Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fall Colours

In Nunavut? How, when there are no trees?

Trees we may not have, but the tundra has lovely plants, the leaves of which turn bright colours in the fall as the weather cools. There is as much red, gold, and brown (admittedly, always a lot of brown) in Nunavut as anywhere else in Canada. You just have to look much more closely. When the afternoon sun hangs low in the sky and hits the tundra the right way, the patchwork of colours is pretty spectacular, especially in the Western Arctic. Above left is a photo of Kugluktuk's Kugluk/Bloodt Falls Territorial Park, near where the Coppermine River meets the Arctic Ocean. On the right is a photo of Mount Pelly in Ovayok (Mount Pelly) Territorial Park, just outside Cambridge Bay. Sunset there is worth the drive, you'll notice from the photos below.

If you are lucky, in late summer, you look and find not just leaves, but also berries shining purple, red, and almost black. The blueberries are the most prized. Small and sweet, an afternoon of patience and carefully combing the tundra will yield a large yogourt container worth of berries. I ate mine with cereal over the course of a week: along with what a got out of my organic plot in the greenhouse, it felt like I too could enjoy the idea of a late summer harvest.

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Scotland has some trees, but not a lot, esp up north and on the islands. Similar thing - lots of ground plants like heather, mosses and other plants that turn different colors all year. Beautiful.