Magnificent Mushrooms!

Lactarius sp. (probably rubrilacteus). This was the only mushroom we were able to identify fairly conclusively. The latex of this mushroom was reddish in colour. Yesterday we took a family walk around the Karst Creek Trail in Strathcona Provincial Park. It’s a 1.2 km loop to a beautiful waterfall through an interesting karst, or limestone, landscape. Streams appear on the …

Copperbush

Copperbush | Elliottia pyroliflora showing new buds Yesterday was a brilliantly sunny day so I decided that a quick trip up to Paradise Meadows was in order. I don’t usually go up to the Meadows at this time of year – it’s the transition time between summer and fall hiking, botanizing, and birding and winter cross-country skiing. At Paradise Meadows …

Shootingstars

Jeffrey's Shootingstar | Dodecatheon jeffreyi I was fascinated by the colour of the leaves of Jeffrey’s shootingstar (Dodecatheon jeffreyi) alongside a cold sub-alpine stream this week in Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Provincial Park. The leaves were a stark contrast to the dark water and grey day and a beautiful sign that winter is not far off. Jeffrey's Shootingstar | Dodecatheon jeffreyi …

Fern-leaved Goldthread

Fern-leaved Goldthread | Coptis aspleniifolia One of the easily missed plants in the sub-alpine is the fern-leaved goldthread (Coptis aspleniifolia). At this time of year the flowers are long gone but the basal, fern-like leaves remain since they are evergreen. More noticeable are the striking seed heads. The picture above shows an old seed head after the seeds have been …

Puddling in Paradise

Zephyr Anglewing | Polygonia zephyrus Zephyr anglewings (Polygonia zephyrus) have been fairly regular in the parking lot at Paradise Meadows, Strathcona Provincial Park this week. Anglewings belong to Nymphalinae which is a subfamily of the family Nymphalidae. The genus name Polygonia (Greek – many-angled) refers to the shape of the wings of this butterfly. The distinctive angles and indentations produce …

Bramble Ramble

Five-leaved Bramble (Rubus pedatus) On a guided photography hike today I found myself (the leader) at the back of the pack, probably because I was walking slowly and admiring the fall colours and keeping an eye out for the small and interesting. Five-leaved bramble (Rubus pedatus) is one such plant. A member of the Rubus, or raspberry clan, this small …

Strathcona Images

Mt. George V from Ruth Masters Lake An image request from the Friends of Stathcona Park got me going through some of my archival images of multi-day hikes that my wife and I had done in the last couple of years and I thought that I’d share a few of the landscape images in this blog as well. Some of …

Fall Colours in Paradise Meadows

White-flowered Rhododendron | Rhododendron albiflorum With the cooler weather in the sub-alpine meadows in Strathcona Provincial Park many of the shrubs are starting to turn to their fall colours. White-flowered rhododendron (Rhododendron albiflorum) and many of the blueberries (Vaccinium sp.) are getting better every day. Today was a gray, wet day and that seemed to make the colour pop a …

Mt. Elma

Mt. Elma, Forbidden Plateau, Strathcona Provincial Park Not a pleasant day to be hiking in Forbidden Plateau, cold and wet for most of the day with a bit of a window in the weather around noon. This image of Mt. Elma was made from my lunch stop at Lake Helen Mackenzie where I enjoyed a well needed thermos of coffee.