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General Subjects => Blogs and Diaries => Topic started by: Hoy on April 01, 2015, 07:19:26 AM

Title: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 01, 2015, 07:19:26 AM
Here I plan at irregular times to show pictures from around where I go in Norway. Please feel free to comment and add to the thread!


I am starting at 1100m just above the treeline in the middle of southern Norway. It is still full winter here!

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 01, 2015, 07:30:58 AM
It is not devoid of life though.

A lazy hare has crossed the snow in slow stride  to look for better food another place.

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Ptarmigans have eaten the buds of the dwarf birches.

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My shadow in the corner!




Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Chris Johnson on April 01, 2015, 07:39:42 AM
I sometimes think we live in a similar environment of wind and wet, but there the similarity ends. Our archipelago would get lost in one of your fjords and we don't have the lumpy bits ... or trees  ???

Looking forward to this thread developing.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 01, 2015, 07:57:15 AM
Even in years with more snow cover than this the ridges ("rabber") are free of snow. The wind carry the snow from the higher places down to the leeward side of the hills.
Here are a few of the commoner plants at the ridges.

Crowberries (Empetrum hermafroditum) grow everywhere. The sap of the berries are very good.

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another common shrub is juniper (Juniperus communis). We use the ripe "berries" as spice and you can also make a kind of licorice of them.

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Dwarf birch, cowberry and reindeer moss (Cladonia stellaris).

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Our ski track to the left in the last picture.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 01, 2015, 08:14:39 AM
I sometimes think we live in a similar environment of wind and wet, but there the similarity ends. Our archipelago would get lost in one of your fjords and we don't have the lumpy bits ... or trees  ???

Looking forward to this thread developing.

Chris,

The outer Hebrides  would fit excellent along the west coast among other similar islands!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 01, 2015, 08:21:50 AM
A few very hardy plants stay green all winter under the sow cover. They are among the first to flower in the spring (which is May here). The snow disappear firstly along the cabin walls where some green leaves can be seen.


Silene dioica  - very common.

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Potentilla crantzii - a very nice plant especially when it starts flowering in April.

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Dryas octopetala - I have planted this one in the steps. It is from higher altitude. Not showy at this time of the year.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: David Nicholson on April 01, 2015, 09:06:07 AM
Enjoyed it Trond, keep up the good work.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on April 01, 2015, 10:38:07 AM
Trond, I am delighted to see this new thread - even if I had to go to put on another sweater to keep out the cold from all that snow!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: brianw on April 01, 2015, 09:38:37 PM
Thank you Trond. Your Dryas is quite brown, whereas mine in southern England stays green all winter. Not a pleasant green but definitely green. Maybe this is why we can't flower it as well as I see it in the wild, no proper dormancy?
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on April 02, 2015, 01:40:27 AM
Trond,

This is great! I look forward to following along as spring progresses.

I looks like it may not be far off.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 02, 2015, 06:08:43 AM
Enjoyed it Trond, keep up the good work.

Thanks David. I will - at irregular intervals!


Trond, I am delighted to see this new thread - even if I had to go to put on another sweater to keep out the cold from all that snow!


Thanks Maggi! You certainly had needed one yesterday ;)


Thank you Trond. Your Dryas is quite brown, whereas mine in southern England stays green all winter. Not a pleasant green but definitely green. Maybe this is why we can't flower it as well as I see it in the wild, no proper dormancy?


Brian, I have seen plants greener than this one after the winter. I had one in my garden and it stayed green all winter. The plant shown stays almost uncovered by snow all winter and has to take down to - 30C unprotected. Although some with better snow cover stay greener, the old leaves get brown early in spring.

Wild plants from higher altitude in July:

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 02, 2015, 06:32:50 AM
Yesterday was a grey and cold day with wind from north. We decided to go in the woods in stead of in the open plains. The woods are mixed conifer forests, mostly consisting of Norway spruce (Picea abies) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris). Also mountain birch (Betula pubescens ssp. czerepanovii) are common here.
In the warm period 5000 years ago and until 2000 years ago the pine forest covered all the plains here up to about 300m higher than today. Today the forest limit is at about 1100-1200m. The spruce is a very late immigrant here and has not yet reached the maximum distribution even in the valleys. The forest also slowly creep upwards due to warmer summers.

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Sparse pine forest covers the sandy dry moraine. My father in law told that when he was a kid people used to meet huldra (a kind of wood nymph) here.



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The warm summers in the later years means that the spruce manage to produce viable seeds even at this altitude.



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The forest opens up to a bog. It is may sphagnum bogs in this area.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 02, 2015, 06:52:55 AM
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The forest can be quite dense. You rarely meet anybody here  except in winter when a few ski tracks cross the area. It is not far from the nearest cabins though but people prefer the open landscape higher up.


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You can also find stands of aspen in the forest. It is an important tree for the wildlife. The wood is soft and rot easily. Woodpeckers love to make their holes in the trunk. This one was healthy though. I like the bark of old specimens!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 02, 2015, 07:21:06 AM
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The dense humid woods facing east gets a lot of snow during the winter. Although the climate here is rather dry (600-700mm precipitation/year) Especially the birches often breaks under the heavy burdens. The amount of lichen growing in the branches also help catching snow.


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Cowberry (Vaccinium vitis-idea) often grows on old ant hives but rarely flowers here in the shade.


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A woodpecker's smithy.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 02, 2015, 08:39:42 AM
The catsfoot (Antennaria dioica) waits for milder weather where the sun has melted the snow.

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This is what it looks like later in the season:

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A lonely red fox have walked by during the night. The frozen crust (skare) can carry light animals (and skiers) when it is still solid.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Ian Y on April 02, 2015, 08:46:39 AM
Great thread Trond, I look forward to following the progress as the snow gives way to spring and all that comes with it.

Stunning photographs, thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 02, 2015, 08:48:30 AM
Vinterstandere. That is dry stems standing against the weather and dispersing its seeds during the winter.
The field gentian (Gentianella campestris), yarrow (Achemilla millefolium) and vanilla gras (Anthoxanthum odoratum) are some examples.

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This is what the field gentian looks like in August. It is an annual flowering late in the season.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 02, 2015, 08:58:48 AM
Trond,

This is great! I look forward to following along as spring progresses.

I looks like it may not be far off.

Robert, you have to wait a while for the spring here!

Maybe the spring flowers open in late April, but we can have snow here till May, both on the ground and in the air.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 02, 2015, 09:00:54 AM
Great thread Trond, I look forward to following the progress as the snow gives way to spring and all that comes with it.

Stunning photographs, thanks for sharing.

Thanks Ian ;D

As I told Robert it will take some time - and I will unfortunately not be here continually :-\
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Matt T on April 02, 2015, 09:10:07 AM
Fascinating thread, Trond. We seem to share so many plants in common. It will be interesting to see what else the melting snow reveals. Will read your posts with interest.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Tim Ingram on April 02, 2015, 10:35:43 AM
Trond - really look forward to seeing what happens when the snow melts! (or even while it is still there). We rarely get long lasting snow here - one of the reasons why the garden is full of snowdrops  ;). I have great memories of visiting Norway with friends many years ago and walking to one of those amazing 'farms' sitting on a ledge high above Geirangerfjord, plus a lot of apple blossom in places. I am very envious of those who have visited the Botanic Garden at Tromsö and also Svalbard - greatly enjoy seeing these wild places.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on April 02, 2015, 03:31:14 PM
Trond,

Does the current livestock grazing have an impact on the native flora? If so, are there locations where the plants are protected?

