Trail Down Mt. Edith Cavell

July 28 , 2008

On the trail up, I focused mainly on the glacier scenery and the critters along the way. On the trail down I put on the closeup lens to try to record some of the wildflowers.

We probably hiked about a mile up the well developed but steep trail. One of the joys of the hike was the continuous bouquet of wildflowers along the trail. The area was moistened by lots of little streams, and the flowers all looked fresh and bright.

One of our surprises was to find heather on these slopes in three varieties. This is the white heather.

What really caught our eye was the rose to purple colored heather, which stirred fond remembrances of the moors of Scotland.There was also a yellow variety of the heather.

The small white and yellow flowers that grew up through the evergreen ground cover were quite beautiful. There were some asters, and a brilliant version of the Indian paintbrush, bottom left. I don't recall having seen the cone shaped flowers before, but they were abundant here.

There were some really brilliant examples of the Indian paintbrush. The flower top right is like the bluets we see in north Georgia, and the yellow flowers bottom right must be common all over the country. The white flowers bottom left were on a shrub, and looked a lot like mock orange.

And now for something completely different, these are two weird plants I encountered on the way down the mountain. I don't know whether the left one would be considered a lichen or not. And brown to black mushrooms struck me as a little strange.

The different species appear to have settled in at different altitudes. Now we were on our way back down the mountain and going through the ground squirrel altitude again. This energetic squirrel made quite a show. We always used the expression "high-tailing it" when we were really in a hurry, and this squirrel was high-tailing it as he zipped around the trail. We found it interesting that the various colors in the squirrel's fur can also be found in the various rock colors surrounding him.

Brenda is on the rocky part of the trail down, and there is a switchback trail below her and then the low trail through the valley. We could now see the length of the low trail that led back to the parking lot where we started.

We now took the lower trail to the glacier pool and the lower trail back to the parking lot. Brenda and the icebergs from the large ice wall across the pool. The temperature got noticeably cooler as we came down the trail and got close to the ice and the cold pool. We had heard several cracks and booms while on the trail and always looked at the glacier but never saw any movement.

Once again I was struck by the simple beauty of the clear melt streams cascading down the bare rock.

On the way back to Jasper there was a large cow elk grazing right beside the road, so this was a good day for wildlife viewing.

To Miette Hot Springs

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