Somewhat unusual for that part of the Coeur d’Alene Mountains in summer, there were only a few flowers in bloom, perhaps because of the hot, dry conditions this summer.
Indian-Pipe, Monotropa uniflora, a Saprophytic perennial
In a comment, I mentioned the thought that due to the rather mysterious aura of the Indian Pipes, there must be some Indian legends about them. Linda from The Task at Hand has given me permission to include the following legend which she received from a friend:
“According to legend, a long time ago, before selfishness came into the world, the Cherokee people were happy sharing the hunting and fishing places with their neighbors. All this changed when Selfishness came into the world and man began to quarrel. The Cherokee Indians quarreled with tribes on the east. Finally the chiefs of several tribes met in council to try to settle the dispute. They smoked the pipe and continued to quarrel for seven days and seven nights. This displeased the Great Spirit because people are not supposed to smoke the pipe until they make peace. As he looked upon the old men with heads bowed, he decided to do something to remind people to smoke the pipe only at the time they make peace.
The Great Spirit turned the old men into greyish flowers now called ~Indian Pipes~ and he made them grow where friends and relatives had quarreled. He made the smoke hang over these mountains until all the people all over the world learn to live together in peace.”
Rattlesnake Plantain, Goodyera oblongifolia, an Orchid
Indian Hellebore, Veratrum viride, a member of the Lily family
Scouler’s St. Johnswort, Norton’s St. Johnswort, Hypericum scouleri
Self-Heal, Prunella vulgaris, Mint family
Hooded Ladies’-tresses, Spiranthes romanzoffiana, an Orchid