Sunday, 30 June 2013

Flecks of color under a cold summer wind

Sofia Jain

Pedicularis hirsuta (Hairy loosewart),
 Diapensia lapponica (Diapensia), Vaccinium uliglinosum (Bilberry)
Despite the persistent cold, the hillside is alive with colour. We are up to 21 species of interest in flower. It's almost funny, how excited I get when we find a new flower. When Orla calls out an "Oh look at this" at a patch of colour that caught her eye, I run over to lie in the warm moss, squirming a little with excitement, to inspect what miraculous little bundle of beauty has sprouted into being. Don't be fooled by their cuteness, they are hardy little things. The loosewarts are even partially parasitic of the surrounding plants.
We are finding that a lot of the plants we thought were one thing really turn out to be something else. It's so much easier to identify and notice them once they have reproduction on their mind.

Eutrema edwardsii (Edward's eutrema)
I've received word from Zoe. She seems to be making good progress in Lake Hazen. She has found many more species of plants we are interested in. She's also seen muskox, lemmings, arctic foxes, and arctic hares, and wolf walked right through her camp! She says she has done some amazing hikes around the mountains and glaciers. Too bad photos can't be sent through these InReach devices.

Oxytropis arctopia (in the pea family)

Pedicularis flammea (Red-tipped loosewart)

Papaver (Poppy)

Dryas integrifolia (Mountain avens)


  1. Happy Canada Day to you.
    Summer has arrived at last in UK but it has snowed in Alps so skiing has restarted!
    Your lovely flower photos are making me green with envy. I was pleased to see 1 lousewort species in Lake District recently so Red tipped & Hairy would be great to add to my list!!

  2. Happy belated Canada day to you as well. Somehow I miss your comment. I had no idea there were louseworts over there! What is the UK weather like now?

  3. There has been a long HOT spell here - temps in 30s but storms last night have cooled us down for a while.
    There are 2 louseworts to be seen in UK - Marsh lousewort, P.palustris and an ordinary one P.sylvatica They both look much the same.
    Arctic time is running out for you - has the flora obliged & given you details you need?