Plants of Forbidden Plateau

From an email by Jocie to the Botany Group on July 25.

I recently hiked the plateau traverse (from Wood Mountain to Paradise Meadows: 28 km) with Mandy and Krista, spending one night at Mackenzie Lake. We had a great time despite a torrential downpour near Croteau Lake on our second day.

Many of you have hiked the plateau or visited Paradise Meadows, and I’m sure all of you appreciate, as I do, the wildness and beauty of Strathcona Park.

The through-plateau hike takes one on a journey through a variety of  subalpine habitats, with a wonderful array of interesting plants all along the way. There are stretches of deep, rather spooky woods after which one emerges at charming lakes and open heather parkland. Lush meadows (a bit buggy) are full of flowers. There were many other surprises along the way…a wolf scat on the trail, a beaver slapping its tail at Mackenzie Lake, a tree frog sitting on a leaf, and spotted sandpipers peeping and bobbing their tails at the lake edge. So much to see!

Here are a few photos from the trip.

View of one of the Drabble Lakes looking toward Mount Becher.

Menzie’s burnet (Sanguisorba menziesii).

Mountain arnica (Arnica latifolia).

Sitka valerian (Valeriana sitchensis) with a long-horned beetle (I think this might be Evodinus vancouveri)

Plateau parkland and pond.

Slime mold (Feligo septica) and bracket fungus in the woods.

False hellebore (Veratrum viride).

Alpine speedwell (Veronica wormskjoldii).

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