August 3, 2011

Mt. Washburn Flora and Fauna

Besides the incredible views from the summit, the Mount Washburn hike offered:
Wildflower bouquets

Sticky Geranium
Chipmunk, watchful
Chipmunk, cute
Marmot admiring scenery
Marmot hiding in shadows
Whitebark Pine
The Clark's Nutcracker harvests seeds from the cones of the whitebark pine and caches them for year round food.  
Whitebark pine cones
Red squirrels hide the whitebark pine seeds in middens for a winter food supply. 
Grizzly bears raid the middens in the fall, and the seeds provide them with essential high quality nutrition for pregnant sows before winter hibernation.  
Immature Whitebark Pine cones have a characteristic dark purple color
Climate change and warmer winters appears to have caused an increase in mountain pine beetle infestation, causing the whitebark pines to die off in significant numbers.  Loss of this tree from the Yellowstone ecosystem would have a big impact on many animals who rely on it for food or winter shelter.
The whitebark pine was recently denied consideration for listing as an endangered species.


  1. what a beautiful ride :) Spring flowers and snow at the beginning of August--who would have thought?

  2. PS I read your grilling at Lisa's--it was fun getting to know grandma jane :)

  3. Very cool, I've never seen Lupine in the wild!

  4. I love the Marmot enjoying the scenery because I enjoy it, too! Lovely wildflowers on your hike.

  5. The wildflowers are just amazing. The marmont...they are so cool...we saw a bunch of them on one of our ventures at Teton. SO cute.
    Such sad news about that pine....we should make some: "save the whitebark pine tree" t-shirts. Could that help?

  6. More gorgeous pictures from Yellowstone... Wow!!! Love the wildflowers --especially the Lupine.. Beautiful!!!!

    Sad about the whitebark pines...

  7. Those wildflowers are amazing!! The marmot has a great view.

  8. Now those are a well used pair of gloves. Incredible scenery and photos, yet again. That's good country.

  9. We saw many dying whitebark pines in Colorado I would like to think that something could be done, but that is apparently not the case. I like the beautiful wildflowers you found. The marmont enjoying the scenery is cute.

  10. Those are beautiful bouquets!
    Oh I envy your hikes and trails. It almost looks "alps-ish" in some of your photos!

  11. oh such beautiful scenery....I bet you just want to stay there and snap away with your camera..

  12. Wonderful walk! There was so much to see and photograph.

    The pine beetle is very scary, killing so many trees.



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