Monday, October 6, 2014

VEGETATION in early September in the Canadian North

I knew vegetation needed a mention, big time. When we went north the 'big features' were land, vegetation, & animals.
 I want start with red. So eye-catching, so exciting, & rewarding. My eye goes right to it.

I know these berries are called bearberries. 
You can make jam with them, but they need lots of sugar.
Fireweed, I'd never seen it like this.

The look of fireweed with mature seeds. They weren't blowing away that much! I decided that the seeds drop after the snows & freezing ends. Safer distribution, I reasoned.
The birches were common. I was just reminded that they can be tapped like sugar maple trees, for syrup.

Lichen is a very important food for caribou. It didn't seem so plentiful to me, but the land IS vast.

Then, on the land, you can see lines of caribou migration trails. It's subtle. When we were there we weren't sure of it, but some photos seems to show scoring of the tundra.

It's like the land has a grain, a bit like low loft corduroy.
The willows were also everywhere there was water. Small & a lot larger.
In Tuktayuktk-- just a few inches high..
Out on the plains-- a foot or more...
...out on the river...much taller...

The spruce is prone to grotesqueries. I love them, black spruce, I think.

 The cones are all near the top.

We saw a good number of forrest fire land. It was labeled: fire of 1967, 1991 fire, etc. Pretty interesting information, as you get an idea of how quickly the land heals.... three examples from a single fire....

The look of grasses was nice. My favorite was bearded barley.

...but there were others...

I had never seen tamarisk. It's a deciduous conifer. In the fall it turns bright yellow & looses it's needles. I only got one good picture of it, but I can't find it!

               These below are my almost favorite vegetation. 
                     Low bushes, mixed vegetation & super lush.

That's it for now.

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