Is it possible for me to find out more about "huldra", the wood nymph. My wife writes scaldic poetry. I think that she would find it very interesting.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 04, 2015, 07:09:04 AM
Thanks Tim :)

Those farms high up are not in use as farms any more (now they are summer houses, tourist centres etc.) but the fruit growers along the fjords are very much alive and in May when all the trees are in flower are well worth a visit. I drive there several times a year, not at Geirangerfjorden but Hardangerfjorden/Sørfjorden.
I have unfortunately not had the opportunity to visit Tromsø Botanical Garden yet, but it is on my list!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 04, 2015, 07:10:50 AM
Thanks Matt,

Hopefully not all the snow has gone when I come up here next time!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 04, 2015, 07:31:56 AM
Robert,

The current livestock grazing is to little to affect the flora - in fact here and many other places the grazing is too little to keep away the tree seedlings so previous open landscapes are slowly, or rather fast many places, covered by forests. The flora of these places is the consequence of grazing and a lot of the plants benefit from it. Many plants are also brought into a landscape by man/livestock.

The species richest habitats here are almost all old cultivated land used many places in millennia and where the grass has been harvested by scythe when ripe and stored in small hoses in the field and brought home to the farm in winter. Now those meadows are almost all gone. Some places modern agriculture has taken over, other places the forest has!

Some areas are protected and also cultivated/grazed to keep the flora intact. It is still common some places to let especially the sheep and goats go out all summer and the right farmers have to do so is very old. But we also have the right that everyone can walk on all land (including private property outside the cities) except highly cultivated of course.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 04, 2015, 07:40:38 AM
Although the sun shines from a blue sky with few clouds the air is very cold and it barely reaches 0C during the daytime. The thaw is slow.

Do you recognize these leaves? It is a tough but soft looking plant - Polemonium caereleum. The first new growth is barely visible.


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Along the wall where the snow melts a little faster you can see the tracks of the commonest animal near the houses - field vole, Microtus agrestis. Farther away from the houses the droppings would probably belong to the lemming, Lemmus lemmus, seen here another year.


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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 04, 2015, 07:59:27 AM
It is a lot of wildlife to see and hear but without a proper lens it is difficult to take pictures of anything but the droppings!
Here from a hare, they are everywhere but usually out only at night.

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The ptarmigans are also common and we regularly frighten some away from their lunch. Sometimes they have to dig down to find their favorite food.


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Also wood grouse Tetrao urogallus and black grouse Tetrao tetrix are common here, especially the last one which we hear every early morning when they are performing their courtship ritual.

These tracks may be from a wood grouse. They are too heavy!


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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 04, 2015, 08:15:01 AM
The creeks and other watercourses are about to open. May be difficult to cross in a few weeks' time.

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Out in the open landscape!


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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 04, 2015, 08:24:19 AM
Arctostaphylos alpinus is common on the ridges. It flowers quite early but not yet.

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The other pictures would't!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 04, 2015, 08:37:31 AM
The crowberries are still there but not very good. I tasted some but they are better in fall. Maybe the birds like them?

 
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A nice pine.


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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: johnw on April 04, 2015, 02:00:47 PM
Trond  - Flocks of Evening Grosbeaks descend on the coastal Empetrums here in August and September and eat all the fruit.  It's quite a sight.

johnw - +3c & rain
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Matt T on April 04, 2015, 07:11:28 PM
I have unfortunately not had the opportunity to visit Tromsø Botanical Garden yet, but it is on my list!

I believe the Tromsø BG has in places been redeveloped since I was there, so I'd be very interested to see photos when you do get there, Trond.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 06, 2015, 07:12:21 AM
Trond  - Flocks of Evening Grosbeaks descend on the coastal Empetrums here in August and September and eat all the fruit.  It's quite a sight.

johnw - +3c & rain

Yes, that must be quite a sight!

We don't have that species here but the closest relative hawfinch. I have never seen that in flocks and I don't think they eat fruit either!
What will possibly eat the berries is different kinds of thrushes which often come in huge flocks.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 06, 2015, 07:15:12 AM
I believe the Tromsø BG has in places been redeveloped since I was there, so I'd be very interested to see photos when you do get there, Trond.

Matt, I am afraid you'll have to wait at least until next year as my schedule is full for this year!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 06, 2015, 07:23:39 AM
This will be the end of chapter one. Today we are back home. The forecast was good for today but all I can see is fog :(
The drive home was nice, not much traffic where we went, but other roads were congested and people had to wait for hours! Everybody is out during Easter and driving home at the same time ;D

In lack of flowering plants I pictured some lichens. It is hundreds of different species but I know next to nothing of the names.


This is mostly "reindeer moss" or different Cladonia species. The round white is Cladonia stellaris (kvitkrull).

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Here is a snow lichen Stereocaulon sp (saltlav).

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Flavocetraria sp and Stereocaulon sp.

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About 10 different lichens here!

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 06, 2015, 08:02:46 AM
Some nice Flavocetraria and also Cladonia rangiferina (the grey one) + many more.

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Where the birds have their lookout post at the rocks and stones their droppings fertilize the ground, that is the rock itself. The result is a garden of lichens. The yellow Xanthoria candellaria is a typical ornithocoprophile.

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Probably the last ski trip this spring!

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End of chapter one!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on April 06, 2015, 03:10:05 PM
Trond,

I certainly enjoyed the wildlife, scenery, lichen and newly sprouting plants. A world very different from ours!

Looking forward to second installment.  :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 08, 2015, 07:19:40 PM
Robert,

That's why it is so fascinating following you on your trips in the wild ;D

Gardens have a tendency to be similar and contain the same plants but the wilderness is different  :)

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 08, 2015, 07:25:18 PM
Chapter 2

Back home in the garden. Not much has happened in the week gone. The weather has been rather cold, windy and night frost has marked some plants.
Today, Wednesday, has been the warmest so far this year +12C. Tomorrow it is back to grey and dull weather again :(

A few more rhododendrons have opened their flowers though, among them is this decorum hybrid (I think), from seed several years ago.

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I have many different Corydalis. This C. bracteata (I believe!) is one of the first to flower and it is in flower for weeks!

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The Erythroniums have increased both in size and numbers. Unfortunately the slugs are also very fond of the flowers :(
I like both the flowers and the mottled leaves.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 08, 2015, 07:55:21 PM
More Corydalis.

These are solida seedlings. I bought some from Janis years ago and they have seeded around in the garden. Some are very early and some are later flowering.

The first 3 are in the woodland.

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This one is in he "lawn" of Crocus leaves - in the lawn (without grass)!

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A Cardamine glanduligera hitherto unscathed by the slugs . . . .

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 08, 2015, 08:11:29 PM
Down in the more humid part of the garden (woodland) the common Anemone nemorosa grows wild. But I have also introduced some from other parts of the country like this one which is bigger and earlier. Anemone ranunculoides is also native but not here, so these are planted by me and increase well.

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The lesser celandine is very common and almost a weed but this cream I have once bought and it grows among the wild ones.

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Coralroot bittercress (Cardamine bulbifera) is also native in woodland. I planted a few bulbils some years ago and now? But I like it! Soon in flower. . . .

