July 2012

What's Up - Hairy Vetch

Hairy Vetch climbs by means of tendrils on it's leaves, often "scrambling" over other plants.
Photo by Larry Halverson Read more »

Stanley Glacier Trail

Trail all cleared - Photo by Alan Dibb 

  Read more »


Muskrat swim by paddling with the hind feet, using the tail as a rudder - Photo by Larry Halverson

Muskrat’s protruding front teeth allow it also to chew underwater with its’ mouth closed -
Photo by Larry Halverson

Although common in the Columbia Valley muskrats have never become established in Kootenay National Park. The first recored for muskrats in Kootenay was a sighting from Sinclair Creek by park warden, Meredith in 1944. Another park warden also observed muskrat tracks at Dog Lake and in a wetland along Dolly Varden Creek. Five more earlier records include: one observation near Kay’s cabin in the Sinclair Creek drainage in 1947, Kurt Seel collected a muskrat skull from Redstreak Campground in 1963. In 1982 and again in 1999 one was killed on the highway in Sinclair Canyon. In October 1997 five muskrats were seen at Dog Lake.  Read more »

What's Up - Yellow Columbine

Yellow Columbine's pendant blossom swings with the slightest breeze - Photo by Larry Halverson

Yellow Columbine is one of the most familiar wildflowers in Kootenay. It distinctive shape makes it unmistakable and cannot be confused with other wildflowers. Read more »



Friends of Kootenay received this photo and note from Alan Dibb, Kootenay's Wildlife Biologist.

"Here is a picture looking east from the summit of the Kindersley-SinclairTrail this afternoon - July 20, 2012. Still a few snow patches and some avalanche debris on the trail, but overall quite good traveling now." Read more »

Weed Guide

Contains detailed descriptions for 42 non-native plant species that currently pose the greatest threats
plus brief descriptions on an addition 21 invasive plants that are of concern.

Read more »

Feeding Time


Cliff Swalow's unique mud nest - Photo by Alan Dibb
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Flying Chipmunk

 Both the Least and the Yellow-pine Chipmunks are found in Kootenay - Photo by Alan Dibb.


You’ve heard of flying squirrels but what about “flying” chipmunks. Kootenay’s Wildlife Biologist, Alan Dibb, managed to capture this mid air action. Read more »

Habitat Snatchers

Dense patches of Orange Hawkweed near Numa Falls, July 13, 2012
. - Photo by Larry Halverson

Some views along the highway through Kootenay National Park look like fields of beautiful wildflowers but are in fact invasive weeds, which are not native to national parks. These aggressive plants crowd out beneficial plants and create a monoculture of just themselves - decreasing the diversity of native plant species and reducing wildlife habitat. Read more »

What's Up - Wood Lily

Wood lily preference is for open woods - Photo by Larry Halverson

The Wood Lily (Lilium philadelphicum) is one of Kootenay’s more easily recognized flowers. And there is a good show of them right now near Mount Wardle as they brighten the highway meridian with their orange-red flaming trumpets. Read more »

The Answer


Bear stripped spruce tree along the Kimpton Creek Trail - Photo by Larry Halverson

The previous photo was a close up of this tree - showing a bear's teeth marks on the inner bark.  Read more »

What is it?


Any idea what this is?  Hint - It is not found in monocotyledons and it doesn't happen in winter.
Read more »

What's Up - Mountain Lady's Slipper

 Mountain Lady's Slipper one of loveliest of Kootenay's orchids
- Photo July 11, 2012 by Larry Halverson


The thin, brown petals spirally twist behind the flower’s luminous white slipper which is delicately veined with purple and has a yellow “tongue” that extends above the slipper’s opening. Get your nose down and sniff - you’ll be treated to a delightful sweet scent.  Read more »

Grizzly Digging

Avalanche Path along Sinclair Creek trail, July 10, 2012 - Photo by Larry Halverson

Grizzly bears head to exposed avalanche slopes to dig for roots and bulbs. These sites are particularly important in spring and early summer because of the soil build up, nutrients, ample moisture and sunlight produces an abundant supply of plants that bears can eat. Read more »

Looking Scruffy

      Female Bighorn Sheep on the highway in near Sinclair Pass - Photo by Larry Halverson

The expression on this ewe seemed to say  "So you tell me how I'm to get off this road" or "Can you direct me to Valley Hair Styling?" In any case bighorn sheep can be quite scruffy looking at this time of year.  Read more »

Wolverine Research

Noninvasive genetic survey of wolverines are giving scientists some preliminary answers on how many wolverines may live in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks

Dr. Anthony Clevenger and his team are heading into their final survey of wolverines in the Canadian mountain parks. Read more »

Hawk Owl Seen


Northern Hawk Owl, January 16, 2012 at 12:15 pm, along hwy 93, 2.5 miles south of the Floe Lake trail head.
Photo Larry Halverson

Paul Adamus, a park visitor, sent this interesting observation note. Read more »