Taylor Lake - Panorama Meadows, Banff N.P., Aug. 2/11

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Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27
Taylor Lake - Panorama Meadows, Banff N.P., Aug. 2/11

This is a trail that was pushed through by cat many decades ago to bring supplies to crews fighting forest fires in the interior... that may not sound promising, but it's now a nicely grown-in trail, usually wide enough for 2 abreast, and with enough sun penetrating for there to be lots of flowers along the trail. (Actually it's a better trail than most of those created by horsepackers, meaning that it goes continually uphill in a business-like way without meandering pointlessly up and down!)

Starting down in the forest...
A bad fuzzy picture of ground-cedar, Lycopodium complanatum showing cones, in the company of Linnaea borealis:

Walking along the trail, there were dense expanses of bunchberry, twinflower, and many Pyrola in bloom, and coming to the higher elevations in the forest in a wet clearing, Veratrum viride var. eschscholtzianum (as it is now called):

In the same area, I saw the most colourful bronzebells (formerly Stenanthium occidentale, now Anticlea occidentalis) I've ever seen... perhaps the effect of sunlight as compared to the more usual filtered light in the forest:

Continuing up, Rhododendron albiflorum:

And, showing that this is quite a damp forest floor, Rhododendron/Ledum groenlandicum:

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

More Rhododendron albiflorum:
 

And finally topping out in the subalpine zone... these pictures fail to show how incredibly floriferous it was!
   

Agoseris aurantiacus, pink form, in the area around Taylor Lake (formerly Agoseris lackschewitzii and now called Agoseris aurantiacus var. aurantiacus, according to The Plant List)
 

And Taylor Lake... a waterfall at the distant end.  It's the site of a tiny campground (~4? sites), a couple of picnic tables, food pole, and outhouse...

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Lousewort, Pedicularis bracteosa, in the wet meadows around the lake:
   

And Kalmia microphylla:

Climbing up through more forest to the meadows above the lake... an absolutely astounding density of bloom (that is poorly conveyed by these inadequate photos)!

Rock garden, in a sea of white mountain heather, Cassiope mertensiana:

Valeriana sitchensis:
 

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

The usual(!) amazing variety of colour forms (species?) of Castilleja:
   

   

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Meadow:
   

Veronica wormskjoldii:

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I am impressed! Although I am used to spruce, pine and mixed forests I have never sen anything like this here in Norway. The Norwegian forests are usually very species poor. Vaccinium myrtillus often covers large areas and moss and grasses dominate other areas. This is probably due to the mostly acidic bedrock and soil.

To name just one of the many interesting plants: Bronzebells is now on my wishlist ;D

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Making our way through the meadow...
 

To where the stream rushes down from the tarns and snowmelt above... Saxifraga lyallii in bloom on the mid-stream rock:

Caltha leptosepala at home with its feet wet (although in the garden here, it tolerates rather dry conditions):
   

And Senecio triangularis, also enjoying the wet habitat:

Phyllodoce empetriformis, growing on hummocks and rocks:

Claytonia lanceolata:

Stream:

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

And, for those who are paying attention ( ;)),  if you noticed the ubiquitous seedheads of "towhead babies"* (Anemone occidentalis) in the meadow photos earlier, you may note that this seedhead is much less advanced... hmmm.   (N.B. Not meaning to give away all my secrets, but I am using a literary device known as foreshadowing here...   ;D)

Mitella nuda, flourishing in the moist soil:
 

The beautiful foliage of coltsfoot, Petasites frigidus v. nivalis vitifolius:

And we emerge out of the edging forest to the talus-bound tarns above:
   

Talus... quartzite blocks covered in lichen, and slately slabs:
 

*I read an account in which someone also referred to them, amusingly, as "hippies on a stick".

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

A delight, as usual, Lori!

The flowers are not terminal on Rhododendron albiflorum?  I didn't know there was such a thing in the genus.  Perhaps a work around adaptation to getting its terminal buds eaten by various winter browsing animals?

Taylor Lake's falls (Taylor's Falls?) must be really big.  I'm very impressed, even after seeing those in Trond's South American adventure.

Okay, I've seen Valeriana sitchensis a few different times in situ on this forum, and I still like it.  Does anyone grow it in their gardens? 

Foreshadowing was effective.  I was going to ask what that anemone was.  Same with the veronica I kept seeing, dotting many of the meadow shots.

And I thought all petasites were big...  Is the foliage in the pic fully mature?

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

It was a delight to be there, Rick!  
I don't know enough about rhodos to comment, but that is how R. albiflorum is described in Flora of Alberta, with flowers "1-3 in the axils of the previous year's leaves and lateral on the stem"... a clever adaptation, if that is so.  
I've actually only seen the waterfall from that vantage point, but the water does come coursing down a ways from the melting snow banks (and whatever else... possible tarn?) above... more tumbling laterally than vertically.  This photo may show it a little better...

(We are walking up the valley on the right side of that dip slope on the right in the picture above.)
I have only seen that Petasites in the alpine/subalpine zones, where it tends to be quite restricted in size (leaves up to ~10cm?)  (It is not limited to high elevations though.)
Thanks for the comments!

More exquisite little rock gardens, of Phyllodoce empetriformis, Cassiope mertensiana and Phyllodoce glanduliflora:
   

Scenery:

A carpet of water-loving mosses, liverworts, horsetails, etc.:

And (ignoring for the moment my foreshadowing of things to come  ;D ), magnificent stands of Anemone occidentalis with advanced seedheads:

Dramatic postcard views... and as we ascend, some Veratrum viride var. eschscholtzianum have just emerged:
   

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Ranunculus pygmaeus was very abundant on the boggy shores of the tarns... and even blooming underwater up to about 20' out from the wet shoreline( :o):
   

Antennaria sp.... very common also:

Flower buds on Veratrum viride var. eschscholtzianum, none yet in bloom:

Continuing along...
     

And we come upon some Anemone occidentalis with flowers that are just spent... maybe if we go higher... ?

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

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