|At a certain point in the summer, |
meadows are filled with the blossoms of
Bear Grass, Xerophyllum tenax. Photo by
my father, Fred C. Essig, on our 1964
new wildflower blogs are far on the horizon. I occasionally post a flower or two on Instagram. You can find me there under the tag botanyprofessor.
Fortunately, as I go through my old pictures, I sometimes discover trips from long ago that I have not yet shared with you. Happily then, I am able to now take you to one of my favorite places: Glacier National Park in the Rocky Mountains of Montana. I first visited with my parents and siblings in 1964, and returned with my own family in 2004, exactly 40 years later. The marvelous thing about our national parks is that they remain beautiful and wild over time. Let's encourage our leaders to keep them so.
What we don't see much of in Glacier National Park is glaciers. Of the 150 glaciers larger than 25 acres, only 26 are left, and they are likely to disappear before the end of the century as overall temperatures continues to rise.
|In 2004, the scenery was as green and|
pristine as I remembered from before.
|We crossed paths frequently with mountain goats|
|Penstemon montanus is found throughout the mountains on sunny, rocky alpine slopes.|
|Glaciers carved these valleys, but most are gone now or will be soon.|
|The cow parsnip, Heracleum maximum. The yellow flowers are|
probably a Groundsel, Senecio sp.
|We missed the Bear Grass season in 2004, so here is another shot from 1964.|
|Harebell, Campanula rotundifolia is found|
throughout the mountains of the west.
|Bighorn sheep were not shy either.|
|The common Mullein, Verbascum thapsus,|
is actually a weed imported from Europe.
|Horsemint, Monarda fistulosa, is common in open meadows.|
|I always love columbines, and this|
yellow species, Aquilegia flavescens, is
common in the Rocky Mountains.
|Aspens, Populus tremuloides, form groves along the mountainside.|
They actually expand through adventitious buds, or suckers, that
develop on the spreading roots.
|The pink Monkey Flower, Mimulus lewisii.|
|Potentilla fruticosa, the shrubby Cinquefoil of the Rose family.|