If you're looking at this beautiful pond in July or August, it may seem hard to believe that it will soon disappear. Ponds like Balsam Lake (and Heather Lake near the summit of the mountain) are the result of our 3 to 4 metre snowpack and short snow-free season. When the last of the winter snowpack melts, usually in mid-July the pond water is at its highest level. By autumn however, much of the water has evaporated into the atmosphere and been absorbed into the lake bottom as the ground thaws. By October, the lake will be almost completely dry.
Scientists believe that global climate change could result in the permanent disappearance of these ponds and the surrounding subalpine meadows. Warming temperatures could change the landscape from a forested meadow to a thick stand of Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir.
Meadows in the Sky Summit @ Mount Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Canada