Most of the flowers I saw were old friends from the Rockies: death camas, potentilla, lousewort, asters, bog rosemary, and reindeer lichen. Lady slippers occur there as well, but the beautiful Mackenzie orchid (a version of Cypripedum guttatum) thrives only in the mist of Virginia Falls. At least I recognized it sufficiently to call it a lady slipper.
The following pretty bloom was a real puzzler.
I spent a long time searching the internet in vain for this one. Fortunately, one of our guides was a trained botanist and came to my rescue a few days ago. Its common name is northern groundcone, and it’s a parasite.
The final plant oddity isn’t really unusual; I just had not encountered it before. Plus, it wasn’t fully in bloom. This time, Ben Gadd’s wonderful Handbook of the Canadian Rockies provided the answer, as it usually does for anything in the Boreal forest.
It’s another orchid. No leaves. It feeds on dead plant matter with a little help from fungal friends.
We didn’t see a lot of wildlife, but it was there.
A couple more sky pictures. The clouds were endlessly fascinating.
And finally, here is what the Nahanni would look like today if the mountains had not risen up around it. It still has its curves and oxbows, but they are far less obvious as they flow through deep canyons.
That’s all from the Nahanni. The next posts will deal with the rest of my summer holiday: Yellowknife and the Firth River.