Thursday, 5 June 2014

First Flowers

Zoe Panchen

Purple Saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia)
just coming into flower along Apex trail, Iqaluit
There are just a few species starting to flower around Iqaluit. The first flowers of purple saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia) is about a week ahead of last year. I found the same spot along the Apex trail where we had seen them first flowering last year and sure enough there was one small plant on a south facing rock slope with a few flowers just beginning to open.

First snow buttercup (Ranunculus nivalis)
in flower on a hill above Apex
Some of the snow buttercup (Ranunculus nivalis) plants we are monitoring are also in flower. These buttercups are nestled in a shallow mossy gully but we have also seen one in flower on the edge of the Iqaluit Cemetery.

The bearberry (Arctous alpine) and several willow species (Salix) are also in flower now.

We had heavy rain in Iqaluit on Sunday. Monday brought strong winds and the temperature plummeted so by Tuesday many rocks and streams were coated in interesting ice patterns. We found these sedge stems encapsulated in inch thick ice in Sylvia Grinnell Park.
Ice encrusted sedge stems at Sylvia Grinnell Park

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