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 08, 2015, 08:34:38 PM
The wettest place is along a watercourse. Here I grow bog plants. Among them and very early in flower are the marsh marigolds (Caltha palustris). Although it is native and rather common I had to plant it in the garden along with a white one.


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One which is not native is the skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus). I once planted two and now I have a lawn of seedlings!

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These fiddle-heads are the native ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthopteris). In a few weeks they cover many square meters!

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on April 08, 2015, 11:41:54 PM
Trond,

Your garden seems very lush, much like gardens on the Oregon and Washington coast of the U.S.A.

Is sun of a premium? My guess is that tree growth could be rapid due to the abundant moisture.

It is interesting that we have at least one xeric version of the plants pictured, Cardamine.

Very much a different world from California.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 11, 2015, 08:14:03 AM
Trond,

Your garden seems very lush, much like gardens on the Oregon and Washington coast of the U.S.A.

Is sun of a premium? My guess is that tree growth could be rapid due to the abundant moisture.

It is interesting that we have at least one xeric version of the plants pictured, Cardamine.

Very much a different world from California.

Robert,

Sun is very much a minimum factor here! But our mild (and wet) climate has some drawbacks :( Lack of sun is one and slugs is another. The last 30 days have had about the same mean temperature as December and January (February was  a little colder).

Trees grow rapid (and everywhere) but lack of real summer warmth makes it slower than optimum. And May which is an important month for plant development is the driest month. The soil is very shallow many places which means many plants and trees can suffer from drought!

Cardamine bulbifera tolerates dry conditions. It is an early spring plant and goes dormant in summer so it can grow in fairly summerdry woods.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on April 11, 2015, 03:34:08 PM
Trond,

This is very useful information if I should ever try species from your region.

Here in California we are now being told that "our water waste needs to end forever!" Generally this translates into: The public will need to make sacrifices so the rich can continue to make even more money and make no sacrifices at all. I have seen this repeatedly here in the U.S.A.

Within the general public, there can certainly be some water waste, however most are not large wasters of water. I have to admit that here at the farm I have certainly done my share of water wasting , growing large numbers of inappropriate species, such as Rhododendron. For me this is ending as the garden transitions to something new and different.

There is much to be done to help gardeners in this new xeric political environment. I have to admit that I dislike the gross banality of government and politics, however things are the way they are. I do the best I can to stay out of the way, stay invisible and do my best to help in what ever small ways I can. Even with a return of the rains, I can tell that California is in a new water situation.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 11, 2015, 05:33:13 PM
Robert,

Here we have always used water like we had unlimited resources which was true, in a way, when we were fewer and the demand was lower.

Now increasing population, increased use (everybody takes at least one long shower almost every day), drier summers (maybe due to climatic changes) and pipelines getting old and leaky (50% of the water never reach the consumers) make it necessary to do something both with the infrastructure and the way water is used.

Although I disagree to much of what the politicians do I am not sure that we had come out better with another system of government.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on April 11, 2015, 06:45:46 PM
Trond,

If I understand correctly, in some situations Norway could have water shortages despite having plenty of water?

Leakage, lack of storage, increased population, etc.

Sadly, politics in the U.S.A. seems to be going down hill. Recently, there have been a number of anti-gay politicians promoting, among other things, legalizing the death penalty for being gay. Yes, you read this correctly! Online I am sure that one can find the Sacramento Bee, our local newspaper, with this front page headline (week of March 20 to 27, 2015).

I guess I am stupid, but I am not interested in living on a planet where some promote such ugly ideas. In protest, my wife and I put yellow Stars of David (like in the days of the 1930 - 40 Nazis) on our shirts saying "Who is next? - no intolerance!" My wife and I do not like living with such "stuff". I'm sure to get in trouble with this one, but then at what point does one speak out against such things.

It appears in Norway people are much more enlightened.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 12, 2015, 06:23:07 PM
Robert,

It's correct. We can have water shortage but not as severe as you have. Mostly we experience hose bans etc.

I have to admit that I sometimes raise an eyebrow when I read what's going on at your side of the Dam, but then I read something similar here.
We also like to think of ourselves as enlightened but it is not quite true of course.

But I can't imaging wearing a Star of David could bring me into any trouble though!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on April 13, 2015, 03:19:32 AM
Trond,

I am sure that the reality is somewhat more like - there has always been "stuff" going on somewhere at any time in history.
Another reality is that newspapers are trying to sell newspapers.

Better for me to keep my mind focused on gardening and other worth while thinking!  :)

It will be interesting to see how your spring progresses. As you travel around doing your diary, I know that name locations that I might find on a map could be useful to me as I am very curious about the geography, topography, local climatic conditions, etc. It is not likely that I will ever be in a position to visit Norway, but I do have a vivid imagination and will enjoy creating an image in my mind of the places you visit.

I really appreciate your efforts in regards to your dairy of plants in Norway.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 14, 2015, 05:53:31 PM
Robert,

It hasn't been much wild plants to see till now. The spring is slow and the plants are waiting for warmer weather.
Inland it is still much snow.
I'll remember to include the place names when I travell!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 18, 2015, 07:46:43 PM
Today we went to the beach! Not to bath but to walk and look at the flora. The weather was sunny but a cold northerly wind was annoying. Out here the spring is later than inland due to the still relatively cold Atlantic water (in the fall though it is the opposite - the water keeps the temperature up).

It takes about 40 minutes to drive from home by car. We live at a fjord and could take our boat but that had been a voyage of several hours! By car we can choose a bridge or a tunnel. The beach we had in mind is called Sandvesanden at the island of Karmøy. It is many rather nice beaches at the west coast of this island and in summer it is a lot of people here although the water never gets very warm (usually about 15C in summer). It is also nice to surf here.

The tunnel is quite new (finished 2013) and crosses one fjord (the fjord I live by) and a strait. According to old lore this strait gave name to the country of Norway (lit. the way north). The island itself is also interesting. People have lived here in about 10,000 years. Karmøy also has been an important place in the history of Norway.

The tunnel is 8.9km long and 139m under the sea at the deepest. A roundabout has been made at a cross where 3 arms of the road meet.

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It is more than one beach here but they are rather small. It was low tide so we walked down to the sea weed covered rocks.

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The wind is always blowing and last winter has been more windy than usually. Even the juniper is marked.

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A little creek runs out here also.

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Sandvesanden (Sandve Beach). The wind has made waves in the sand.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 18, 2015, 08:52:35 PM
Not much is growing in the sand but the cliffs are more interesting.


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The shell of a cuttlefish (Sepia) on the sand. They are quite common.


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The shell of a crab (Hyas coarctatus).


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Seaweed


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From WW2. You can still find mines!


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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 18, 2015, 09:10:22 PM
One of the earlier in flower is the common daisy (Bellis perennis). In fact, it is in flower almost all the year  - even in winter.


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Although common, I do like the plant!

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This is not rare either ;D It is several hundred species of dandelion in Norway. Most look very similar but they  all light up in spring.


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Not in flower yet, Plantago lanceolata and Geranium sanguineum.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 18, 2015, 09:27:36 PM
Lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria) is very common!


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Sometimes you can find deviant forms Here one with sagittate leaf.


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The primrose (Primula vulgaris) is a welcome spring flower among the cliffs.


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Also ramsons (Allium ursinum) grow in between the cliffs!


