Discover Crowsnest Pass Day 5: Observing nature along Greenhill Ridge

Join us on a snowshoe up Greenhill Ridge in the Crowsnest Pass! 

As we adventure up Greenill, we first come upon a tree with a big hole in it! This is from a pileated woodpecker. Why is the tree still alive with such a big hole? The outside of the tree is the part that is living, and the inside is the part that is dead. The outside of a tree is part of its vascular system, like how we have our veins going through our body. The roots take up the water and send it up through the outside of the tree. The entire outside of the tree is doing this, so just one hole is okay, but if there was a full cut going all the way around the tree then the tree would die. 

Next we look at some lichen. It is a nonvascular plant. It does not uptake water through a root system, but it has a cortex and absorbs water through its cortex layer. We need clean air for lichen to grow, they are very sensitive to contaminants in the air so you won’t find them in areas with lots of air pollution.

Lichen has a special relationship between algae and fungi. The fungi acts as the home for the lichen and the algae is the photosynthesizer for the lichen. Lichen reproduce both sexually and asexually! Sometimes lichen spores are spread and can reproduce with another lichen, and sometimes it breaks off and can reproduce asexually. 

Thank you for joining a virtual tour of us venturing up Greenhill, Crowsnest Pass. We invite you to come join us on a hike, backpack, outdoor course, climb or more around Crowsnest Pass, Waterton Lakes National Park, or Castle Parks. We are your local and certified professional guides in the South Canadian Rockies.

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