Monday, 15 June 2015

Happy to be back at Camp Hazen

Hello from sunny Camp Hazen, latitude 81 degrees north at the northern tip of Ellesmere Island. My field assistant Carly and I arrived safely on Wednesday after our Twin Otter flight from Resolute. The conditions at Camp Hazen are much warmer and sunnier than at this time last year. The snow is almost gone. We are currently camping; fortunately we have spacious tents. I'm not sure if we will be spending much time at all in the park accommodation this field season; they are expecting a lot more visitors to the park than the previous two summers.

Camp Hazen, Quttinirpaaq National Park, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut

Our Twin Otter plane after landing on the "runway" at Camp Hazen.

On the plant front, we've only had a chance to do a small bit of exploring so far. Purple saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia) plants are just about in flower, again much advanced from this time last year.

Purple saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia

On our first day at Camp Hazen we saw a pair of muskox. Here is a photo of one of these magnificent ungulates.

Muskox (Ballofwoolis giganticus)

Finally, you might be wondering how I'm able to update this blog when the closest internet connection is several hundred kilometres south. I'm able to communicate by satellite text, 160 characters at a time, with my non-field assistant Chris, in Ottawa. He transcribes my 160 characters into these blog posts that you will read throughout the field season. For the photos, he is using pictures that I've taken over the past two seasons and left on CDs for this purpose.

For all his help, I will surely take him out for a nice steak dinner when I return to Ottawa. And I promise not to nag him about housework for at least the next year!

No comments:

Post a Comment