Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

Subalpine Plants and Animals - July 2004


"Watermelon Snow"

Though difficult to see in the photo, the snow around the rock has a reddish coloration, referred to as "watermelon snow." The color results from a type of algae that lives in the snow and provides a source of food for organisms such as ice worms and snow fleas.

Also, referred to as "strawberry snow" in biology lecture notes on Photosynthetic Protista (R.Greg Thorn, University of Western Ontario, Department of Biology)

For more information on ice worms:
North Cascades Ice Worm Research




Photo by Michael R. Clapp - 2004

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