Lost with flowers

My holiday has officially begun! My plan is to spend 3 days in the mountains, come home for a re-pack and then take the ferry to Finland where I will spend the rest of the holiday.My first target was Ljungdalen. I had found a great botanical book about Härjedalen where the author gave some tips on good botanical excursions in the area so I had picked some to do myself. I started with the Torkilstöten mountain and I have got to say a big thank you to the author of the book! It was just simply amazing, with beautiful flowers everywhere. The mountain avens were nearly all withering, but other flowers were in their prime and a whole lot of flowers still only budding. Summer comes late to this mountain with large fields of snow still clinging to the mountainside and I wasn’t surprised to see coltsfoot blooming in one of the meltwater runoffs.

Moss heather (Cassiope hypnoides)
Moss heather (Cassiope hypnoides)

Having spent over four hours on this little mountain, I went for the second excursion I had picked up from the book. The target was to reach the lake Öjön and then continue a little past it. I found different orchids in plentiful – more Dactylorhiza incarnata ssp. cruenta than I’ve seen before – but nothing new, so I didn’t make any real effort to photograph. When I reached the lake, the trail got faint and headed through a thick bush of dwarf birch. I made a half hearted effort to follow and soon decided to turn back. I was getting a bit tired, I was sick of the bugs and there weren’t any new and exciting flowers for me to look at so sitting down for dinner just sounded too good to resist.

I haven’t had time to search for an ID yet…

I think I’ve mentioned a few times that I never get lost. There might be occasions where I don’t know exactly where I am, but my sense of direction rarely fails me so I always find back to something familiar. I have to say, this time I did get lost. I was so concentrated on looking at the orchids that I suddenly realised that I couldn’t see the trail markings anywhere. I found a path of some kind though and I followed it… to a group of mountain cabins, only I didn’t pass any cabins on the way up. I saw some people in the nearest cabin, so I asked them where the parking lot was. Just down that road, they said – ok great, I hadn’t seen a road when I came up but I remembered that the trail had taken off to the right of the parking, so maybe this road came in from the left. Except, it didn’t – it was the wrong parking! So I got back up to the friendly cabin people, showed them my map and pointed out where my car was. It turned out that I had gotten seriously off the trail – I was way out to the north. I’m glad those people were there because I thought I had come too far south and left to my own devices, I would’ve started my search in a completely wrong direction! The irony is that I had my GPS with me – I just didn’t use it to create a track. You know, why waste battery time on tracking because I never get lost…

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