So I figured I would do something a bit different with part IV of my Glacier National Park series. Instead of showing the geology (well, there is still some geology) I figured I would show some of the pictures of the plants and trees that I saw in GNP. Parts I, II, and III are here.
Up first are several pictures of a flower that seemed to be everywhere in the park. I thought that it looked neat, and my parents wanted a decent shot of one, so I took a couple of photos. I have no idea what the flower is actually called [edit: According to Callan, it is Beargrass. Thanks]. One of these days I hope to actually learn some botany so I can point out flowers and such while hiking, but I have different priorities currently.
Next are some pictures of trees in the park. The first one is one I used previously during the tree meme. As I mentioned in the tree post, I think this is the mountain pine beetle's work. It is really unfortunate how widespread this problem is becoming.There is also this shot of a drunken forest. I hadn't seen one in real life before, so this was kinda neat to see (though I've seen drunker forests in photos). Essentially, a drunken forest is the product of mass movement. As the soil slides down slope, the vegetation moves with it. Sometimes this loosens up the soil enough that the trees each take on their own tilt (thus providing the "drunken" appearance). Here is another example of trees helping to identify mass movements. This particular tree got partially knocked over (either from a rock running into it, or part of its slope giving way, I can't say which). However, it survived the ordeal and the new growth at the top is continuing its relentless climb to Mr. Sun.
There aren't only pine trees though. Below are some Aspen that got in the way of my shot. We were driving through an area where they were doing road maintenance, so we couldn't stop. I just wanted a picture looking down the valley, but the Aspen came out remarkably in focus considering we were moving.Finally, some tool marks that were caused by a passing glacier (see, some geology). The reason I threw it in with the plant post is the grasses that are growing in the scours. It shows the resiliency of plants in the escalating rock and vegetation conflict (don't underestimate our chlorophyllic opponents). Thanks for reading. I think I might have enough for one more post in this series (Part V: Ride the Magic Bus), but it might have to wait until the semester is done (or until I get writer's block on the damnable tome).