Forgetmenot Ridge, eastern slope Rockies, Alberta - 2014 hikes

Submitted by Lori S. on Sat, 07/05/2014 - 14:24

A splendid hike on July 2nd - it's still early up there but our timing was great for the start of the alpine potentilla bloom!

View from about 1/3 of the way up, where we stopped for a breather:

At our second rest spot...  Saxifraga bronchialis:


Though it was not otherwise a very notable plant, this Dryas octopetala had double flowers:


Another view and then we're up on the first plateau... excellent timing too for the Silene acaulis:


  First of the Potentilla uniflora(?)!


Yes, I think that steep slope could make some folks a bit queasy!  Perhaps this is a less disturbing view...    ;-)

A charming little plant, new to me this season... Stellaria longipes, I think:

Another new one... Ranunculus grayi?  (Please correct me if I'm getting any of these wrong.)

Saxifraga cernua:


We're up there early enough this time to catch some Draba in bloom:


There were big drifts of Oxytropis podocarpa in bloom this time (whereas we usually see most already in seed):




And carrying along the ridge, there is still a big snowbank behind this stand of kruppelholz sub-alpine fir and Engleman spruce:

More signs of the late spring... willows are just starting to leaf out and bloom here, and the usual carpet of perennials in this area has not even started to emerge yet:


Dryas integrifolia (I think?) just starting to put out new growth:

Teensy willows on the sunny side of the kruppelholz... for scale, compare to the adjacent Dryas octopetala leaves:



It is early but still very floriferous (which probably doesn't come across very well in these photos):


Dryas integrifolia; Rhodiola integrifolia - a yellow-flowered one and the more usual red; Silene uralensis:


Potentilla diversifolia??; an early Anemone lithophila, already in seed; Minuartia austromontana (x2), in bud and in flower: 


And heading over to the saddle area:

More Dryas integrifolia; Dodecatheon sp. (x2); Myosotis asiatica and Polemonium pulcherrimum


Erigeron compositus; Saxifraga occidentalis:


And quite a few Pulsatilla patens still in bloom:


A beautiful Antennaria, offset especially well by the colourful background; Smelowskia calycina; haven't quite figured out what this is - a Caryophyllaceae, possibly Silene uralensis? - but what an amazing taproot!; Androsace chamaejasme


Saxifraga caespitosa?:

And finishing off with the star of the early season hike to this area, more Potentilla uniflora(?):


Awesome Lori . Must be good getting out and about . The first trip of the year is always one of the best . Thanks for posting

Many more things were in bloom... or seed... when we climbed the ridge again a couple of weeks later on July 15th.

A few of the alpine potentillas (P. uniflora?) were still in bloom, most were done; Crepis nana in the talus:


I think this is Astragalus vexilliflexus v. vexilliflexus in seed, and many more still in bloom - a common plant up there:


Also in the talus slopes favoured by the Potentilla, Saussurea nuda v. densa, now in bloom:


Cerastium beeringianum, I think - a very attractive chickweed in any case:

Oxytropis podocarpa, the very early blooming, very fine-leaved locoweed that was in flower last time, is now showing its colourful seedpods:

The view, with lots of haze from forest fires; flowery meadows; Myosotis asiatica; Dryas in the turf:


Still a bit of snow in the north-facing low behind the kruppelholz, but the willows have now leafed out:


Senecio sp. on the ridge; Cerastium beeringianum (I've come to think) and Silene uralensis;  Anemone lithophila in seed; Androsace chamaejasme showing fertilized flowers (the centers have changed from white to pink):


More, different Senecio sp. (2 photos);  larger view; Dasiphora fruticosa - lovely dwarfed specimens up here:


Flowery meadows; the next big show will be the Zigadenus elegans bloom (the glaucous (bluish)  foliage in the photo); Campanula uniflora  (x2)... and lest anyone think these are large plants, the second photo is more to scale:


More Androsace chamaejasme; Oxytropis sericeus (correct me if I'm wrong, assuming anyone actually looks at this site); views (x 2):




More Senecio sp.; a beautiful specimen of Silene uralensis; Gentiana prostrata - the seed pod of Oxytropis podocarpa shows it's diminutive size:


And off the ridge and (almost) down on level ground again, the colour range of Castilleja miniata:



An unusually coloured Aquilegia flavescens:

Tall blue lungwort, Mertensia lanceolata, in the montane forest:


Cow parsnip, Heracleum lanatum, in the lower montane meadow, heading back to the river crossing:


Hi Lori, FYI I check the new postings here every morning and greatly enjoy your generous contributions - hope to one day see your gardens and/or do a bit of botanising.