A little bit of everything

Today we were a group of four photographers, my old photographer buddy and fellow botanist Mr S. had come over for the weekend and my regular photo companions from Ljusdal had driven up for the day. I had tried to plan a day that would provide the best chances with little effort, but that would require the weather to co-operate. The forecast said it would be sunny, but that doesn’t always mean that it’s really sunny in the mountains because the highest mountains tend to maintain their own climate. We started from Torkilstöten which is my favourite flower mountain and the view from top towards Helags is great as it’s so close. As just as I was afraid of, Helags persisted with its own cloud cover so it was shaded and the view was effectively ruined.

If all else fails, pick the details

A funny thing though – as I was walking across the top plateau, I kept an eye out for the alpine chamorchis. I didn’t see it, but I figured that I was on the wrong side of the trail anyway (I had gone left from the trail, while the alpine chamorchis I found last year were to the right from the trail). I had to wait for the company to catch up, so I sat on a rock to rest my feet. I looked around to kill some time and what would catch my eye… if not this littlest of orchids! A closer look revealed six individuals in this small patch. And that’s all the alpine chamorchis I found on this trip.

When the sun just wouldn’t properly come out, we gave up on Torkilstöten and I thought we should try with a waterfall instead. Silverfallet is the obvious choice once we were on this side of Flatruet anyway, but there’s just one little problem with it – it’s very wet to get there. Previous experience had taught me to wear wellingtons but the others only had hiking boots, and for those to keep your feet dry you need a very good waterproofing. And as if the risk of getting wet feet wasn’t bad enough, there was also the millions of mosquitoes to deal with. With my wellingtons and mosquito repellant I was actually quite comfortable, but I think I was alone with that… I hope they found the waterfall worth the effort though. Personally, I struggled with the light because by now of course the sun was properly out, when I really didn’t need it. I still have trouble working with waterfalls in sunlight and Silverfallet was side-lit, so there was a lot of contrast to deal with.

I guess mountains are a little like a box of chocolates. You never know what you get…

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