Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘Yoho National Park

A colorful revisiting of Emerald Lake

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Hard to believe today marks three years since we stood at the edge of Emerald Lake in British Columbia’s Yoho National Park. Smoke from forest fires obscured the lake’s far shore but the turquoise color still came through to set off the slender red seed capsules of the fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium) in the first photograph. On a different fireweed plant there I found the caterpillar of a bedstraw hawkmoth, Hyles gallii.

Although it was only a week into September,
so far north some foliage was already beginning to turn colors.

I was attracted to a bush with small white fruits and reddening leaves
that I take to be common snowberry, Symphoricarpos albus.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 7, 2020 at 5:00 AM

Natural Bridge rock formations and waterfall

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A year ago today we stopped briefly for a second look at Natural Bridge on the Kicking Horse River in British Columbia’s Yoho National Park. The picture below shows the churning river as it flows downstream (toward you) from the falls.

But where, you might ask, is the natural bridge? A fair question. Here’s the stone bridge as I photographed it on our first visit two days earlier:

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 9, 2018 at 4:53 AM

Emerald Lake shore

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A year ago today we (and many other people) visited Emerald Lake in British Columbia’s Yoho National Park. The smoke from forest fires dulled views of the surrounding mountains, as you see above, so for some pictures of the lake I aimed closer in. As an example of that approach take the second photograph, which plays up the tall trees while still allowing the color of the lake to come through.

The low plants along the water in the photograph above are sedges. Below is a close view of one taken from the shore looking back the opposite way. In “La Belle Dame sans Merci” Keats mentioned this type of plant:

O what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

 

And to counteract the pallor of any pale loiterers among you, here are some fireweed flowers (Chamaenerion angustifolium) that also grew close to the shore.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 7, 2018 at 4:46 AM

What I didn’t know about fireweed

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To tell the truth, before the trip to the Rocky Mountains in Montana, Alberta, and British Columbia, I knew almost nothing about fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium). In nature shows on television I’d occasionally caught a glimpse of the plants flowering, and that was about it.

In addition to yesterday’s strictly “vegetarian” post, three previous photographs showed you fireweed flowers and animals. In one case it was with a bumblebee, in another with a ground squirrel, and the third with a caterpillar. What impressed me about the plant in its own right was its seeds. The reddish seed pods are long and narrow, and when they open, which surprisingly often happens from the proximal rather than the distal end, they release seeds attached to silky strands, much like milkweed seeds. At the moment when I took the photograph above in Waterton Lakes National Park on August 29th, the newly freed seeds still partly preserved the alignment they’d had just a short while earlier when compressed inside their slender pods. That same temporary clinging to the past is visible in the photograph below, which is from near the shore of Emerald Lake in British Columbia’s Yoho National Park on September 7th.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 24, 2018 at 4:52 AM

Fireweed at the edge of Emerald Lake

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On September 7th, Yoho National Park‘s Emerald Lake served as a pastel backdrop for these buds and flowers of fireweed, Chamaenerion angustifolium.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 23, 2018 at 4:48 AM

Natural Bridge

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In contrast to Takakkaw Falls, which people admire for its height, Natural Bridge on the Kicking Horse River in British Columbia’s Yoho National Park impresses with its broadness. It also impresses with something else: the unusual rocks that underlie and surround the falls. Those rocks look to me as if they formed in horizontal layers that later got turned mostly vertical. For the sake of my photographs I walked out onto the upturned layers in several places, moving carefully to keep from slipping on and onto the rough edges around me.

The photograph below reveals the natural bridge that gives the waterfall its name. The picture also shows the force with which the water gushes out from under that natural bridge.

Natural Bridge 0726
© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 7, 2017 at 4:46 AM

Bedstraw hawkmoth caterpillar

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While walking around a stretch of Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, on September 7th, we encountered a handsome caterpillar on a fireweed plant (Chamaenerion or Chamerion or Epilobium angustifolium). A member of bugguide.net identified, and another at Butterflies and Moths of North America later confirmed, my subject as the larva of Hyles gallii, a type of Sphinx moth known as a bedstraw hawkmoth.

A few of you may remember the forlorn Hyles lineata moth that appeared here in 2012.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 6, 2017 at 4:52 AM

Intimations of autumn

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Our time in the Canadian Rockies and vicinity lasted from August 24th to September 14th. That wasn’t late enough for any widespread fall color (as I think of grand fall color from having grown up in New York), but here and there we saw hints of bigger changes to come. The two pictures in this post are from the edge of Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, on November 7th. Not only do the photographs offer intimations of autumn, but also intimations of the color of the water that draws people in large numbers to Emerald Lake.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 1, 2017 at 4:53 AM

Takakkaw Falls

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We had a full day on September 7th. One place we went, along with a zillion other people, was Takakkaw Falls in British Columbia’s Yoho National Park. The picture above shows the waterfall from the far side of the Yoho River. The photograph below gives you a look at the base of the falls from as close as I could get and still keep my camera dry.

Did you know there’s a World Waterfall Database online? There is, and you can check out its entry for Takakkaw Falls.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 29, 2017 at 4:57 AM

Rocks like wood

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Go ahead, tell me that the rocks in the upper center don’t look like wood. Tell me, and I won’t believe you.

We noticed these wood-like rocks by the side of the Trans-Canada Highway in Yoho National Park, British Columbia, after I pulled over on September 7th to photograph the overlapping mountains in smoke that you saw in the previous post.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 24, 2017 at 4:31 AM

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