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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 18, 2015, 09:48:24 PM
Better not fall!


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Lichen grows where it is not trampled on and where the sea don't wash it away.


[attachimg=2]


A still small sea aster (Aster tripolium).


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Thrift (Armeria maritima) soon in full flower!


[attachimg=4]


[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 18, 2015, 10:01:48 PM
The scurvy-grass (Cochlearia sp) is nice when growing in meager substrate - could use it in the rock garden! It is not that refined in fatter soil.


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Rose root (Rhodiola rosea) is very succulent!


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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Matt T on April 18, 2015, 11:11:23 PM
Trond, you could substitute the word Hebridean for Norway in your posts and no-one would question it. You're pictures might have been taken anywhere on the Western Isles. Landscapes, plants species, context. Amazing. I'm actually visiting family in southern England right now, but will set aside a day for hiking (and photographing) as soon as I am back home.

The roundabout in a tunnel is pretty unusual!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: johnw on April 19, 2015, 12:00:56 AM
Flying into Bergen from Copenhagen I could easily have been landing in Halifax, small rocky islands & shores with spruce though we lack those majestic mountains.

johnw
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on April 19, 2015, 12:14:02 AM
Trond,

Absolutely fabulous!

I was fascinated by everything; the engineering of the tunnels under the fjords, the scenery, and the flora.  Many of the plants pictured are in gardens here in California. Maybe they are extremely common, but putting them in context with their native habitat is very interesting for me.

Junk from the past; relics from WWII in Norway; our relics from the 49er's in California. Both interesting and in some cases a hazard. We still have to be careful of mercury and hidden vent shafts from the gold mining. There are even mine shafts under the farm. One of the vent shafts rises on the property. It has caved-in, however it could still collapse at any time. There is a good story about a vent shaft giving way under a house on top of a place we call "white rock". All the locals thought it foolish to build a house up there. The owners still keep sending good money after bad, trying to keeping the place from sinking into the mountain.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 19, 2015, 07:24:27 AM
Trond, you could substitute the word Hebridean for Norway in your posts and no-one would question it. You're pictures might have been taken anywhere on the Western Isles. Landscapes, plants species, context. Amazing. I'm actually visiting family in southern England right now, but will set aside a day for hiking (and photographing) as soon as I am back home.

The roundabout in a tunnel is pretty unusual!


Matt,

Yeah, my ancestors felt pretty much at home when they visited your waters ;)
Looking forward to see your pics!

Roundabouts in tunnels - it's another one when we go to our mountain cabin (maybe I could call it a shieling?) where the road to Bergen takes off. There you enter a tunnel and the junction is inside the mountain. If you are going to Bergen you drive straight from the tunnel and out on the bridge across the Hardangerfjorden.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ZjlYN13seaI (https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ZjlYN13seaI)

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 19, 2015, 07:32:18 AM
Flying into Bergen from Copenhagen I could easily have been landing in Halifax, small rocky islands & shores with spruce though we lack those majestic mountains.

johnw

Johnw,

The more majestic mountains are located a bit east to us here, or north. When I drive to Bergen (one underwater tunnel and still one ferry but only 100km drive) I meet the mountains again when I approach Bergen.

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 19, 2015, 07:50:08 AM
Robert,

It is a lot of tunnels in Norway, especially at the west coast. Here is the roundabout on the way to our mountain cabin: (The challenge is to let the central column stand)

(http://www.vegvesen.no/Vegprosjekter/Hardangerbrua/InEnglish/Nyhetsarkiv/_image/541957.png?_encoded=2f66666666666678302f35382f0909090909090a293030382878616d656c616373090909090909090a&_ts=141ef220c40)

http://www.vegvesen.no/Vegprosjekter/Hardangerbrua/InEnglish/Nyhetsarkiv/the-hardanger-bridge-is-opened (http://www.vegvesen.no/Vegprosjekter/Hardangerbrua/InEnglish/Nyhetsarkiv/the-hardanger-bridge-is-opened)

It is interesting to see where plants grow naturally - both those you already have in your garden and those you hope to get one day. And sometimes you have to realize that it may be impossible to get a plant or impossible to grow it properly! Like some of your California natives ;)

Fortunately most of the WW2 remnants here are not dangerous. We have a lot of underground bunkers (or remnants of them) all along the coast. I have not heard of collapsing mines in Norway but they have a big problem in Sweden and have to remove the whole city of Kiruna! Here, try some news in Norwegian:

http://www.abcnyheter.no/nyheter/2013/05/27/hele-kiruna-ma-flytte (http://www.abcnyheter.no/nyheter/2013/05/27/hele-kiruna-ma-flytte)
http://www.nrk.no/verden/flyttingen-av-kiruna-fascinerer-verden-1.12262094 (http://www.nrk.no/verden/flyttingen-av-kiruna-fascinerer-verden-1.12262094)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: johnw on April 19, 2015, 01:19:18 PM
Trond  - This was also a big surprise in Tromsø, even the parking garage was several stories below the downtown. 

They said it would rain constantly in Bergen in lae May so bring umbrellas, it was very warm and we sat outdoors drinking beer with Faroe & Shetland Islanders at Milde till the wee small hours at 20c.

They said there would be metres of snow and nothing in flower in Tromsø in late May, they had a very early spring with no snoiw on the ground, the best saxes I've ever seen in flower and M. punicea in drifts.

john
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 26, 2015, 07:28:23 PM
Not so much rain here last week but cool weather, and the weekend has been wet and cold too.

Managed to make a round in the garden between the showers.

The plants seem to like the cool weather and flower for weeks but some nasty slimy pests also prefer this kind of weather. Lots of damaged plants :'(


Here are some not so damaged ones:

Anemone x lipsiensis. This clone is not old but has spread a little already. Many produce two buds but in another way than the A. ranunculoides does.


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This clone of A. ranunculoides has two or three flowers on each plant.


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A blue clone of A. nemorosa (I have forgotten which one) has also spread a little in few years. Doesn't seem to like the weather. The flowers are somewhat damaged by small snails.


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The biggest Anemone nemorosa I have - my own collection. It is past its best though!


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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 26, 2015, 07:56:15 PM
Another favorite genus of mine is Chrysosplenium, and fortunately the gastropods seems to avoid it.

The native C. oppositifolium does like the humid climate!


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In fact, all I have tried do! Like this C. davidii.


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Also this Primula hybrid has been left this year - so far!


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A North American favorite is Synthyris. The first flower of a seedling of S. missurica.


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A late Scilla is coming into bloom, S. lilio-hyacinthus. A bulbous plant that really like woodland conditions!


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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 26, 2015, 08:17:18 PM
The Rhododendrons do like the humid climate but not the wind. Here are some that is little affected by the storms last winter.

Behind the garage this nameless on is in full bloom now.


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High up in the canopy the R. thomsonii is almost out of sight!


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This one I got as R. lanatum aff.


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Down in the bog the Lysichiton americanus shows the color.


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And along the side road the Osmanthus  spreads perfume in the air!


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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on April 26, 2015, 08:18:33 PM
The rain makes the colours on your plants look very good, Trond.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 26, 2015, 08:28:06 PM
Yes, thanks Maggi! But the low light level makes it difficult to take decent pictures ;)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on April 27, 2015, 04:04:43 PM
Trond,

It appears that spring is a very long, drawn-out affair. This certainly would have its benefits. Around here the flowers can come and go in a blink-of-an-eye.

