Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 08/31/2014

Photo taken on August 26, 2014

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Waterton Lakes National Park
Anne Elliott
Rubus odoratus
S of Calgary

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Purple-flowering Raspberry / Rubus odoratus

Purple-flowering Raspberry / Rubus odoratus
I'm fairly sure that I have the correct ID for this plant - also known as Thimbleberry. We noticed a lot of these plants during our stay in Waterton Lakes National Park. Apparently, though edible for humans, the berries are tart and rather dry. Provides food for songbirds, game birds, and large and small mammals. There were no flowers left, but I thought the fruit and surrounding bracts were most attractive. I have added a previously posted image of a flower, found in Calgary, in a comment box below.

I spent 26, 27 and 28 August 2014 on a road trip with friends Cathy and Terry, spending the first two days in Waterton Lakes National Park and the third day driving east of Waterton in search of Burrowing Owls and Yellow-bellied Marmots. During our three days away, we saw so many things, I hardly know where to start. This always happens when I go anywhere with Cathy and Terry - every day is a very long, fun-filled day, full of exciting finds.

Perhaps I will simply mention some of the things and then add more detail to each photo as I add them to my photostream. Of course, we couldn't have had a more beautiful area to explore! Waterton Lakes National Park has amazing scenery and wildlife. The weather forecast that I saw before we left Calgary said that we were in for three beautiful days of sunshine - too often, it can be rainy weather. So, luck was on our side, giving us warm, sunny days - until the BIG STORM hit, lol! This storm was approaching very fast, around 5:00 p.m. just before we started our return trip to Calgary. It was like nothing I had ever seen before - a menacing shelf (?) cloud that was travelling fast and furious. Despite trying our best to get away from it, it eventually engulfed our car, surrounding us with more or less zero visibility, pounding hail, thunder and lightning, and very strong winds. There was nothing to do but stop the car and sit tight, hoping that the hail would not break the car windows and that this severe thunderstorm would not develop into a tornado! This storm was very scary, but at the same time, exciting (only because all turned out OK in the end!). Our road trip sure went out with a bang!

A few of the things we saw - fantastic scenery, 4 Black Bears (including one that was swimming in the lake), Bison, Deer, Golden-mantled Ground Squirrels, Chipmunks, various bird species including the Burrowing Owls, a few wildflowers, several Yellow-bellied Marmots (a first for me!), a few different insect species, and a family of some species of Grouse (still not sure what kind). I even got the chance to see three or four new-to-me old, wooden grain elevators.

Cathy and Terry, thanks so much for yet another wonderful trip with you! Can't thank you enough for inviting me along. You always do such a great job of finding so many interesting things for us to see and enjoy. Lots of fun!