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

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

Okay, onwards and upwards then... to some nice outcrops:
   

Erigeron aureus growing in the joints of the rock, and Leptarrhena pyrolifolia Saxifraga occidentalis:
   

More of the countless Anemone occidentalis in this valley...

Also an unimaginable number of blossoms of Cassiope mertensiana:
   

The head of the valley with a terminal moraine in evidence...

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 rock... imagine this rolling down from the cliff several hundreds of meters away.... (on second thought, I suppose it might have been "rafted" on glacial ice?)

(Rather easier to climb up the 10' than to climb down, by the way... I was asked to "spot" for the descent, and it was then admitted that it was a bit silly to risk it... a little more remote than the climbing wall at home, should an ankle get twisted.)

Slabs of rock...

And at this fairly high elevation, some spectacular, and large colonies of Pedicularis capitata contorta:
     

And near the end of our trek, in the remaining snow patches, a slight pinkish tinge ("watermelon snow") caused by the hematochrome pigment in a green algae, Chlamydomonas augustae (formerly C. nivalis) that is common in this area:

Avalanche debris (broken branches), and diminutive subalpine larches (Larix lyallii) that are only just starting to leaf out at the beginning of August.... and one twisted and broken by an avalanche in the season past...
   

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

Booker
Booker's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-30

Magnificent trek, Lori, beautifully depicted.
A few statistics please - mileage estimate, altitude gain, hours to get to the trailhead, total hours of hike including photography stops?
The anemones are stunning (with perfect flowers still to come - exemplary foreshadowing), do you grow these in your garden?
Enjoying every second of this adventure - it feels like we are peering out of your backpack! :D
Flowering meadows are extremely hard to photograph, they rarely convey the quantity or quality of the blooms and the photographer is usually disappointed with the results - millions of tiny flowers are practically impossible to depict.  Please don't label your meadow shots 'inadequate' - they are every bit as good as your other landscapes.

Cliff Booker A.K.A. Ranunculus
On the moors in Lancashire, U.K.
Usually wet, often windy, sometimes cold ... and that's just me!

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

As I said above, it is remarkable how exuberant the flora is there, especially flowering plants.

Btw, have you ever looked inside a twinflower?

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

Toole
Toole's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-07-02

Really nice to see Stenanthium occidentale  Lori.

I had very good germination from NARGS seed back in April 06 however the youngsters have grown so slowly in my peat based mix. I checked the pot today and their growths are just starting to break the surface so they are still with me.... ;D

Any hints on their preferred habitat ?.--i understand they like cool moist positions --maybe i need to place some sphagnum moss in the mix?.

Cheers Dave.

 

Invercargill
Bottom of the South Island New Zealand
Zone 8 maritime climate
1100mm,(40 in),rainfall p.a.
Nil snow cover

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

Thanks for the comments, Cliff!  Stats to follow...  I don't grow Anemone occidentalis - I tend to grow more things that I don't have the opportunity to see.  Does anyone else grow it?
Trond, no, I have not, but will do so at the next opportunity!  (That's another very interesting, intricate flower detail photo!  Thanks for showing us!)
Dave, it would seem as though cool and moist is the way to go for Stenanthium... though they also grow in much drier forests.  

Now where was I?  Oh, yes, out on a snow drift:

Where the snow has just melted off, at the head of the valley and the base of the scree slopes, there are tracts of fresh, pristine Anemone occidentalis in bloom:
     

And perfect mats of Dryas octopetala:
   

 

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

Kruppelholz downslope of the last snow:

Anemone lithophila; Penstemon ellipticus in bud and in bloom (on top of the big rock); Salix sp. and Saxifraga bronchialis; Potentilla sp.:
           

And heading down through the larches, a fallen giant (comparatively) and a couple of the bigger ones still standing:
 

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

Rich meadows in the sparse subalpine larch forest, with a great density of Trollius albiflorus and many other species, including the yellow daisies of  Arnica lonchophylla:
     

Habenaria dilatata:
 

Descending through the forest below Taylor Lake, one Trollius albiflorus still in bloom in a boggy spot along the trail:
 

And in closing, what has become my favourite lichen (hey, doesn't everyone have a favourite lichen?  ;D ;)), Icmadophila ericetorum or "fairy puke":
 

Finis!

The promised stats:
The drive is about 1 3/4 hours to the trailhead.  The hike, at a quick pace with no stops, is 1 1/2 hours to Taylor Lake, 6.3 km with an elevation gain of 585m.  Then, up to Panorama Meadows/Ridge was another ~2km, and ~250m elevation gain... time spent there, about 3.5 hours, then down from the lake again in a little over an hour.

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

Booker
Booker's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-30

Lori wrote:

The promised stats:
The drive is about 1 3/4 hours to the trailhead.  The hike, at a quick pace with no stops, is 1 1/2 hours to Taylor Lake, 6.3 km with an elevation gain of 585m.  Then, up to Panorama Meadows/Ridge was another ~2km, and ~250m elevation gain... time spent there, about 3.5 hours, then down from the lake again in a little over an hour.

Many thanks Lori ... it's always difficult to judge distances and times from photo essays, your stats now put things in context. An excellent day in the mountains with no overnight stops and (thankfully) no camping!  :D 
I enjoy my creature comforts too much now!

Cliff Booker A.K.A. Ranunculus
On the moors in Lancashire, U.K.
Usually wet, often windy, sometimes cold ... and that's just me!

Barstow
Barstow's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-08-27

Thanks too from me for the great pictures - two on my wants list there too - the Agoseris and Claytonia lanceolata!

Trond: Thanks for showing the secret beauty of the Twinflower...

Stephen Barstow
Malvik, Norway
63.4N
Age: Lower end of the 20-25,000 day range

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