Our Beautiful World


Part 8: Mountains, continued

Animals, birds and flowers on this page:

Kamchatka swallowtail,
Papilio machaon kamchatkensis
Arctic mountain-avens, Dryas octopetala
Eversmann's parnassian, Parnassius eversmanni
Tundra poppy, Papaver lapponicum orientale
Orb-weaving spider, Araneus sp
Polar bear, Ursus maritimus

From a rearranged translation of Vladimir Dinets original pages to norwegian, with supplements.

Klikk på flagg for norsk versjon

Summer night at Cross Bay, Chukotka, Russia.

In many places along the coast of Chukotka, especially in the eastern part, mountains come close to the sea,
forming rocky capes separated by deep fjords.


Cross Bay.

Four beautiful fjords branch off Cross Bay, nine are located further east, and four - in southern Chukotka

Cross Bay.

Topper i Iskatenfjellkjeden rundt Cross Bay.

Cross Bay near Egvenkinot.

Steep shores of those fjords shelter southern slopes from northern winds, but not from drifting snow.
The result is high climate and habitat diversity in small areas

Coast of Etelkuyum Bay - one of Cross Bay fjords.

Glaucous gull, Larus hyperboreus, Etelkuyum Bay.

Arctic mountain-avens, Dryas octopetala, Itelkuyum Bay.
Alpine mountain-avens, Dryas integrifolia, Itelkuyum Bay.

One of the keynote species of the north temperate alpine regions is mountain avens or Dryas. Anyone hiking in the high mountains of North American Rockies, European Alps or Caucasus, Russian Urals and even the slopes of Siberia and Alaska, are likely to encounter this plant. They are a dominant plant of the unique Irish Burrens, as well as the limestone barrens of Newfoundland. Mountain avens even make it well into the Arctic Circle, and in fact, grow as far north as there is land! The genus gets its name from the Greek oak-nymph called 'Dryas'. The genus name refers to the similarity of the leaves of mountain avens to those of oaks. Mountain avens belong to the rose family. Plants are woody and prostrate forming extensive mats that often root at intervals, lending this plant the effective ability to stabilize mountain slopes and river gravels. In mountainous regions, mountain avens typically grow on limestone substrates, but in the high Arctic they are not so restricted.
Source: http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1924/

Flowers doesn't blossom for ever......
but they will be back next spring.

Mountain avens, Dryas octopetala (common names include white dryas, and white dryad) is an arctic-alpine flowering plant in the family Rosaceae. It is a small prostrate evergreen subshrub forming large colonies, and is a
popular flower in rock gardens. The specific epithet octopetala derives from the Greek octo (eight) and petalon
(petal), referring to the eight petals of the flower, an unusual number in the Rosaceae, where five is the normal number.
However flowers with up to 16 petals also occur naturally.

The stems are woody, tortuous, with short, horizontal rooting branches. The leaves are glabrous above, densely
white-tomentose beneath. The flowers are produced on stalks 3–10 cm (1.2–3.9 in) long, and have eight creamy
white petals. The style is persistent on the fruit with white feathery hairs, functioning as a wind-dispersal agent.
The feathery hairs of the seed head first appear twisted together and glossy before spreading out to an expanded
ball which the wind quickly disperses.

It grows in dry localities where snow melts early, on gravel and rocky barrens, forming a distinct heath community
on calcareous soils.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dryas_octopetala

As a result of the diverse conditions and lack of complete glaciation in recent past,
these fjords have the highest botanical diversity anywhere in the Arctic -
over 600 species of vascular plants

Cross Bay near Egvenkinot.

Tundra poppy, Papaver lapponicum orientale,
Cross Bay.

Vascular plants (also known as tracheophytes or higher plants) are those plants that have lignified tissues for conducting
water, minerals, and photosynthetic products through the plant. Vascular plants include the clubmosses, Equisetum, ferns,
gymnosperms (including conifers) and angiosperms (flowering plants). Scientific names for the group include Tracheophyta and Tracheobionta.

