June 26, 2007

The Primula of the Alps

Two years ago while botanizing in the Italian Dolomites, I was advised by our friend Ed Buyarski, president of the American Primula Society, that it was too bad that I was going so late (then, late June, and July) since he felt that many of the primula species would be past blooming. So this time, I planned the trip three weeks earlier. Even though I saw many Primula farinosa and a few tattered auriculacastrum types such as very late blooming Primula minima at very high elevations, this time, the earlier date prooved more fruitful. In fact, I think we hit the snowmelt and peak primula blooming period. The only problem at this moment, will be correctly identifing these species. Following, are some images to show you what we found in various passes and peaks in Switzerland.

Primula minima? No, clearly a natural hybrid of P. hirsuta and another auriculacastrum. A crowd of Japanese tourists started gathering around us photographic this tiny jewel. The long lenses and out intense focus made them stop hiking out of curiosity. They didn't speak a word of English, but when I mentioned rare Sakurasoh, they all nodded and smilled...."AAAAhhhhhh ....Sakuraso!!!!)/.click....click click......

A white sport of Primula hirsuta?

Primula hirsuta

Bernina Pass- a natural occuring hybrid at 10,000 ft. Primula x Berninae

Joe photographing Primula latifolia above the Morteratsch glacier on the Diavolezza, Bernina Pass, in the Brudner Alps, Upper Engadine.

Primula latifolia, Near Pontresina, Upper Engadine.

The more common P. farinosa, or one of the Birds-Eye Primoses.

Joe shooting one.

P. hirsuta cross, most likely.

Not sure, P. allionii cross.

P. integrifolia - at Susten Pass, Switzerland.

Snow Melt in the Alps - The Eiger

June 19, 2007

Botanizing Europe - Zurich to Wengen Switzerland

The scenery was OK.
Here, small village of Wengen, reachable only via cog train from Interlaken. (this was actually the view from our chalet)

After 12 days botanizing, socializing and plain 'ol goofin' off, we're back home already. Yet, this was one of those trips which felt longer than it was, which, of course, is a great thing givin the location, and weather, and definately the views that we had.
Over the next few days, I will post day by day, how it all played out since my plans to post live via my new MAC laptop literally blew up in a plastic, smelly mess with a voltage incident the first night in Wengen. (sigh). Here are a few shots I am sharing before I really sit down and start to organize the nearly 1200 images that I burned to DVD's while in the trip to the Swiss Alps, the upper Engadine, the Italian Dolomites and Austria.

Ranunculus glacialis at nearly 10,000 feet at the Bernina Pass, right at snow melt.

Dumb old me, ( just here so that I can post a new photo of me on this site and get rid of the daffs).