Arctic/alpine pollination workshop in Kluane National Park, Yukon - Part 2

During the workshop we had various presentations from researchers currently working in the Canadian Pollinator Initiative (CANPOLIN) and members from the Yukon government and local First Nations group.  We also discussed tasks that need to be done as the NSERC funded initiative is coming to an end, and also brainstormed topics/projects that will be of relevance to people living in northern communities and scientists in the future.

Thank you to the AINA for hosting us.
Trying to photograph the chipmunk with my kit lens.

Most of the pollinator biologists were very excited to find this caterpillar during the coffee break.  Given the limited resources, we think it will become some kind of a Sulphur butterfly.

Northern blue butterfly (Lycaeides idas)
A Northern blue butterfly (Lycaeides idas) in bad shape.

Almost half of its left wing is gone.  Definitely a survivor!

Sulphur butterfly (Colias sp.)
Sulphur butterfly (Colias sp.)

Sulphur butterfly (Colias sp.)
Close-up on its green eyes.

Flower fly (Syrphidae)
A syrphid fly on the paintbrush flower.  Not sure if it is resting or trying to get at the nectaries.

The weather was nice at most of the times, except during the afternoons when it would rain for a short period of time.

Beautiful scenery all around the station.

Bombus sp. with a nice pollen basket visiting vetch flowers.

Castilleja flowers.

Fireweed (Chamerion sp.)
It was not until I looked at this photo on the computer did I realize there was an insect hiding behind the stamens.

Kluane Lake
Dramatic skies

Fireweed (Chamerion sp.)

Found a lone Shepherdia canadensis on the beach with most of its root system exposed.  Another survivor.

Beyond the research station is a forest, and beyond that is a beach that leads to the shores of Kluane Lake.

Beautiful views

Resident researchers taking a break after dinner

Scientists on a stroll
Workshop participants heading back after strolling along the beach.

Kluane Lake
Sunset view from the beach.  See larger image here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/psyl/9436959747/in/photostream/

As I was going to bed, I saw a small rainbow appearing in the sky.  Thinking it will end soon, I did not stay around.  Fortunately, a fellow participant who I share the cabin with came in afterwards and told me that an entire rainbow is forming.

So I quickly got out off bed and went outside.  And wow!

Yukon Rainbow
As we waited, the full rainbow formed before our eyes.  What an amazing sight!  Again, see the larger image here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/psyl/9439738684/in/photostream/

Now that I think about it, all of the most spectacular rainbows I have seen in my life took place in Yukon.  For example, a double(?) rainbow in Ivvavik and driving underneath a rainbow on Dempster Highway.

The following day (24th), I went birding with my supervisor's husband early in the morning.

Took this photo outside the cookhouse - http://www.flickr.com/photos/psyl/9439736786/in/photostream/

Sulphur Lake, Kluane National Park
We went to Sulphur Lake to bird-watch.

Sulphur Lake, Kluane National Park

Barrow's Goldeneye female with young.  I learned another technique of identifying female Goldeneyes - Barrow's has a steeper forehead than a Common Goldeneye.  We also saw a Bald Eagle, and watched an thrilling chase between a Peregrine Falcon and Yellowleg in the sky for at least ten minutes.  In the end, the predator and prey disappeared behind the trees for us to know the outcome.

Moose track

After not seeing many birds, we decided to go to the Tachäl Dhäl (Sheep Mountain) Visitor Centre.

Kluane view
View from the highway.

Moon and Mountains
You can even see the moon at 7 in the morning.

Views along Alaska Highway

Views along Alaska Highway
Moon and Mountains

Views along Alaska Highway

Kluane National Park
Panoramic view behind the Tachäl Dhäl (Sheep Mountain) Visitor Centre.  We saw only three ravens hanging around the building.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/psyl/9439729392/in/photostream/

A messy-eating Least chipmunk (Neotamias minimus).

Kluane Lake
Another view of the Kluane Lake as we headed back to the research station.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/psyl/9436942367/in/photostream/

Grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia palustris)
Another fly fooled by the nectaries.  And if you look closer, you will notice two flies mating below the petals.

Solidago simplex
Syrphid fly on Solidago simplex

Kluane Lake
Last look at Kluane Lake before I head back to Whitehorse.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/psyl/9439708588/in/photostream/

Haines Junction

After spending a night at a hotel in Whitehorse, I flew back to BC on the 25th.

Took some photos as we were flying over BC interior.

Interior BC

Vancouver International Airport

Richmond and Burnaby
West end of Richmond and Burnaby

Then I went back home for several hours before I took a red-eye flight to Toronto on the 26th, and then landed in New Orleans in the afternoon of the 26th.  Whew!

Overall, I definitely had a memorable experience in Kluane, especially given the fact that I was the least experienced participant in the room (me as a Master candidate) but I definitely learned a lot and look forward to the future projects and collaborations that will take place to help us understand the effect on climate change on Arctic/alpine ecosystems.  Plus, my feeling for Yukon grows stronger and deeper every time I go back, and I look forward to the days I go back again, especially to Kluane National Park, which in my opinion is like Ivvavik National Park, but super-sized (much taller and grander mountains)!

1 comment:

Susannah Anderson said...

Beautiful photos, as usual! I love the moon and mountains ones, and the highway at dusk.

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