Ambling among alpine algae
I thought I’d share a few pictures from my day (yesterday) with Phil Novis, a fellow freshwater algal fanatic, from Landcare in Christchurch, New Zealand. We drove to Arthurs Pass and walked up towards the peak of Mount Philistine.
I say towards because I was overly protective of my recently fixed knee and after a little too long on soft scree I suggested we visit a wee tarn (see below) at the side, then return back to look for streams on the plains.
Phil (below) works on all kinds of algae but loves snow algae, camping out for weeks above the snow line during his PhD, including 8 days during a storm so he could see what the algae did! He also cycles to algal meetings anywhere in New Zealand.
On the way back to Christchurch we visited Andrews Stream, where I found tiny fragments of my favourite alga, Batrachospermum (‘frogs eggs’), and then the Cass Field Station where I found great big dollops of another species of my favourite alga amid fields of lupins.
What a country, spectacular alpine scenery. Lots of white flowers (Ranunculus lyallii pictured below), except for the purple and pink lupins and the yellow gorse.
And lovely algae. Final picture is a ‘green algae’ that grows on rocks, and is red in colour. We have species of this one – Trentepohlia– on rocks and tree trunks in the Blue Mountains.