In an earlier blog entry I pointed out how the man made walls along the Franconia Ridge catch and retain snow adn break the wind to the benefit of plants, like Potentilla, that grow there. The walls are there to keep hikers on the trail and mindful of the delicate alpine plants (some of which are extremely rare and fragile) that grow on either side of the trail. That's the summit of Mt. Lincoln in the background.
There's a lot of Krumholz on the ridge, tucked down in pockets. It's primarily black spruce (Picea mariana) and is often found in these tightly woven mats above timberline. The picture shows how the thick growth catches and traps snow around the roots of the plants making up the mat.
Looking east to Mt. Washington rising up behind the Twins. Owl's head is in the foreground. The photo was taken on the summit of Little Haystack at the junction of the Falling Waters and Franconia Ridge Trails. The Falling Waters Trail descends to the highway (US 3) in Franconia Notch and is one of the legs in the popular 10 mile loop up and across Francona Ridge.