Believe it or not, slugs can be a problem here too.

For me it is enjoyable to see how others use plants that I will no longer consider. The drought has changed everything garden oriented. There will be no return to business as usual when the rains return.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 28, 2015, 07:40:21 PM
Robert, yes spring is a long affair! In fact about 6 months. We have 1/2 year spring then 1/2 year fall. No real summer and no real winter ;)

I have considered changing my garden inventory to be more gastropod-proof but so far I am still hoping for better times with no slugs and less rain in spring!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Tim Ingram on April 28, 2015, 08:11:32 PM
Trond - do you have good success with Clintonia andrewsiana in the garden? Our spring so far has been very dry so plants are going over more quickly - not so many gastropods fortunately!

A few pictures from the daily walk with the dog. North Kent is fruit growing country and quite intensively farmed - not so many wild flowers on this particular walk.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on April 28, 2015, 08:43:37 PM
Tim,

I have one plant which looks good, flowers and sets fruits every year (but some culprit steal the berries). The slugs don't touch it - not much anyway.
I had two more plants that where out-shaded I believe - forgot to move them when the shrubs got too big :-\

Your part of the world looks green and nice! More like the south part of this county on the other side of the Boknafjorden. 50 years ago it was small farms, sheep and herring fisheries here at the north side. Now it is oil and gas related industry and shipping which bring in the money.

The fruit land is at Hardangerfjorden 1 1/2 hours drive from here.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on April 29, 2015, 04:13:56 AM

A few pictures from the daily walk with the dog. North Kent is fruit growing country and quite intensively farmed - not so many wild flowers on this particular walk.

Tim,

I love the photographs of the farm county! I have to admit that you get me pining away for the fields of grain. At one time I grew small amounts of Heirloom Wheat, Barley, and Rye - all done with hand tools. Folks at the farmers' market enjoyed seeing how it was done the old way. I would thresh grain at market (sort of a mess) with my hand threshing tools. It brought quite the crowd with considerable interest. The best grain one could ever eat too - fresh and grown on rich, well composted soil. Nothing else taste like it! It is fun harvesting a field of rye that towers over your head, and so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 10, 2015, 05:56:12 PM
Sunday May 10. Nice weather about 8oC in the morning and 12oC in the afternoon.

We decided to take a noon trip to the highest point in our vicinity, Ådnafjell, 126m.

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The first 10 meters goes along the old road which were used 35 years ago when we moved here. Not easy to see the road now!

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We walk along a path which is much used by people on their afternoon or Sunday walk. In old times the hills where used much more than now so the path is made for horses and wagons. Not so much tended any longer, it is very wet some places but the old bridge still stands. The birches is not greener than 3 weeks ago due to the cold nights. The days have not been warmer either. May is in fact colder than normal so far.

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The creek runs from a small lake down to the fjord, about 1km away.


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The bog myrtle (Myrica gale) grows along the creek and also in abundance on other moist and wet places which are rather common here.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 10, 2015, 06:36:58 PM
The first part of the trip is in a typical birch wood.Birch is the commonest tree here. On rocky outcroppings in the wood you can find the common ferns like common polypody and long beech fern.

I used to chew the rhizomes of the polypody as a kid. They tasted a little like licorice, especially the new growth. The Norwegian name "lakrisrot" actually means licorice root.

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I don't know if the long beech fern has bee used to anything. The Norwegian name "hengeving" means hanging wings.

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In wet places you can find meadow horsetail (Equisetum pratense). It is still early in the season so it is not fully developed.

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Bilberry/blueberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is also common here.

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The junipers are often infested by this rust fungus Gymnosporangium clavariiforme which alternates between the common juniper (Juniperis communis) and hawthorn. Hawthorn is badly damaged but the juniper tolerates the fungus.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 10, 2015, 07:04:14 PM
50 years ago it was open meadows and pastures here. Almost all the inhabitants lived off the land and had sheep, goats and cows. No nobody does any longer so the open landscape disappear very quickly. Birch is the first tree to establish. Seeds from the birch blow far and have a tremendous capability to germinate. But also rowan, aspen, maple and other trees like crab apple find their way.

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The light shade from the birches is perfect for wood anemone (Anemone nemorosa), the commonest spring flower here.

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Also the wood sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) is common. I still taste the leaves when I am out!

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Another showy species is marsh violet (Viola palustris).

[attachimg=4]  [attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Chris Johnson on May 10, 2015, 07:10:39 PM
An evocative collection of images, Trond, thanks for sharing.

That's a spectacular showing of Gymnosporangium clavariiforme - little chance of me finding it here.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 10, 2015, 07:34:23 PM
A little further the landscape opens. Here the soil is absent and the bedrock appears  everywhere. The bedrock is hard and nutrient poor and only few plants grow here, like this bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi).

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Lichen shows up everywhere, of course.

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Also crowberry (Empetrum nigrum) is common.

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Bog asphodel (Narthesium ossifragum) is a typical plant for the nutrient poor wet areas. This plant is from old accused of causing at least two kind of injuries to grazing animals. As the Latin name suggests (ossifragum) the animals easily break their bones when eating this plant. However, it is not the plant itself but the general lack of calcium due to the very poor soil. Another illness is  saut/plochteach (Norwegian alveld) which is caused by the plant or possibly some other agent like blue green algae in the same environment. It is very showy in flower but late to appear. Here is the remnants from last year.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 10, 2015, 07:38:20 PM
An evocative collection of images, Trond, thanks for sharing.

That's a spectacular showing of Gymnosporangium clavariiforme - little chance of me finding it here.

Thanks Chris :)

Is the fungus rare over there? Here it is extremely common although hawthorns are rare. I suppose you don't need any ;) ?
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 10, 2015, 07:43:00 PM
At the "summit" ;)
Although not high we have a wide view.

Due west. The North Sea is not far away but it is one fjord, another peninsula, a channel and a long island between us.

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The landscape still looks grey and that is because the plants (grasses and sedges) are very late. The only native conifer here is pine but Norway and Sitka spruce is planted. As mentioned, the soil is shallow and most of it burnt in a wildfire about 50 years ago. In spring it is often very dry and the grass easily catch fire. In old times they deliberately set fire to the heath and grass to improve the pastures but only when the soil where saturated and frozen.

South-west. The ocean is just visible in the horizon.

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Due east. We are in fact on an peninsula, and it is several fjords between us and the still snowclad mountains far away.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on May 10, 2015, 07:50:22 PM
Oh yes! That is quite a view - superb.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 10, 2015, 07:59:29 PM
Oh yes! That is quite a view - superb.

We had our lunch up here today. While we sat down the clouds disappeared completely :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 10, 2015, 08:12:09 PM
Back home. Sunshine. My lawn! I don't cut it until midsummer ;D

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Some rhodos. One is Rh roxieanum, not as floriferous as last year, the next one is a seedling I got and the third is one I don't remember - quite common though.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on May 11, 2015, 03:06:02 AM
Trond,

Thanks for all the fantastic photographs! I can start to get a feel for the land. It is somewhat different than I imagined. Somehow I thought that it would be densely forested with conifers like the Pacific Coast of the U.S.A. - something like Washington States rain forest or the Southeastern Alaskan rain forest. How different - but very beautiful.

