Picea engelmannii subsp. engelmannii

BPotD has previously featured Engelmann spruce; that entry already has a few great links, so trek on over there for further reading.

This photograph was taken in Mistaya Canyon (Banff National Park). I was intrigued by both the colour of the canyon backdrop and the tenacity of the tree. It’s worth pointing out (as I have in entries in previous years) that this is likely the area where I felt the least safe while taking photographs in 2008 — I trekked out onto the rock cliffs forming the canyon (or overhanging the canyon), much like the ones you can see in this image. I suppose it’s a bit of a fear of heights, heightened somewhat by the loss of the sense of hearing due to the noise of the water coursing below.

Picea engelmannii

15 responses to “Picea engelmannii subsp. engelmannii”

  1. bev

    When I hear stories about not feeling safe and see such photos of the “wild”, I like to imagine what it must have looked like to the early explorers. The incredible beauty must have been significantly offset by the dangers from accidents (and no helicopters to rescue you) and the more-plentiful predators of the day….great shot.

  2. Deb

    Ooh, I like those striations in the rock behind it. And, is that an image of the Eiffel Tower in the center? I wonder what that symbolizes???
    Thanks for braving Mother Nature and the elements to bring us this picture!

  3. Deborah Gibson

    Incredible picture, beautiful lines. Almost abstract, like Chinese art.

  4. Michael F

    Nice pic, but sorry, it looks like a larch to me (it would be Larix lyallii in Banff National Park), not a spruce.

  5. Bonnie

    I love the tree, and I really love the rocks and moss. It’s a photo that inspires stories!

  6. Knox

    Good photo as it makes me feel weak in the knees (I do not enjoy heights!).
    Thanks for your pursuit of this composition.

  7. Cyndy Henderson

    Shimmering beauty … gorgeous!!

  8. Jordan

    I agree with Micheal F. The lack of trunk taper leads me to suspect that it isn’t a spruce. I would suspect larch also. The needles appear to be of almost incongruous length suggesting it isn’t a spruce which tend to have very uniform, congruent length of their leaves. Having said that, I’m not familiar with Banff National Park and know nothing about how the climate of the rockies affects growth patterns. I’m just a tree geek. =) Great picture! I love the stain in the rock face. Thanks!

  9. Lorax

    Gorgeous! But I don’t understand the “threatened” feeling in areas like that. Then again, I’ve been hung over gorges by the belt to gain the best shot of some things, and I routinely do work in scaffolding. Maybe it’s just a fear of heights thing.

  10. Daniel Mosquin

    Lorax, I suppose I’m a scaredy-cat.
    Re: Larix — I’ll have a closer look at the hi-res photograph when I next have the opportunity.

  11. Judith Solberg

    Amazing photo! At first glance, I thought I was looking at the weathered inner surface of a split log; it took me a minute to realize what it was.

  12. elizabeth a airhart

    your picture has almost a 3d look
    you are getting better and better
    hang in there as the saying goes
    thank you daniel

  13. Max

    Any chance of getting the hi-res version somewhere, for desktop wallpaper purposes?

  14. Daniel Mosquin

    I’ve had a look at the high-res original. It definitely looks to me that the needles are borne singly along the branches as opposed to clusters, especially in the branch areas nearest the trunk. Does Larix do that?
    Hi-res version — hmm, not sure. It’s not the greatest photograph at high-res, because the sharpness is poor. This canyon was breezy and a bit dark, and the plant never stayed still long enough with the long exposure to be sharp. I’ll consider it when I next process one of my images.

  15. Connie

    A gorgeous photo, and the inspiration for my next bonsai.
    Thank you for all the joy you give me.

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