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Field Notes: a Northwest nature blog

One of the reasons many of us live in the Pacific Northwest is the natural wonders that amaze us all. On this blog Seattle Times writers and photographers will share their explorations of the natural world from snowcaps to whitecaps. Write us at with your own sightings, questions and wonders to share.

July 11, 2011 at 7:00 AM

New hiking companion: A wildflower guide from the Burke Museum

Posted by Lynda V. Mapes

Just in time for your summer excursions to Mount Rainier trails, the Burke Museum is publishing its first-ever Mount Rainier wildflower guide. Called Alpine Flowers of Mount Rainier, it is the first in what will be a series of identification guides on regional wildflowers, made tough enough to take on the trail in all kinds of weather.

The photos are spectacular:

Fireweed, a summer hiking delight. Donovan Tracy photo, courtesy The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture

The guide includes photos and descriptions of 90 common wildflowers found above the tree line. The work of David Giblin, Burke Museum Herbarium collections manager, and University of Washington alum Donovan Tracy, the field guide is intended to fill a niche for a handy, hiker-friendly, portable guide with both scientific and common names, built tough enough to take on the trail.

The book is printed on water-proof, tear-resistant paper. The guides cost $9.50 and are available in the Burke Museum shop, Mount Rainier National Park gift shops, Seattle Audubon, Metsker Maps and Third Place Books. Proceeds from the guide will support the Burke Herbarium's educational outreach and field research.

The hope is that it will be the first in a series of guides on alpine flower regions around the state.

Some other familiar faces in the guide:

Lousewort is much prettier than its name. Photo by Donovan Tracy, courtesy Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. entice you to the trail:

Alpine aster.JPG
Alpine aster. Donovan Tracy, photo. Courtesy Burke Museum of History and Culture

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