Month: September 2013

Last flowers of Iceland

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Today there was frost on the moss covered lava of the hills above Reykjavik, but there have been a few brave flowers hanging on throughout the week.

Time to leave
Time to Leave
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Reykjavik Botanic Garden

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This morning I made David Gelsthorpe (Curator of Earth Sciences) spend time in Reykjavik’s botanic garden (only fair after the amount of time we spent chasing ice yesterday!). The arboretum, vegetable garden, lake and rockeries were looking lovely in the autumn sunshine, but I spent most of my time admiring the Icelandic plant species.

Jointed rush (Juncus articulatus)
Jointed Rush
Hoary Whitlowgrass (Draba incarna)
Hoary Whitlowgrass
Oblong Woodsia (Woodsia ilvensis)
Oblong Woodsia
Tufted saxifrage (Saxifraga cespitosa)
Tufted saxifrage

Beautiful Icelandic Botany

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Today David Gelsthorpe, Curator of Earth Sciences, and myself were at Þingvellir in south-western Iceland. In 930, the Norwegian settlers established a parliament at this site and now it is a stunning National Park. The area is full of faults and fissures as the North American and Eurasian plates pull away from each other by up to 18mm per year. We were lucky with the weather today and the autumn colours were looking wonderful in the sunshine.

Mountain avens (Dryas octopetela)
Mountain avens (Dryas octopetela)
Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)
Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)
Downy birch (Betula pubescens)
Downy birch (Betula pubescens)
Bearberry (Arctostaphylus uva-ursi)
Bearberry (Arctostaphylus uva-ursi)
Autumn colours on birches and willows
Autumn colours on birches and willows

 

Butterworts (Pinguicula vulgaris)
Butterworts (Pinguicula vulgaris)

 

 

 

Iceland adventure

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Palaeo Manchester

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Rachel Webster (curator of botany) and I are in Iceland on field work to meet colleagues and see some of the world’s best geological features!

Here are some of the pictures from our first day

 

 

 

 

 

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Noisy in the herbarium, quiet on the blog

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If you’ve visited the Manchester Museum recently you will probably have spotted the huge scaffolding opposite our front entrance. It’s part of the University of Manchester’s improvements to it’s historic buildings on campus. We’re getting new double glazed windows which will make it quieter as well as warmer in winter, but it has limited the amount of work going on in the botany stores over the summer. Soon the work will be completed and we can bring the room back out from under the dust sheets!