Alberta Wanderings

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cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Thanks for the confirmation :) I know its hard to tell from photos taken at a particular time and place and angle etc!

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

Toole
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Title: Member
Joined: 2010-07-02

Your wonderful vista and plant shots are making me very restless Cohan.  :D

I feel an urge to get out in the 'field' again down here although it will have to be coastal as snow is forecast to lower to 600mtrs in the next day or so and it depends on how soon my foot mends after badly rolling the right ankle 10 days ago  :'(---a sign of the aging process is that it's taking longer than i hoped for ...... >:(

Thanks for posting.

Cheers Dave

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

cohan
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Thanks Dave--that's one of the great benefits of the forums--we can see great stuff when we can't get out there.. I'm always thrilled with the amazing NZ flora!

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
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Earlier I mentioned going a little upslope, laterally. Most of the area I've been exploring has been low ground below the glacier, and area of mounds and ridges of glacial till, with varying plant communities from isolated pioneers on gravel, to locally dense mats of subshrubs in older spots sheltered between mounds, but everywhere, lots of rock and gravel exposed..
Just slightly upslope seems to have been longer out of the ice as there is a full surface coverage of plants, including lichens not seen below, and lots of grasses, as well as most of the species seen below..The effect was a beautiful patchwork, even without significant flowering...
I only spent a few minutes on this surface--there was not a lot in flower yet anyway, and I didn't feel comfortable crunching around on the  seemingly fragile lichen surface just to satisfy my curiosity..

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

The same Anemone parviflora we talked about above, showing other common plants in the second shot - Antennaria sp (a sp with shorter, wider leaves than seen on many other sites) and Hedysarum boreale

 

The same  Draba sp seen below? Not common here.. And a view out of the valley...

 

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
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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

cohan wrote:

Earlier I mentioned going a little upslope, laterally. Most of the area I've been exploring has been low ground below the glacier, and area of mounds and ridges of glacial till, with varying plant communities from isolated pioneers on gravel, to locally dense mats of subshrubs in older spots sheltered between mounds, but everywhere, lots of rock and gravel exposed..
Just slightly upslope seems to have been longer out of the ice as there is a full surface coverage of plants, including lichens not seen below, and lots of grasses, as well as most of the species seen below..The effect was a beautiful patchwork, even without significant flowering...
I only spent a few minutes on this surface--there was not a lot in flower yet anyway, and I didn't feel comfortable crunching around on the  seemingly fragile lichen surface just to satisfy my curiosity..

You have to take your shoes off, Cohan! I often walk without shoes in such places. Here at my summerhouse I do not wear shoes at all except when visiting the town.
You show very nice scenery Cohan, and also exciting plants and birds(!). If you should have the opportunity to collect seed of Hedysarum boreale I would love to give it a try at our mountain cabin.
Speaking of birds, a European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis has visited us every day and picked Tragopogon seeds. It is often visiting at home in winter when we feed the birds but I haven't seen it in the summer here before.
(Picture from here http://cyberbirding.uib.no/photo/c_carduelis_02.php )

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

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Beautiful bird, Trond! Here in the summer, the shrubs and trees are full of birds, they make a lot of sound, but hard to see them, except for some bold ones like robins and wrens, and yesterday the magpies were suddenly very loud and visible on the acreage..

You know, I'm just not much of a shoes off guy,( out of the question at home--the 'grass' is full of sticks that fall from trees, spruce cones and lots of other hard/prickly things--not to mention bees and many kinds and sizes of ants on the ground, besides you try not to have much bare skin at all because of mosquitoes, definitely not skin you cant keep an eye on ;))and my feet would not be tough enough for that place--it may be delicate, but that does not mean soft..lol

I'll watch for Hedysarum b. for sure, but so far have never been in the right place at the right time for seed- neither for the regular form that grows into the foothills and beyond, nor for the high altitude form which is lower and fleshier.. Foolishly, I think I was possibly at Abraham Lake at a time I could have found seed last year, but I was collecting composite seed, and photographing Eriogonum, and didn't think to look for the Hedysarum seed! Of course I thought of it later...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/

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

I used to go bare foot everywhere in the woods in my teens.  Then one day when I was out exploring I cut my toe rather deeply on a piece of glass. I didn't even know it until I waded through a creek and saw pink water...

Now I am a tenderfoot, too.

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

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

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

Mostly I'd been staying farther from the glacier, since that's where most of the plants are! We did drive up a bit closer for a quick look, since there is a floodplain that has a lot of Chamerion (Epilobium) latifolium in summer, and Saxifraga aizoides.. as it turned out, both species were just emerging..

   

The views were still impressive... and some little inukshuks someone built down by the water (which looked more like ice/slush-- I didn't go very close)

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
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Joined: 2011-02-03

RickR wrote:

I used to go bare foot everywhere in the woods in my teens.  Then one day when I was out exploring I cut my toe rather deeply on a piece of glass. I didn't even know it until I waded through a creek and saw pink water...

Now I am a tenderfoot, too.

True, that would be another risk here too--glass, nails, wire, metal, plastic....lol  One would hope up by the glacier might be garbage free, but not sure I'd trust tourists that far ;)

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
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Joined: 2011-02-03

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

Dryas (probably drummondii) colonises well into the floodplain area, not sure if it still floods regularly or not.. these seedheads from last year.. note the scraping on the rock from the glacier in third pic...

 

A bit farther back were some willows, Salix sp -maybe around a metre tall, and I was interested to see Pyrola sp for the first time up here, under the Salix at the lip of  the flood plain ......

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

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