Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ABC Wednesday---Z

Coming to the end of another alphabet--Z is always a little more difficult than some of the other letters. I must thank Dina from Jerusalem Daily Photo, whose Zones of Silence post suggested the idea of some other zones to me, the ecological zones of Mt. Rainier National Park.

We start at the lower elevations, with the Forest Zone, where abundant rainfall and melting snowpack from above provide for a lush dense growth of a wide variety of green plants.

Hiking through the old growth forest on a warm day is a cooling experience. Ferns, fungus, mosses, lichens, and a variety of cool weather wildflowers carpet the ground. Nurse logs provide a new base for new saplings.

Critters in the forest include some you might be squeamish about.

So, now lets go up to a higher elevation--the Sub-Alpine Zone. Once the snow melts, the lush meadows are home to a rainbow of wildflowers, starting with these Avalanche Lilies and their companion yellow Glacier Lilies, the first to pop through the snow.

Further up the slope we reach the Alpine Zone--conditions so severe that the few trees are only a few feet tall after a hundred year's growth. The soil is thin and rocky.

The area is similar to Arctic tundra. Growing season is so very short...
So, as you see, are the plants. The variety of lupine that grows in this area has leaves that measure--yes, those are centimeter marks, not inches, on the walking stick. Lupine leaves in the sub-Alpine zone measure three to four inches across.

In the rocky reaches of the Alpine Zone, we saw dozens of pika the other day.

So thank you again, Dina, for suggesting that Z is for Zones. Thank you to Denise for another successful round of ABC Wednesday. Thank you to the team for keeping us going. You will find the other ABC-Z entries listed here.


Sylvia K said...

We do live in a gorgeous part of the country, don't we? Fantastic post and your photos are superb! Really enjoyed the hike! Hope your week is going well!


Tumblewords: said...

Superb photos! The most fascinating photo, to me, is the tiny lupine. The entire post is gorgeous. I know people who hike there occasionally and I'm a wee bit envious of all you Mt. Rainier Park walkers.

photowannabe said...

Love the idea of zones and your pictures are simply gorgeous for them. Great post for Z.

Gayle said...

I would enjoy hiking and exploring ALL of those zones!

Roger Owen Green said...

Yes, zones. My daughter has a book about the Amazon that has several zones and how different they are. Great choice.

ROG, ABC wednesday team

imac said...

Zed good show Katney, love the wild flowers.

mrsnesbitt said...

THE SLUG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks so much - hope to see you soon and later in Round 7!
ABC Team

Martha Z said...

I recognize some of those spots. Thanks for the memories.

katney said...

You were with me when some of them were taken, Martha.

The Redhead Riter said...

Ewwww...That was an ugly critter LOL

Lew said...

Great shots! And quite a hike you had to get them! I have seen the zones on Pikes Peak, though it is not as lush in vegetation as your mountain.

Rosadimaggio63 said...

Ciao Katney, mi piacciono molto queste foto... felice fine settimana :-))