While I’m hoping biting flies won’t become the topic of every blog update, I do feel it’s necessary to mention mosquitoes once again based on the sheer density we’ve encountered here at Jasper National Park. We’ve heard several accounts that these are the highest mosquito numbers people have seen in years. This is likely due to the large snow falls this past winter, and the resulting melt, creating more aquatic habitat in which the mosquitoes oviposit and live in the their larval and pupal stages. One benefit of the high mosquito numbers is that we’ve now heard just about every mosquito related joke from passers-by when they learn that we’re collecting insects in the park.
The landscape has also changed dramatically from Prince Albert National Park. Here in the Rockies there is almost always incredible scenery wherever you turn your head. Mountains spring up all around you, some covered completely with evergreen trees, others revealing sheer rocky faces and sandy stratification, and some with defiantly snowy peaks in the hot July sun. Last night we climbed to a high lookout hill of sand dunes just off the highway. The feeling of being surrounded by immense snow-capped mountains at sunset is something I’m glad I could experience and one I’ll likely never forget.
Above: Mosquito warning at Pocahantas campground in Jasper
Middle: Agata’s elbow after a run-in with a hungry swarm of mosquitoes
Below: Mountain lookout at sunset