Although Fairweather Range is not actually the official name of this mountain chain, that is what most people call the gorgeous mountain range that takes up both part of the United States state of Alaska and part of British Columbia, which is a part of Canada. A part of the Saint Elias Mountains, Fairweather Range is the most southern part of the entire mountain range, and it’s very popular for its beauty. In fact, loads of tourists head in that direction (more…)
Stretching from the Bay of Biscay on the Atlantic Ocean to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, the Pyrenees Mountains offer a feast for the eyes during wildflower season. With peaks in excess of 11,000 feet in elevation, a variety of plant ecosystems and growing conditions make for seemingly endless variations in wildflower-packed scenery.
If you could only choose one time of the year to visit the Pyrenees for wildflower viewing, you would do well to go between mid-May and mid-July. Areas at lower elevations will experience (more…)
When we try to think about and imagine ecosystems that exist on the mountains, we don’t always think of an active stratovolcano like Mount St. Helens to be the ideal place where life goes on. A stratovolcano is also known as a composite volcano because of the steeped profile and arrangement from years of accumulation of eruptive materials and, unlike regular, shield volcanoes, the stratovolcanoes are known for their periodic and explosive eruptions. This clearly doesn’t sound like a place that would support life and yet it does.
I learned all about it when I was watching television the other day. There were some commercials about Fort Davis electricity providers and then BAM, right there, a special came on talking about this legendary structure. Over 30 years ago, Mount St. Helens erupted in a catastrophic event that claimed the lives of all the creatures inhabiting the area and some notable human bystanders just enjoying the sights. It was a tragic catastrophe, but it also hit the reset button of epic proportions and, slowly but surely, life has returned to this unpredictable location and creatures are starting to reclaim their home.
New and exciting evolutionary species of frogs and amphibians are rising from the ashes, having none of the ailments or defects of their predecessors and the ecosystem, as a whole, has shifted greatly with more prey and less predators dominating this volatile peak. If nothing else, Mount St. Helens is the quintessential example of life after death – creation born from destruction.
The longest mountain range in the world, containing the highest peaks in the New World and the highest anywhere except for the Himalayas, is home to flora and fauna that varies with altitude. Six distinct ecological zones may be described for the Andes. In order of increasing altitude, they are:
(1) The Lower Selva (262 – 1,312 ft.), and
(2) the Upper Selva (1,312 – 3,300 ft.). These are regions of tropical forest. Farming is limited here.
(3) Kichwa (7,546 – 11,483 ft.) is a land of hills and valleys where grains, maize, and a goosefoot seed product called quinoa are grown.
In answer to the question on whether the Himalayas are growing or shrinking then the answer is unfortunately the latter. Although for many, many years the so called “tree huggers” have been ruble rousing about the state of the Himalayas it has mostly fallen on deaf ears save for the few environmentalists that were, and still are, out to save the planet.
Unfortunately for the earth quite a bit of damage has been done and both present and future generations will have to live with the consequences of (more…)
Different mountain ranges have their own distinct flora and fauna that might or might not be evident to the passerby. When it comes to the desert mountain ranges there are unique creatures that inhabit these lands that have adapted to the extreme temperatures that are found on these lands.
Firstly, these mountain ranges are home to creatures that are adept at conserving their energy by shifting their hunting or scavenging tactics. As an example, in the hot deserts, most of these creatures leave (more…)
While most people would probably use the terms ‘highest’ and ‘tallest’ interchangeably when referring to mountains, strictly speaking there is a difference between the two and each has a very different title holder.
The highest point in the world is indisputably the summit of Mount Everest, which stands at 8,850 meters, that is, 29,035 feet above sea level. This infamous Himalayan peak has claimed the lives of 219 mountaineers and although it is often said that nearby K2 is tougher (more…)