Only a fews weeks have gone by since I was taking pictures of all the wild flowers along our route as we cycled the Great Divide from Banff to the US border along the Rockies in British Columbia in late July.
Botanists have shown this to be the fastest moving plant in the world. Tests have shown that the petals move at 22 feet per second when they open with an explosive force launching the pollen in the air 10 times the height of the plant so it can be carried away in the wind. The stamens are like miniature trebuchets which are special catapults that maximise the throwing distance by having the payload (pollen) attached to the throwing arm (filament) by a hinge.
More unusual and much more agressive are the Devils Club or Devils Walking Stick that were traditionally used as medicinal herbs by The First Nation.
And some smaller creatures
One of the nice things about camping is the early light, although some people may not like all the spiders webs they can be very beautiful. The two large mammals that are abundant in these areas, and that we have yet to see are bears and cougars. Although we have cycled through an area densely populated area of both of these we are probably more likely to see a bear in town rading an apple tree!
The woods in this area seem to be mainly cedar, cottonwood and aspen. We found an area of unusually old cottonwood, about 400 years old, that had escaped the many forest fires in the region.
Apparantly you can easily tell the types of trees apart by looking at their bark. Cedar wood is stringy, spruce is scaley and cottonwood is groovy! This is an example of stringy.
While cycling The Great Divide from Banff in Canada to Antelope Wells on the Mexican border we are raising money for the humanitarian charity ShelterBox. If you would like to donate to ShelterBox you can click on our website link which will take you to our Just Giving site.