I do have a few questions.

Here the native Equisetum species can be a major pest in the garden - more or less impossible to eradicate. Is one cautioned with this plant in your part of the world?

I was very fascinated by the Bog Myrtle, Myrica gale. Is this the same plant used by the Old Norse raiders as an intoxicant?

Thank you so much - looking forward to your next outing.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Chris Johnson on May 11, 2015, 06:45:22 AM
Is the fungus rare over there? Here it is extremely common although hawthorns are rare. I suppose you don't need any ;) ?

Not rare nationally, Trond, but here in the Outer Hebrides we only have fragments of natural tree vegetation.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 11, 2015, 08:10:07 PM
Not rare nationally, Trond, but here in the Outer Hebrides we only have fragments of natural tree vegetation.

But you do have junipers?
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 11, 2015, 09:02:34 PM
Trond,

Thanks for all the fantastic photographs! I can start to get a feel for the land. It is somewhat different than I imagined. Somehow I thought that it would be densely forested with conifers like the Pacific Coast of the U.S.A. - something like Washington States rain forest or the Southeastern Alaskan rain forest. How different - but very beautiful.

I do have a few questions.

Here the native Equisetum species can be a major pest in the garden - more or less impossible to eradicate. Is one cautioned with this plant in your part of the world?

I was very fascinated by the Bog Myrtle, Myrica gale. Is this the same plant used by the Old Norse raiders as an intoxicant?

Thank you so much - looking forward to your next outing.


Robert, you are very welcome!

This part of the world would have been densely forested if not mankind had intervened! The forest had contained a lot of different deciduous trees and pines. Spruce had probably not crossed the mountains. You don't need to go far away however, to find mature pine forests but mature hardwood forests are rare as they would have developed on arable land which of course are used by people.

Horsetail species are a problem but not so much in big scale agriculture as in private gardens. We had problems with one species when we had a kitchen garden at our summerhouse. I have read that Equisetum arvense have edible corms that were eaten in the spring.

You have read Snorre?
Myrica gale was used to flavour spirits (some still use it). http://www.nrk.no/telemark/arcus-henter-vikingenes-krydderurt-1.7654062 (http://www.nrk.no/telemark/arcus-henter-vikingenes-krydderurt-1.7654062)
I have tasted it myself. The plant is called pors in Norwegian.

I hope it is not too long til my next outing!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Chris Johnson on May 12, 2015, 06:43:49 AM
But you do have junipers?

Only fragments, Trond, and with no stature. It would establish well but we are overpopulated with deer.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 16, 2015, 07:09:11 AM
Only fragments, Trond, and with no stature. It would establish well but we are overpopulated with deer.
I have a few to spare - both deer and junipers ;)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 16, 2015, 07:19:26 AM
On the road again! To check our cabin. It is almost 400km along the roads, and not he best ones!

Along the Sørfjorden (South fjord) through the fruit district in Hardanger. I took the pictures through the window while my wife drove. We didn't stop. The cherries have just started flowering but the apples are late. They should be in full bloom now.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 16, 2015, 07:30:51 AM
The road is rather narrow some places. In summer (starting now in fact) it is full of tourists. We are getting nearer to Hardangerbrua (the Hardanger bridge) which replaced the ferry a few years ago.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 16, 2015, 07:56:17 AM
The entrance to the bridge is a tunnel. It is a turnabout inside and if I drive right ahead I end up on the bridge (which is on the left side when you drive) and eventually Bergen. I have to turn left which is bewildering as I end up going straight ahead along the fjord ;D

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 16, 2015, 08:16:13 AM
We are far inland, more than 150 km from the sea, although we still have salt water to our left side. The climate here is warmer than at the coast and the trees are green although a bit later than last year. But now we are starting to climb from the sea level up to 1200m in a few km - through more tunnels. Till now we have been through about 10 longer and still have about 5 left, one going like a corkscrew inside the mountain.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: ashley on May 16, 2015, 08:19:52 AM
Your photos bring back many happy memories Trond.
Last summer we arrived in Hardanger unaware :-[ of its fruit growing reputation so were amazed to find orchards everywhere, some tightly squeezed between mountain and fjord.  The cherries were the best I've ever tasted, maybe to do with the climate.   Along the way my daughter was sitting on rocks by the fjord, only to meet a young otter at very close quarters (1-2 m) heedlessly going about its business.
Leaving that roundabout another highlight for us Irish tourists was to emerge suddenly from the mountain onto a dramatic suspension bridge high over the fjord.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 16, 2015, 08:28:38 AM
My pleasure, Ashley!

Yes, Hardanger is renowned for its fruits. Also the apples, plums and pears are very good. It is a combination of sun, daylenght, warmth and soil.

You are welcome back any time ;)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 16, 2015, 08:34:50 AM
Continuing upwards I wont bother you with the boring tunnels ;D This valley is called Måbødalen and was a headache for inexperienced car drivers some year ago. Now it is a piece of cake!

In a few minutes we have left the summer and are entering the winter.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 16, 2015, 08:53:35 AM
People are still skiing up here. We are a little tempted but continue (and we bring no skis this time!).
In the post glacial warm period about 7-8000 years ago Hardangervidda (the Hardanger plateau, 8000 sq. km) was at least partly covered by pine forest. Not today but the birch, pine and spruce forests are climbing every year. After one hour we are going down into the valley to Haugastøl, a starting point if you want to explore the Hardangervidda.

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In front: Halllingskarvet 1933m

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Ustevatn
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on May 16, 2015, 05:43:07 PM
Trond,

What gorgeous countryside!

Of coarse, the fruit growing district is of much interest to me.

Thank you so much for sharing the photographs. In some ways, the countryside reminds me of parts of the North Cascades in Washington State, U.S.A.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 17, 2015, 06:23:05 AM
You are welcome Robert. I always enjoyyour postings ;)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 17, 2015, 06:48:53 AM
After 5 1/2 hours drive we reached our cabin. It sits in a  slope facing south so all the snow had gone except a snowbank by the front door. Remnants from Easter when we had to dig out the door. But it has been below freezing almost every night this spring so it is still not much in bloom!

[attachimg=1]

Snowbank by the door. In the summer we use to sit here and have breakfast in the morning sun!


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An unwelcome inhabitant. The field vole (Microtus agrestis) has turned the "lawn" into a new plowed field. Seems it has eaten the roots of the grasses and other plants. They have been everywhere. Hope not all the flowering plants are destroyed!


[attachimg=3]

Another guest, not so dangerous, European elk (Alces alces). Also hares had paid us visits during the winter.


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A disappointment! The mogop (Pulsatilla vernalis) was out of flower. They seem to have started very early this year and the flowers look frosted. Strange, they should take much frost.


[attachimg=5]

This is what I wanted to see!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 17, 2015, 07:04:09 AM
Fortunately some plants had survived the attack!

[attachimg=1]

Anemone nemorosa has started blooming.



[attachimg=2]

A Luzula, possibly Luzula campestris.


[attachimg=3]

Noccaea caerulescens


[attachimg=4]

Hepatica nobilis/Anemone hepatica!


[attachimg=5]

Coming soon: Polemonium caeruleum

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 17, 2015, 09:40:23 AM
More - not very exciting at the moment ;)

[attachimg=1]

Potentilla crantzii, one of the showiest spring flowers here in a couple of weeks!


