Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott

Posted on 08/31/2016

Photo taken on July  8, 2016

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Anne Elliott
Yellow Columbine
southern Alberta
Aquilegia flavescens
S of Calgary
Calgary to Waterton 264 km
Calgary to Waterton 159 miles
8 July 2016
Waterton Lakes National Park
driving time approx 3 hours

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Yellow Columbine

Yellow Columbine
This photo was taken on 8 July 2016, during a hike along the Crandell Lake Trail in Waterton Lakes National Park. I don't get to see Yellow Columbine very often, so I was pleased to see this plant.

"It is a member of the Ranunculaceae family and grows in mountain meadows, open woods, and alpine slopes of the northern Rocky Mountains. The plant grows to 20-70 cm in height. While the most common flower color is yellow, portions of the flowers can also be yellow-pink, raspberry pink, white, and cream." From Wikipedia.

"With its merging landforms, connected ecoregions and its mild, moist, windy climate, Waterton Lakes National Park is an amazing meeting place for an abundant and diverse collection of vegetation.

Despite it's small size (505 sq km) Waterton is graced with over 1000 species of vascular plants . Over half of Alberta's plant species are found in this tiny place. The park's four ecoregions - foothills parkland, montane, subalpine and alpine - embrace forty-five vegetation communities. Sixteen of these are considered significant because they are rare or fragile and threatened.

Waterton also has an unusually high number of rare plants - over 175 are provincially rare (e.g. mountain lady's-slipper, pygmy poppy, mountain hollyhock), and over twenty of these are found only in the Waterton area (e.g. western wakerobin, Lewis' mock-orange, white-veined wintergreen). Over 50 species are rare in Canada (e.g. Bolander's quillwort, Lyall's scorpionweed, Brewer's monkeyflower.)" From Parks Canada website.

It was wonderful to again be surrounded by such magnificent scenery, go on a few pleasantly slow walks/hikes with plenty of time to look for, and photograph, wildflowers, insects, and a few birds and animals. Lots of great company with 22 people for the weekend, some of whom I already knew and lots of new faces, too. The trip was organized by Nature Calgary.

Everyone was free to go wherever they wanted each day, but for the two nights, we stayed at the very basic Canyon Church Camp, off the Red Rock Parkway. Dorm-style cabins (about which I will say nothing, lol!), but they do have showers and even flush toilets at the camp. We were fed so well - lots of variety and good food. We were given two breakfasts and two suppers, plus a packed lunch for the two days. Our thanks go out to the lady (can't remember her name, sorry, but she was also there for us in July 2015) who cooked and prepared these meals for us! They were so much enjoyed and greatly appreciated!

Thank you SO much, Janet, for driving your friend and me to and from Calgary and around the park some of the time, too. To say that I appreciated it is a huge understatement!! Our thanks, too, to Andrew for organizing this trip so brilliantly, as usual! A great time was had by all. And I am SO happy and relieved that you were finally able to find a bear (and her cub) - yes, we came across the same ones shortly after you saw them. Not sure if they were two of the three I had seen at more or less the same location the previous morning, 9 July 2016. If it was the same female, then her second cub must have been really well hidden in the tangle of bushes and trees. We didn't get a good view, though I did take a handful of photos, including when the cub looked towards us for a split second. I had never seen such a young cub before, so I was thrilled to bits. Can't forget to add my huge thanks for finding me a Lazuli Bunting too, at some unearthly hour (well, 7:30 am). No idea how on earth you managed to spot such a small bird from so far away - just a tiny speck in the far, far distance. Also was delighted that you found two Nighthawks flying high overhead at the Nature Conservancy area on the Saturday evening. So, I guess you and I both returned to Calgary feeling really happy : )