Thursday, October 18, 2012

July 6 - lemming transect, foggy caribou

The view over an upland section of the tundra, complete with numerous flowers, and hordes of mosquitoes

It is amazing how fast the brain blocks out bad memories and experiences. Today Alfredo and I did a lemming nest survey, which consists of walking a 15 kilometer transect line, counting all lemming winter nests that you see from the line. You also must always stay on the line, so you have your face in the GPS all day, making sure you’re exactly on the line..for nine miles of walking.
Add the hot windless day that today was, innumerable mosquitoes, and you have the bad memory that already seems like a vague thought that may not have even happened. The bugs were so thick that I smeared so many on the GPS screen from normal use that I had to wipe it off because I couldn’t read the display – hundreds of mozzies around each of us at any moment.
Once we got back we ate some pasta with alfredo sauce and played more tossed salad, and now the day is in the distant past. As we headed to bed we had some good looks at a few hundred caribou by camp, silhouetted against the low sun by fog – gorgeous view and some striking photos.

This impressive male posed quite well right by our sleeping tents

Herd of caribou below the 11pm sun

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