Above: the skyline, viewed from the Heather Trail, E.C. Manning Provincial Park, BC.
Summer, the perfect time for a road trip. A few weeks ago, I headed to the alpine meadows of the Cascades.
There were colourful treasures on that mountain path…
(Pssst: click on these photos, to view them full size.)
Meet the Indian paintbrush (Castilleja), up close. All these plants are really tough guys. They have to reproduce during a very short season (I was told that snow melted in late May to mid-June, at that altitude). The soil is poor, and the elements are cruel. And this particular plant, Indian paintbrush, is a hemiparasite, meaning that it gets some of its nutrients by living off its neighbours… Tsk, tsk.
Up on the mountain, the trail beckons.
Some of the flowering plants are very ancient-looking. Meet Lousewort (Pedicularis bracteosa), with pollinators on board.
I spotted a white and maroon variety of Indian paintbrush (Castilleja).
I was a few weeks too late to admire blooming Western Pasque flowers (Anemone occidentalis)… So instead, here is a close-up of a seedhead, with insect ornaments.
For that golden touch, there were specimens ofTiger lily (Lilium columbianum).
The lovely blue of Lupine (but which? maybe Large-leaved, maybe not…)
An intimate portrait of the Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis).
In a moist area near the main road, Spirea in bloom, by the Beaver pond.
And here is a landscape, featuring the Beaver pond.
And I leave you with the irony of a hiking quatuor, catching up with the news near the cell tower. Top of the mountain, at 2200 meters, where they had many bars on their cells.