Biodiversity - flora

The question people ask when you walk around with your camera ‘are you a photographer?’ always puts me in dilemma. Honestly I am so many things at the same time and just saying I am a biologist or a photographer or a nature lover won’t do justice to what I am doing at this moment. Yes I do have this bulky DSLR around my neck that I love to carry around and when it’s not handy I keep recording all that I find interesting through my mobile phone. Plants and flowers are almost everywhere, especially in summer time and I love noticing them. So I certainly had to write a blog about all the wildflowers blooming across the prairies and the mountains in Alberta.

Yellow Lady’s Slipper,  Cypripedium parviflorum

Yellow Lady’s Slipper, Cypripedium parviflorum

These flowers have been seen multiple times but if we don’t know their relevance to the ecosystem we can’t protect them.

Alberta Wild Rose,  Rosa acicularis

Alberta Wild Rose, Rosa acicularis

Along the trails there are warnings to stay on the path and not step on the plants around. Yet people don’t give it a second thought. Trails have to be closed just so the vegetation can grow back to its original state after landslides and avalanches and heavy rains

Arnica, Arnica cordifolia.

Arnica, Arnica cordifolia.

If we knew better and had more knowledge about the medicinal and herbal properties of these beautiful flowers and plants we would probably offer more support to their survival. Unfortunately there is no information passed down from generation to next and whatever knowledge we get is from Google and search engines. Companies spend millions of dollars researching plants extracts and use them for pharmaceutical and cosmetic purposes.

Red Paintbrush,  Castilleja miniata

Red Paintbrush, Castilleja miniata

We even have to revisit nature and the functionality in ways that Biomimicry is a new branch of science and technology. Beginning from the strength of silk fiber to the complex honeycomb structure we get all of our design inspiration from nature.

Tufted/Bird/Cow/ Vetch,  Vicia cracca  with a honey bee

Tufted/Bird/Cow/ Vetch, Vicia cracca with a honey bee

The fancy perfumes and lotions that give you a feeling of luxury and wealth comes from the bounty of nature. Yet we rush past these fragrant bushes and flowers at arm’s length along the cities and towns

Elaeagnus commutata , the silverberry or wolf-willow

Elaeagnus commutata, the silverberry or wolf-willow

Fragaria virginiana/vesca , wild strawberry

Fragaria virginiana/vesca, wild strawberry

As a child I plucked and gathered flowers, as Indian culture uses flowers as offering to the Gods. Gradually I learned botany in high school and college to understand all the elaborate designs and the Fibonacci number as well as ways of pollination and propagation. These species fight with everything to survive in this competitive land.

Not sure ?

Not sure ?

Next time you pass a pretty flower or wonder of nature, take a minute to observe it and appreciate it. Not all plants have to be purchased and nurtured from the conservatory and local garden centers. We can also give a chance to these wildflowers.

Erigeron glaucus,  Beach Fleabane

Erigeron glaucus, Beach Fleabane

These buds and bushes are not just essential to the bees, but also to our own survival. Some have thorns and some aren’t your store bought roses yet they are here to stay. Maybe long after we are gone there will be more plants than we can count and earth will be more greener than when we found it.

Dasiphora floribunda ,  Shrubby Cinquefoil

Dasiphora floribunda , Shrubby Cinquefoil

Anemone patens,  Prairie Crocus

Anemone patens, Prairie Crocus

These crocuses are first sign of the change in seasons and definitely a sight of relief from the long winter in Alberta. Lets spend some more time in the wild and keep our curiosity alive.

Fireweed or Purple loosestrife

Fireweed or Purple loosestrife

These were just a few handful specimens I came across, I hope there will be many new wonderful species to identify and photograph. If you have a favorite wildflower share it in comments. I am looking forward to more trips across the mountain trails and prairies to see more wonders of nature.