Thursday, June 11, 2009

First Flowers

With the long days of spring, the tundra is starting to green up and a few of the early flowers are starting to bloom. The Frigid Coltsfoot (Coltsfoot1_2347Petasites frigidus) was the first to show up in bloom around the house, and now there are several large patches around the runway in bloom. The blossom stems are several inches tall before the leaves start growing.

Only 3 inches tall and already the coltsfoot is showing off its lovely pink flowers.

Besides the coltsfoot, I saw Mastodon Flower (Senecio congestus), Stiff-stemmed Saxifrage (Saxifraga hieracifolia), and Rock Jasmine (Androsace chamaejasme) budding and should be in bloom shortly.Saxafrage1_2346

Stiff-stemmed saxifrage just starting to grow as the stems will be 10-14 inches tall when mature.


A pair of Long-tailed Ducks enjoying the sunny afternoon. Some of the hens are starting to set and we now have a couple of males resting by the house during part of the day, waiting for the female to show up.

The Semipalmated Plover is still defending his territory on a patch of gravel road, but I still haven’t seen a mate. Its still early so we might yet get a nesting pair this season.

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Arctic Smoke Signals by James W. Helmericks is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.