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Gentianella purpurea - a stately plamnt un July.


[attachimg=3]

Viola rupestris struggle to open the flowers in the cold weather.


[attachimg=4]

Calluna vulgaris. The colour is nice even without flowers.


[attachimg=5]

A foreign one. Remnants from Easter decorations another year.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 17, 2015, 09:51:16 AM
Saturday it snowed so we went for a walk. Not easy with all the old snow in the leeward hillsides.

[attachimg=1]

Nice May weather!


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Fortunately the snow carried our weight most places.


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Lichens look the same summer and winter!


[attachimg=4]

New shoots on Lycopodium annotinum.


[attachimg=5]

Peltigera lichen - lights up in wet weather.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on May 18, 2015, 03:35:35 AM
Trond,

Our weather has turned wintery in the Sierra with a good amount of snow for this time of year. More on this soon.

If I understand correctly the plants shown are all native? - except the Narcissus.

I appreciate that you show plants that might be considered "common". Personally, I enjoy growing Potentilla species and had never considered growing P. crantzii. There are many species to choose from, even native species here in California. This species is not common at all in our area as an ornamental. I will keep an eye out for seed on the various seed lists.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 18, 2015, 11:09:28 AM
Trond,

Our weather has turned wintery in the Sierra with a good amount of snow for this time of year. More on this soon.

If I understand correctly the plants shown are all native? - except the Narcissus.

I appreciate that you show plants that might be considered "common". Personally, I enjoy growing Potentilla species and had never considered growing P. crantzii. There are many species to choose from, even native species here in California. This species is not common at all in our area as an ornamental. I will keep an eye out for seed on the various seed lists.

Robert,

Hopefully the snow will fill up your water reservoirs a bit when it melts!

All the plants are native (except the narcissus). But some I have helped a bit like the gentian. It still has a wide distribution but  has been used extensively as a medicine plant. I have reintroduced it at our cabin. The same with the Pulsatilla. When my father-in-law was a young man it was abundant in this area, now it is extinct here but still common elsewhere. The Anemone and the Hepatica grow naturally at a lower altitude not far away but these also I have given a helping hand up to our cabin.

If you want seed of P. crantzii I can easily collect some.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on May 18, 2015, 03:36:14 PM
Robert,

If you want seed of P. crantzii I can easily collect some.

Trond,

I would very much enjoy giving this species a try.  ;D
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 23, 2015, 09:29:55 PM
Although it has been the coldest May for years many plants are flowering well, especially those immune to slugs and snails :-X Like Rhododendrons!

Most are unnamed seedlings or I have forgotten the name!

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 23, 2015, 09:35:56 PM
A few more . . . .

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on May 23, 2015, 09:47:34 PM
A few others . . .

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Geranium tuberosum


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Thalictrum alpinum - a native also suited for the rockery.

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Salix magnifica - a rapidly growing Chinese shrub with handsome leaves and male catkins.


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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 08, 2015, 06:31:24 PM
A few plants from a short trip to a nearby WW2 site. All the buildings are demolished but a lot of concrete foundations can still be seen. The area is planted with Sitka spruce and Pinus mugo. Fortunately some places are free of trees and there you can find some flowering plants.

Here and there it is small sphagnum bogs with plants like this Drosera rotundifolia. Still with small lower buds, but in a few weeks the white flowers will emerge.

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At least two kinds of violets grow here, bog violet in the bogs and Viola riviniana in the fringe of the woods. I think all these are different forms of riviniana.

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Hieracium pilosella grows on drier sites in full sun.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 08, 2015, 06:46:07 PM
Polygala serpyllifolia is very common, both the usual blue form and a light blue form.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on June 08, 2015, 06:50:59 PM
I'm enjoying my Norwegian "visits"   Trond - as are thousands of us!  thank you!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 08, 2015, 07:29:36 PM
I'm enjoying my Norwegian "visits"   Trond - as are thousands of us!  thank you!

You are welcome, Maggi, my pleasure!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 08, 2015, 07:42:06 PM
Since last Friday we have had some sun mixed with the rain. But a steady northerly wind keeps the temperature low - except the Friday mentioned - in the evening that day we had the warmest readings since last August 22C! .....for a couple of hours before the rain came back :-\

Dactylorhiza maculata is very common around here -both in bogs and on drier land. Still a bit early for full bloom but I spotted many in bud.

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Pinguicula vulgaris - also common.

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Usually Potentilla erecta is very untidy with its long slack stems more or less lying on the ground. Out here the plants are denser and much more tidy.

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Trientalis europaea "wood star" but not limited to the forests.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 08, 2015, 07:53:04 PM
Last post this time. . . .

Menyanthes trifoliata

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Pedicularis sylvatica

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on June 09, 2015, 01:11:28 AM
Trond,

I completely enjoyed your last posting!

I have to admit I am a sucker for Viola species. I enjoyed seeing some of the variation within the species, V. riviniana.

We have a number of Hieracium species here in California too. Some are blooming now, some have very hairy foliage. Pedicularis is another familiar friend around here.

Do the good forms of Potentilla erecta stay in good form in the garden?

Thank you for sharing your outing!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Tim Ingram on June 09, 2015, 08:04:59 AM
Isn't it wonderful how 'new' species (to me) of familiar genera appear all the time. The pale blue form of Polygala serpyllifolia is very beautiful - presumably it needs the same sort of cool acid soil as P. chamaebuxus? Trientalis europaea is simply the loveliest of things. We must get out to some of the more flower rich areas of Kent to discover more of the flora here - sadly these have declined hugely in the last 50 years and take so long to recover given careful management. Thanks Trond... (if ever a few stray seed of the polygala fall into your pocket ;))
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: David Nicholson on June 09, 2015, 09:12:18 AM
Most enjoyable Trond, lots to look at, lots to learn.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 10, 2015, 08:23:43 PM
Trond,

I completely enjoyed your last posting!

I have to admit I am a sucker for Viola species. I enjoyed seeing some of the variation within the species, V. riviniana.

We have a number of Hieracium species here in California too. Some are blooming now, some have very hairy foliage. Pedicularis is another familiar friend around here.

Do the good forms of Potentilla erecta stay in good form in the garden?

Thank you for sharing your outing!

Robert,

Glad you liked it :)

Regarding the violets, I think they are the same species. I didn't key them but riviniana should be the one growing there.

Hieracium is a genus with many, maybe 1000 species in Norway but they are very similar. Most of the species are apomicts.
Pedicularis is a favorite genus of mine and P. sylvatica  is very nice when young. I think this is the subspecies hibernica.
I haven't tried this Potentilla in the garden but maybe I should. I have pondered ??? ;D


Isn't it wonderful how 'new' species (to me) of familiar genera appear all the time. The pale blue form of Polygala serpyllifolia is very beautiful - presumably it needs the same sort of cool acid soil as P. chamaebuxus? Trientalis europaea is simply the loveliest of things. We must get out to some of the more flower rich areas of Kent to discover more of the flora here - sadly these have declined hugely in the last 50 years and take so long to recover given careful management. Thanks Trond... (if ever a few stray seed of the polygala fall into your pocket ;))

That is what I like mostly with this site! You learn to know new species and you get your eyes opened for old ones you have forgotten or never given a proper notice.
I'll look for seed when I have a chance ;)


Most enjoyable Trond, lots to look at, lots to learn.

