Towards the centre, away from the shelter of cliffs and trees, most of the vegetation hugs the ground, staying out of the wind, close to any dampness available. I got down on my knees and elbows to look at the lichen and found much more.
|Cladonia lichen*, moss sporophytes, Alpine azalea**, and a miniature flower with interesting leaves***.|
If you look closely, you can (barely) see the moss; dark, yellowish-brown clusters. I think the green shrub is the Alpine azalea, Loisleleuria procumbens, which has leaves from 3 to 8 mm long (about 1/8 to just over 1/4 inch). I can't identify the tiny plant on the far left; I didn't even see it while I was there, so didn't aim the camera at it.
Update #2: In the comments, Matt Goff, of Sitka Nature, identified the lichen (*) as a Stereocaulon. I found one of these growing in this area, on E-Flora; the Stereocaulon alpinum, Alpine foam. (I like the name.)
** Matt says he doesn't think the green shrub is Alpine azalea, but has no suggestions.
*** And the tiniest flower, up in the top left corner is an Euphrasia, aka eyebright. E-Flora has two on Vancouver Island; E. nemorosa, common eyebright; one of those records is of a find beside the road near Port Hardy, a bit north of where I found this one. And the Arctic eyebright, E. subarctica, was found also beside the road; at Keta Lake, a bit to the south.
|Moss sporophytes, standing tall (ish) on brown stalks, encased in pointed wrappings. A few have shed the covering.|
|On the right, the lichen has dark brown spots, reproductive structures. And on the left, an intriguing spotted, hairy plant. If the azalea leaves are 1/4 inch long, the leaves of the spotted plant would be about 1/2 inch.|
I couldn't identify this plant. I think it may be the same as the one I found near Heckman Pass (on the Bella Coola road) a couple of years ago.
|Not quite so spotty, but otherwise similar. Somewhat larger.|
I couldn't identify it then, either. Any ideas?
Update: It's one of the hawkweeds, either Mouse-ear hawkweed, Hieracium pilosella, or White-flowered hawkweed, Hieracium albiflorum. Here are the white-flowered ones just across the water in Powell River, on Powell River Books Blog.
Update # 3: It's been definitely identified as the White-flowered hawkweed.
|Nimkish Lake area and Heckman Pass, more or less.|