Ridge walk (Forgetmenot Ridge, Kananaskis P. P., Alberta)

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

We took another stiff jaunt up Forgetmenot Ridge on August 4th, 20 days later, to see the progress of bloom.  
1) Approaching on the highway, the summit is not what appears to be the highest point in the photo, but is instead, one of the lower points, just to the left of center.
2, 3) After the creek crossings, the gravel river bank where we put on our boots is thickly vegetated with Dryas drummondii, now mostly with uniformly clockwise-twisted seedheads (prior to opening in puffs to release the seeds), and with Oxytropis monticola in bloom.
4, 5) The way up...
6) Abundant Zigadenus elegans on a little bench near treeline
7) And the vista of flowers on the ridge.

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

Amazing vistas and plants, Lori ... many thanks for posting.

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

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

You're welcome, Cliff.
A few more:
1) Rumex acetosa ssp. alpina, adding a touch of russet to the landscape
2, 3) Saussurea nuda is now in bloom up there -  though it seems all is a week or 10 days behind last year's bloom; the usual purple-flowered form, and an odd pink one
4, 5) Polygonum viviparum - as I learned on the SRGC forum, the bulbils(?)/nutlets on the lower part of the inflorescence are edible, though they are not very flavourful in a raw state
6) Minuartia obtusiloba
7) Hedysarum boreale var. mackenzii is still providing much colour, among the white-flowered Hedysarum sulphurescens
8, 9) Loments forming on some of the earlier-blooming Hedysarum boreale var. mackenzii, and an odd one with white flowers
10) There are nicely-dwarfed forms of Dasiphora fruticosa everywhere up here

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

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

So, are all Potentilla fruticosa now called Dasiphora fruticosa?  I like the pink Saussurea nuda... well, I like em all, but I like the pink one.  And the loments (seed pods) on Hedysarum boreale var. mackenzii, really most distinctive and identifying of Hedysarum, aren't they!

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

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

My understanding is that the former Potentilla fruticosa has been cleaved off from that genus, as it is the only(?) one that is woody, rather than herbaceous.  I'm sure someone else who is more knowledgeable can expound on or correct this, though.  ???

Yes, the loments do help me out in moments of doubt... though, really, the inflorescence form is pretty distinctive too, among the plants that occur here. 

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

1) Potentilla uniflora(?) that was in its glory 20 days ago, has now largely finished blooming.  (I know this photo looks as though it is sideways, but it isn't - the plants are growing down a steep slope!)
2, 3) And Eriogonum ovalifolium var. ovalifolium androsaceum has begun to bloom, some with colourful buds and flowers
4) It's now clear that some of the Androsace chamaejasme have been fertilized, as they have turned from white to rosy tones.
5) A tiny Gentiana prostrata...
6) How tiny?
7) Silene uralensis ssp. attenuata, with upright capsule full of seeds
8, 9) Zigadenus elegans, now in bloom everywhere on the ridge... very attractive to small black flies, oddly enough... almost every flower has its own fly, or vice versa.
10) A view

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

Anne Spiegel
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-26

Beautiful plants, Lori, specially the Silene uralensis.  Do you see much of that?  The only place I've seen it was in the Mosquito Range in Colorado and it always seemed to be a rare find.  Sometimes when you see a plant you see others in the vicinity - that never seemed to be the case with Silene uralensis.  Loved the Gentiana prostrata.

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

Well, the more I think about it, Silene uralensis is probably a little more abundant than I first would have said... It is not a plant that is very noticeable while walking - one has to stop and peer around closely to find it!  Having done so, though, there are often 3-4 plants in the same vicinity of scree.  "Uncommon" is still probably not too inaccurate a description, I suppose.

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

A few species that were new to me, on this trip:
1, 2) Packera contermina (formerly Senecio conterminus)... distinctive fleshy, slightly angular basal foliage
3) Artemisia michauxiana
4) Erigeron caespitosus
And some others...
5) Delphinium glaucum, which becomes increasingly dwarfed with elevation and exposure, from 5' plants at river level to <1' tall ones up top
6) Tiny Delphinium bicolor
7) Salix reticulata with Silene acaulis
And heading down...
8, 9) This young bighorn ram (Ovis canadensis) was feeding along the slope off the ridge, and very politely moved about 50' upslope to let us pass on the trail below.

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

This is a trail that takes as much concentration going down, as coming up, but a slightly more level bit in the spruce woods allows a brief look around (before the really steep part!)...
1, 2) Lichen, mosses, mushrooms on the cool forest floor
3) Where the trail levels out again, a good crop here of buffalo-berry/soapberry (Sheperdia canadensis) - good news for the bears, I hope
4) Castilleja in the aspen forest lowlands
5) Gentiana affinis in the river floodplain
6) And a final view, from the floodplain.

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

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