Alberta Wanderings

157 posts / 0 new
Last post
cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

https://picasaweb.google.com/cactuscactus/AlbertaRockyMountainsMay312011...

Final shots at this site; We drove across the highway, to the end of the vast parking area (not too busy on this cool spring day, except near the major tourist buildings far away at the other end of the parking area) to use the outhouse before leaving.. Watching from some concrete parking barriers was this little person.. I believe its a Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel, Spermophilus lateralis.. I didn't have any snacks for it...

 

Some last views...

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

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

Thank you for the guiding through a very interesting landscape, Cohan!

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

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Glad you enjoyed! I still have the whole trip home with a few more stops  :-[

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Heading back,  but still at altitude, the highway near the snow/tree line.. a few views from the vehicle..
https://picasaweb.google.com/cactuscactus/AlbertaRockyMountainsMay312011...

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

A pause in posting the mountain pics.. from a short walk up the road, some Castillejas... the Flora shows only C miniata in my area, but lutescens and occidentalis are not terribly far away, and I do wonder how carefully surveyed this 'agricultural' area has been! I saw mention of a possible hybrid for similar plants to those I have seen in my area on flickr.....
I posted elsewhere and earlier, photos of Castilleja a couple miles from here, a varied colour colony, with many beautiful mixed colours; even closer to home, starting about a 1/4 mile up the road, and continuing in varying densities on both sides for at least a half mile.. this colony is not as mixed--most plants are in the salmon to orange/scarlet range, but there are some of the near whites and other pale colours, and an occasional true red (less orange)..
full album: https://picasaweb.google.com/cactuscactus/July102011Castilleja
and the companion album of other plants, not yet captioned:
https://picasaweb.google.com/cactuscactus/July102011BesideThePaintbrushes

just a sampling here

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

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

Nice range of colours!  Can't help you out, off-hand, with IDs though... I've lacked the concentration to apply the key myself.  It seems to be largely the shape of the bracts, at any rate...

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

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Lori wrote:

Nice range of colours!  Can't help you out, off-hand, with IDs though... I've lacked the concentration to apply the key myself.  It seems to be largely the shape of the bracts, at any rate...

Thanks, Lori--yeah, I haven't sat down with the glossary myself yet, either...lol.. I had basically thought it was really variable miniata, but I just have not seen anything online (which I no means not that much!) showing this level of variation.. I happened on a flickr posting  taken a little south of here, with a mixed colour plant similar to those at the other site nearby,(see this album:
https://picasaweb.google.com/cactuscactus/Castilleja2009

and someone more knowledgeable was suggesting it looked like a hybrid..he was hoping to get into Canada to see some of them, so I'm watching that thread for further replies...
If I get a chance and think of an easy way to tag that I can find and doesn't draw too much attention from the road, lol, I may go mark some of the colour forms just up the road to see if they come at all true from seed (something I really doubt)

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

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

Colour variation of flowering plants are rather common! Especially albino/luteo forms pop up now and then. Here the common cranesbill (Geranium sylvaticum) often have white or pink flowers rather than the common red-violet(?) forms.

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

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

C miniata does have some normal colour variations, but not usually this much.. still, with no clear alternatives, I was just assuming that these populations had more variation than what I could find in any of the  books I have, or online; recently, though, I have been in touch with someone in U.S. who is more familiar with the genus, and he believes these may be hybrids with one or more species besides miniata; I'm waiting till he is back home from fieldwork to take a closer look at my photos from two sites near here :)
Interestingly, there is not much colour variation in most of the local wildflowers (that come to mind now!) and mostly quite subtle.. Geranium richardsonii is my local geranium, and ranges from pure white to white with pink veins to almost pinkish white...lol

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Okay, I thought at least I should finish that May 31 trip to the mountains started so long ago!
https://picasaweb.google.com/111492944361897930115/AlbertaRockyMountains...
On the way home, not so very far from the Columbia Icefield, and still at fairly high altitude- below the timerline, but not by a whole lot---
Hilda Ridge. This is a roadside pullout area, between the Columbia Icefield and where the road drops back down again, going south. Based on the notices posted at the entry to the site, there is some sort of access to skiing from here, not sure where/how.. never been up there in winter, and not likely to do so, driving through a long stretch of avalanche prone roads to get there!... I go there for the plants...

Not a large area, it has fairly steep to steep gravel/stone slopes, treed to varying degrees, which fall down to a river on three sides, and the highway  and then higher slopes rising on the fourth side. There are some exposed areas with nice plants along ridge edges and down the slopes, as well as among open trees and bushes on the flat top of the site, and also down into shadier places among denser tree growth and shaded slopes. Shaded areas still had significant snow on May 31, and it was not long gone in the open it seemed...

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Pages

Log in or register to post comments