On 6-7 November 2009, Lindsay and I were in Salem, Missouri for the 8th annual Botany Slideshow Extravaganza. By Thursday evening on our way there, we knew we were in for a great weekend. For some reason, I had a taste for a "burrito as big as your head," the trademark of the Mexican restaurant La Bamba. I hadn't eaten La Bamba, or even seen one for that matter, in probably eight years. As we were exiting I-55 in Bloomington, Illinois to get gas and dinner, I told Lindsay about my craving. A minute or so later, Lindsay exclaimed, "There's a La Bamba!" I looked to my right, and sure enough, by complete chance, I was in luck. It was just as good as I remember it from nights in Oxford, Ohio when I was in college.
The slideshow was excellent... the best ever, actually. For a recap on Get Your Botany On!, click here.
As for the title of this post... I have been holding off on posting plant photos from our trip to Colorado because many of my best photos were going to be used in my slideshow. Now I can begin posting those photos. I will do this as winter approaches and through the winter, both here and at Get Your Botany On!, so check both blogs frequently.
The photograph above shows a bit of the diversity we encountered in the alpine life zone. In Colorado, the alpine, also known as tundra, is a treeless zone from approximately 11,500' to 14,400' above sea level. It consists of a very harsh environment characterized by thin soils (as seen in the photo above) or soils that only thaw in the top few inches, relentless winds, and a very short growing season. To survive in these conditions, many of the plants have developed morphological adaptations, including short aboveground biomass with large flowers, linear and/or succulent leaves, pubescence that is sometimes glandular, leaves that are rolled or folded lengthwise, perennial life cycles, and evergreen foliage.
Much more to come!