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Leafy Aster # 7119

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Date: 2005.07.31
Vantage Point: From Arnica Lake Trail

Caption: Leafy Aster ([i]Aster foliaceus[/i]) on Arnica Lake Trail

PhotoDescr: My guidebooks warn me that not only are there twenty-one native species of aster in Alberta, they are highly variable within species, are very similar to fleabanes, and can only be distinguished in the field by experts with the aid of field guides. Not only that, but some flowers with the common name "aster", such as the golden aster, are not true asters. However, this flower pictured here is nearly identical to one of my guidebook pictures of a leafy aster. So if this isn't a leafy aster, at least it looks like one.

On the second day of the August Long Weekend 2005 (the first two days of which fell in July), I led a group from a mountain club up the Arnica Lake Trail. Our original plans to hike the Paradise Valley Loop were scuttled when we fell one member short of the required group of six. While waiting around for nearly an hour at the Paradise Creek trailhead for someone to augment our numbers, we picked Arnica Lake as our alternative.

From Arnica, we continued along the trail toward Twin Lakes. At the highest point on the trail, on a shoulder of Storm Mountain, the meadow was ablaze with flowers.

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