September 2nd was one of the very few perfectly clear days we've had this summer, and it made for fabulous panoramic viewing from the top of Prairie Mountain in Kananaskis Country, Alberta. The bloom was largely done on this south-facing slope, as one would expect, the most notable exception being Gentianella amarella, an annual or biennial with a circumpolar distribution.
Just a few pix:
1) First teaser of the view to come.
2) Orchid on dry slope.
3) Even when the unrelenting, steep forest trail is behind you, there's still a bit more climbing, though at a much more reasonable inclination!
4) Subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) sheltering some willows at its base that have turned red.
5, 6) That last step off to the right is a doozy! Moose Mountain is the highest point in the near distance, and has a manned fire-spotting/weather station atop it.
7) There are a few stunted limber pines (Pinus flexilis) on the ridge.
8 ) Map lichen, (Rhizocarpon geographicum, perhaps)
9) Gentianella amarella
1, 2) Leaf lichens... I think these are snow lichen (Flavocetraria sp.?) and powdered orange lichen (Xanthoria pallax?) though I stand to be corrected; would love to know more about these!
3, 4, 5) Bluebird skies and part of the panorama (though unfortunately the photos do it little justice)
6) Parasail, taking flight from the ridge top
7, 8 ) And heading down... from a good vantage point, the Elbow River valley
A different yet familiar landscape! I almost feel at home when I view your pictures, Lori, but then there are some smaller and larger details that make it foreign.
Fantastic scenery Lori, I love each and every aspect of the terrain and the bluebird day!
I'm so envious Lori that you have mountains in your backyard! They are still spectacular even 'late' in the season. That Gentianella is exquisite!