picture Lake along the road to Artist Point, which surprised me as I thought that, like glacier lilies, the avalanche lilies were flowers of more open meadows. Not that I’m complaining! But I still need to visit Mount Rainier to see them in their full meadow-carpeting glory.
- Northern rice root lily – despite being common in BC, we had never seen this flower before our hike to Hanging Lake. Like many lilies, it’s incredibly difficult to photograph as the flowers point downwards, plus the petals are dark which makes it hard to see their detail. What I didn’t realize before getting up close and personal with these flowers was their aroma; I thought I’d stepped in something… I recommend holding your nose or at least not breathing too deeply when you’re near them!
- Monkshood – if I’ve seen monkshood before I don’t remember, and if I have then I think it was not at its peak. We came across a small group of them in a shady hollow, and it took some effort to get a reasonable photo. Very distinctive and very nice to see!
So that sums up my favourite finds of 2019. A very honourable mention must go to the pink fawn lily, of which we found a stunning display on Vancouver Island. Alas we had but only a few minutes to enjoy them as we were on a deadline to get back to the ferry, but that moment definitely sticks out in my mind.
I wonder what 2020 will bring? Will we find new flowers? Or just some good displays of old favourites? We’ll have to wait and see…