Indian Paintbrush Photo, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Indian Paintbrush, wildflower in bloom, summertime, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

Hey Folks,

Here’s a photo of an Indian Paintbrush, wildflower Castilleja miniata, from the Canadian Rockies, in Banff National Park. Banff National Park and the surrounding Greater Canadian Rockies ecosystem is a simply amazing place to photograph, with a myriad subjects to seek out and photograph. It has awesome mountain scenery, forests and montane ecosystems, sub-alpine and alpine regions, lakes and ponds, sloughs, rivers, glaciers, icefields, waterfalls, canyons, rockfaces, wildflowers, shrubs and grasses. Aspen trees, pine, larch, spruce, and so on. Wildlife photography in the area is probably some of the best in North America, second only (maybe) to Yellowstone National Park, which is just over a day’s drive south. Elk, moose, caribou, mule deer, whitetail deer, grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, foxes, bald eagles, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, to chipmunks, magpies and jays – a long, long list of subjects.

I think one of the hardest things to deal with as a visitor to Banff National Park intending to photograph the area is exactly that long list. What do you choose to spend your time and energy on. I’ve spent days and days in the area, particularly nearby Jasper National Park, and focused on elk in the rut, and each time I do, I’m always wondering in the back of my head, ‘should I be up at Athabasca Falls shooting the canyon there’, or ‘maybe I should go look for bears up around Marmot Basin’, etc. it can be maddening sometimes, though I do admit, it’s a nice problem to have, and a nice place to ponder those questions.

This particular day I decided to not look for wildlife, but to shoot the things I inevitably hiked or drove by whilst I was looking for elk. That included this Indian Paintbrush, one of my favorite flowers – I think lupine are my other favorite.

One summer I’d love to just head down to the Canadian Rockies and spend a few months there, really exploring and digging deep into the region – it’s simply awesome. And what could be better than fall, crisp cool weather, amazing colors, fresh snow and those bull elk roaring into the nights during the rut. Plus, the travelers have thinned out by then, which is always nice! 🙂 Kinda weird, I know, to be discussing traveling to Banff and wanting travelers to be gone, being that I’d be one, but c’est la vie, eh? 🙂


Here are more photos from Banff National Park.

3 thoughts on “Indian Paintbrush Photo, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

  1. Beth Lunsford

    So that’s an Indian Paintbrush? I have seen them many times but did not know they were called that. They are a beautiful wildflower. Many great photos lately, as usual!!

  2. Carl Donohue

    Hey Beth,

    Yep, that’s an Indian Paintbrush, also called Red Paintbrush, Red Indian Paintbrush, Harsh Paintbrush, Cliff Paintbrush and Small-flowered Paintbrush. We don’t see a lot of them up here in Alaska, we see more of a Yellow Paintbrush, which maybe I’ll post some images of later. Down in your area you’ll see Indian Pinks, or Fire Pinks, which can be similar colors to the Paintbrush, but they’re a difference flower. I’ll post one of those later, too.



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