The Lake of the Sky eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 436 pages of information about The Lake of the Sky.

In May they come trooping along in all their pristine glory, God’s thoughts cast upon the mold of earth, so that even the men and women of downcast eyes and souls may know the ever-fresh, ever-present love of God.

Most interesting of all is the snow-plant (sarcodes san-guinea Torrey).  The name is unfortunate.  The plant doesn’t look like snow, nor does it grow on or in the snow.  It simply follows the snow line, as so many of the Sierran plants do, and as the snow melts and leaves the valley, one must climb to find it.  It is of a rich red color, which glows in the sunlight like a living thing.  It has no leaves but is supplied with over-lapping scale-like bracts of a warm flesh-tint.  At the lower part of the flower these are rigid and closely adherent to the stem, but higher up they become looser and curl gracefully about among the vivid red bells.  In the spring of 1914 they were wonderfully plentiful at the Tavern and all around the Lake.  I literally saw hundreds of them.

Next in interest comes the heather, both red and white.  In Desolation Valley, as well as around most of the Sierran lakes of the Tahoe Region, beds of heather are found that have won enthusiastic Scotchmen to declare that Tahoe heather beats that of Scotland.  The red heather is the more abundant, and its rich deep green leaves and crown of glowing red makes it to be desired, but the white heather is a flower fit for the delicate corsage bouquet of a queen, or the lapel of the noblest of men.  Dainty and exquisite, perfect in shape and color its tiny white bell is par-excellence the emblem of passionate purity.

Blue gentians (Gentina calycosa, Griseb) abound, their deep blue blossoms rivaling the pure blue of our Sierran skies.  These often come late in the season and cheer the hearts of those who come upon them with “a glad sweet surprise”.  There are also white gentians found aplenty.

The water lilies of the Tahoe Region are strikingly beautiful.  In many of the Sierran lakes conditions seem to exist which make them flourish and they are found in plentiful quantities.

Wild marigolds abound in large patches, even on the mountain heights, where there is plenty of moisture and sunshine, and a species of marguerite, or mountain daisy, is not uncommon.  The Indian paint-brush is found everywhere and is in full bloom in deepest red in September.  Wild sunflowers also abound except where the sheep have been.  Then not a sign of once vast patches can be found.  They are eaten clear to the ground.

The mullein attains especial dignity in this mountain region.  Stately and proud it rises above the lesser though more beautiful flowers of the wild.  It generally dies down in September, though an occasional flowering stalk may be seen as late as October.

Another very common but ever-welcome plant, for its pungent and pleasing odor, is the pennyroyal.  It abounds throughout the whole region and its hardiness keeps it flowering until late in the fall.

Project Gutenberg
The Lake of the Sky from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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