There was a terrific turnout on Wednesday 1st March for Gary Mentanko’s talk on The Flora of Artic Canada and the audience was not disappointed. Gary, who is Canadian, took us on a ‘trip’ to Manitoba and around the Hudson Bay in particular. One or two people had murmured before the talk that nothing would grow up there. As Gary began to describe the territory I wondered if in fact they were correct, semi arid land with ice fog that prunes the buds off the plants, shallow soil, strong bitter winds and frost with plenty of Polar Bears prowling around. However we saw Dryas integrifolia, Pyrola grandiflora, Mertensia maritime (an edible plant), a white flowered Linum lewesia (not used to make linen), lots of Saxifrages and Orchids and Kalmia procumbens (the Artic Azalia) to name but a few. But it was not just a talk about plants, Gary also spoke about the history of the area, the animal life, the diet of the indigenous people, and the ecology. He finished with some wonderful pictures of the Mosquitos!!!
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