We have hiked in many countries over numerous years, through deserts and up mountains, and rarely have we stopped to look at plants around us. Since our trip to Borrego Springs, California in March to see the “super bloom,” a rare event when the desert had an unusually high rate of blooming plants, everything changed for us. We became aware of wildflowers as we hiked, and now, we seemed to see them everywhere. It was a previously unknown world to us.
We spent four days at Chico Hot Springs in Pray, Montana with a plan: soak in the springs, hike, and eat great food. Mission accomplished. What we hadn’t expected was the number of wildflowers dotting the hiking trails. We’re never too old to learn about new things. So we took their photos, consulted a great website for help in identifying the plants, and tried to learn about what we’d seen.
We met hikers on a path through an evergreen forest, and they told us they had seen one very little orchid not too far ahead by the side of the trail. As we chatted, one of the hikers pointed to a tiny flower a few feet away. It turned out to be the same orchid, a fairy slipper.
Our search is not over. A whole new world opened to us, and we’ll be on the lookout for more wildflowers on our walks. Of course, the flowers will have to compete for our attention with birds and butterflies, too … We have a lot to learn.