From the Field: Arrival in Churchill, Manitoba

Posted: August 10, 2011 - 11:32 , by David Rudkin

July 18, 2011 – Welcome to Churchill!

We arrive from Winnipeg by twin turboprop early this evening, after the usual minor delays and frustrations,… pick up our 4×4 vehicle, get settled in at the wonderful new Churchill Northern Studies Centre facility and spend a few hours showing two novice crew members some of the nearby tundra features, including a splendid extended sunset (officially at 10:07 PM, but with a beautifully long prelude).

Tomorrow morning (Tuesday) will be devoted to sorting out gear that was shipped up by rail, purchasing a few last-minute supplies in town, scouting out a few of our more accessible fossil sites, and hopefully training the newcomers on safely handling pyrotechnic polar bear deterrents. But first – sleep!

This morning (Tuesday) is devoted to sorting out gear that was shipped up by rail, purchasing a few last-minute supplies in town, scouting out some of our fossil sites, and training the newcomers on handling pyrotechnic polar bear deterrents. The need for the latter became quite clear on our scouting trip this morning… we encountered a female and yearling cub along the track above the rocky Hudson Bay shoreline, just west of where we will be working this afternoon (after the tide begins to drop).

The crew explores the Hudson Bay Lowlands.

For some of the crew, this is a first-time experience in the Hudson Bay Lowland … so much to take in, from vast open vistas to the exquisite details of tunda vegetation.

A close-up of the White Mountain Avens flower.

White Mountain Avens (Dryas integrifolia) growing on a dry gravel ridge.

An evening sunset in Churchill, Maniboba.

View across the tundra to the northwest from our window in the new Churchill Northern Studies Centre building.

 

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