Vascular plants are distinguished by two primary characteristics:
1.Vascular plants have vascular tissues which circulate resources through the plant. This feature allows vascular plants to evolve to a larger size than non-vascular plants, which lack these specialized conducting tissues and are therefore restricted to relatively small sizes.
2.In vascular plants, the principal generation phase is the sporophyte, which is usually diploid with two sets of
chromosomes per cell. Only the germ cells and gametophytes are haploid. By contrast, the principal generation phase
in non-vascular plants is usually the gametophyte, which is haploid with one set of chromosomes per cell. In these plants,
generally only the spore stalk and capsule are diploid. So now you know the two primary characteristics.....
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vascular_plant

Papaver lapponicum

Papaver lapponicum
is a species of poppy known by the common names Lapland poppy. It is endemic to Lapland
and western Siberia.

Papaver is a genus of 70–100 species of frost-tolerant annuals, biennials, and perennials native to temperate and cold
regions of Eurasia, Africa and North America. It is the type genus of the poppy family, Papaveraceae.
The flowers have two sepals that fall off as the bud opens, and four (or up to six) petals in red, pink, orange, yellow,
or lilac. There are many stamens in several whorls around a compound pistil, which results from the fusion of carpels.
The stigmas are visible on top of the capsule, and the number of stigmas corresponds to the number of fused carpels.

The ovary later develops in a dehiscing capsule, capped by the dried stigmas. The numerous, tiny seeds escape with
the slightest breeze through the pores of the capsule.

The typical Papaver Gynoecium is hypogenous with a globular ovary. The flower is characteristically absent for the typ
e species Opium Poppy, and several others, although those with a style do exist.[3] The sessile plate-like stigmata lies on
top of the ovary. Pollen-receptive surfaces. The characteristic fruit type of Papaver is the unilocular capsule.
The stigmatic disc rests on top of the capsule, and beneath it are dehiscent pores or valves.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papaver


Tundra poppy, Papaver lapponicum, is highly polymorphic. Left to right: Golden Ridge, Belyaka Spit, Cross Bay.

South- facing fjord slopes are also the best place to look for rare butterflies.
Most have their wings torn by strong winds

Kamchatka swallowtail,
Papilio machaon kamchatkensis
, Golden Ridge.

Kamchatka swallowtail , Golden Ridge.

Swallowtail butterflies are large, colorful butterflies that form the family Papilionidae. There are over 550 species, and though
the majority are tropical, members of the family are found on all continents except Antarctica. The family includes the largest
butterflies in the world, the birdwing butterflies of Australia (genus Ornithoptera). No picture - it doesn't belong here.

Swallowtails differ from all other butterflies in a number of anatomical traits. Most notably, their caterpillars possess a unique organ
behind their heads, called the osmeterium. Normally hidden, this forked structure can be everted when the caterpillar is threatened,
or forced out with a gentle squeeze, and emits smelly secretions containing terpenes. The adults are often tailed like the forked tail
of some swallows, giving the insect its name.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swallowtail_butterfly

Eversmann's parnassian, Parnassius eversmanni, Cross Bay.
Orb-weaving spider, Araneus sp., Golden Ridge.

The "typical" orb-weaver spiders (family Araneidae) are the most common group of builders of spiral wheel-shaped webs often found in gardens, fields and forests. Their common name is taken from the round shape of this typical web, and the taxon was formerly also referred to as the Orbiculariae.

Orb-weavers have eight similar eyes, legs hairy or spiny and no stridulating organs. The Araneidae family is cosmopolitan, including many well-known large or brightly colored garden spiders. There are 3,006 species in 168 genera worldwide,
making Araneidae the third largest family of spiders known (behind Salticidae and Linyphiidae). The orb-weavers include
over 10,000 species and make up about 25% of spider diversity.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orb-weaver_spider

Polar bears leave the mainland in summer, but some get stuck and wait out the heat
on high mountain slopes above cold fjords.

Polar bear,Ursus maritimus, Etelkuyum Bay.

Polar bear,Ursus maritimus, Etelkuyum Bay.

Summer night at Cross Bay, Chukotka, Russia.

Part 9. South of Chukotka

Back to part 7

All pictures, unless otherwise stated, Copyright © Vladimir Dinets


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