Archive for August, 2013

The northern island of Hokkaido is a botanist’s wet dream, as the brutally cold Siberian winters give way to a paradise of palpitating perennials during the short season of warmth. At these latitudes, the tree line drops to as low as 1200 meters, giving flower hounds the opportunity to cherish alpine flora without the asthma-enducing altitudes of Honshu’s higher peaks.

Over the last decade or so, I’ve been witness to dozens of dazzling displays of pollen throughout the entire island, though I have never taken the time or effort to put those latin names into long-term memory. Most of my forays into Hokkaido’s alpine zones have resulted in a child-like rendering of glee, with such insightful expressions as “look at the blue flower over there” or “the small yellow ones are cute”. Could it be time for a more informed course in alpine plant-ology?

For this I ask your assistance. If you happen to know the names of any of the flowers in this post (either Japanese or Latin terminology will suffice), then feel free to pass your knowledge on to me through the comments section.

My next step will be to buy a guide to alpine flora, so if there are any ‘must have’ Japanese floral guides, then please let me know. So, without further ado, I present Ezo’s Guide to Unknown Alpine Flora:

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The Northern Island – A break

It’s been a while since I last posted. I don’t really have any excuses except for the unbearable humidity of summer. I’ve come to Hokkaido to clear my head and hopefully get some more writing done. In the meantime, allow yourself to live vicariously through this photo:


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