Glad you feel that David but I don't think I can teach you much :) Surely you have these species around you also?
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 14, 2015, 07:47:51 PM
A few plants that flower now.

It is still about 30 rhododendrons in flower. Here are two:

Rhododendron 'Lem´s Monarch'

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And Rh decorum

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A pink lily of the valley (Convallaria majalis rosea spreads slowly. The flowers are smaller than the common white and the pink colour isn't the best but it is a nice plant still. I thought it was toxic but the slugs don't mind.

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Most of the peonies are gone but some are still in flower like this cross between lutea and delavayi. I remove hundreds of seedlings of lute each year but a few have been allowed to flower, like this one.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 14, 2015, 08:19:19 PM
And a few "weeds" ;D

This one is edible and children used to eat it. Now I think only elder people know what it is. Most people call it 'cow parsley' which it isn't! In Norwegian it is called "jordnøtt" (lit. earth nut) by those who know it and it tastes like fresh picked hazel-nut in fall, not like the ones you buy for Xmas. Conopodium majus has many names in English. One is jarnut which I think is the same as jordnøtt!

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Another nice weed is a Hieracium. Most species in this genus are apomicts and it is described  about 3000 species in Scandinavia alone. I can't see the difference in the majority of them ;D Here it grows together with another yellow flowered dandelion like plant, Hypochaeris radicata.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on June 14, 2015, 11:50:14 PM
Trond,

The first photograph of Rhododendron 'Lem's Monarch' - Is the view across the water from your home? Salt or fresh water? Very, very beautiful! A view like that would not be hard to take every day. I reminds me of Echo Lake here in California.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 15, 2015, 05:25:57 PM
Robert,

Yes it is the view from my garden and it is salt water - due west across the Førresfjorden. I look out at the fjord every day when I am in the sitting room. It is not always a pleasant view - when the northwesterlies tear the leaves off the plants!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 15, 2015, 06:21:55 PM
A short trip to a nearby island (Feøy) as part of my work. Beautiful flowers although not rare.

15  minutes by passenger boats, no cars on the island (but people do live there).
The pier, or one of them.

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Although no cars it is tractors etc and road signs!

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The main road.

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Meadows.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 15, 2015, 06:37:15 PM
Some species.

Armeria maritima - very common everywhere here.

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Silene dioica - also common.

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Silene flos-cuculi - in moist places.

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Silene uniflora - on the shore.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 15, 2015, 06:59:14 PM
It is scars in the terrain here also from earlier mining periods. This is from a copper-nickel mine (it also contains platinum and palladium) abandoned in 1924. Another similar but bigger mine on a nearby island (Karmøy) delivered the copper used in the skin of the Statue of Liberty in New York (the Karmøy mine was French owned at that time).

Although left and not used since 1924 the mining site is easy to find. Almost no plants have established in 90 years in the heavy metal containing remnants.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on June 16, 2015, 04:11:39 AM
Trond,

Gold mining from 1849 to about 1940 has had a similar effect on the land here in California. All throughout the "Mother Lode" of California there are still scares upon the land. As a little boy I remember the giant gold dredges abandoned in there ponds surrounded by miles of trailings. Now they have built houses there.

The Silenes and Armeria are fairly common nursery plants even here in California. It is refreshing to see them in there natural habitat.

My wife and I also talked about going to Echo Lake after seeing the photographs from your home. Echo Lake is in the high Sierra's above Lake Tahoe. When I was a teenager I spent part of each summer there. The wildflowers are fantastic in this area and my wife and I are excited to go.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 19, 2015, 09:09:15 PM
Robert,

I think more land is affected by abandoned mines in California than in Norway!
We have an old gold mine not far from here but I have never been there. Think I will go but it has to wait till the fall.

Here is a picture from my house in April 5 years ago! Now the trees and shrubs are much bigger and the fjord is almost hidden!

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on June 19, 2015, 09:27:21 PM
Trond,

That is a beautiful view! I appreciate that you shared the photograph.

The situation is somewhat the same here on the farm. The native trees and some of the neighboring trees on the facing hills block the view of the Crystal Range. In the wintertime when the trees are dormant I can see the south end of the Crystals if I walk to the top of our hill, up in the back. Like you, there are other properties with houses in our area.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 28, 2015, 06:23:11 PM
No mountain ranges to be seen from my place, Robert! No mountain at all to be seen from my summer-house either. Down here for a few days . . . .

It is dry here now, need some xeric plants I think! We have no formal garden but garden plants are spread among wild ones. We have very little soil, just some crevices and hollows filled by sand and a little organic soil.

The "garden" is often visited by deer and sometimes by sheep so we have planted some flowers which usually are untouched by them, like peonies.


This one is from seed - a cross between P. delavayi and lutea.

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I don't know the names of the cultivars - this one has flowers almost as big as dinner plates. (Small dinner plates ;) )

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The white one is also huge.

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Ornithogalum magnum I think. Almost naturalized.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 28, 2015, 07:30:50 PM
Some wild and some not so wild plants around the house:

Leucanthemum vulgare - as the name says, very common! and a Hemerocallis from seed.

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Another Hemerocallis, an old garden cultivar here in N.

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A Sedum from Spain. Now it is everywhere and prefer naked rock crevices!

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Galium album, which perfumes the sunny days!

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Geranium pratense.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 28, 2015, 07:47:36 PM
Geranium pratense - with red leaves growing in pure concrete!

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Geranium sanguineum

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Jasione montana - growing in very dry situations.

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A white and pale blue form of the same. The dark blue is the commoner.

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Foxglove - Digitalis purpurea. Usually the flowers are purple but here the white ones dominate.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on June 28, 2015, 08:16:41 PM
My Mom passed away last week so I have been busy elsewhere . . . . :(

Trond, I am very sorry to hear that you have lost your Mother. I send my sincere condolences to you and your Family.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: David Nicholson on June 28, 2015, 08:29:51 PM
as do I.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Lori S. on June 28, 2015, 08:44:09 PM
Enjoying your photos tremendously, Trond.   So sorry to hear about your mother.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Tim Ingram on June 28, 2015, 08:58:08 PM
And I too. My mother introduced me to alpine plants in my teens, and to propagating plants for the local WI market, and it has never left me...
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on June 29, 2015, 03:32:41 AM
Trond,

Yes , I too send my condolences to you and your family.

I enjoyed your photographs. Leucanthemum vulgare has naturalized in our part of California, especially near streams. It is cheerful to see them blooming naturalized or not.

Our good thoughts are with you and your family......Always.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on June 29, 2015, 08:13:18 PM
Trond, I am very sorry to hear that you have lost your Mother. I send my sincere condolences to you and your Family.

Thank you very much Maggi.


as do I.

Thanks to you also, David.


Enjoying your photos tremendously, Trond.   So sorry to hear about your mother.

Thank you Lori - and glad you liked the photos!


And I too. My mother introduced me to alpine plants in my teens, and to propagating plants for the local WI market, and it has never left me...

I actually was introduced to "gardening" by my elder cousins when I was a small kid. We did grow Sedums - not very difficult ;) I think they had learnt from our Grandma! But my mother taught me growing vegetables.


Trond,

Yes , I too send my condolences to you and your family.

I enjoyed your photographs. Leucanthemum vulgare has naturalized in our part of California, especially near streams. It is cheerful to see them blooming naturalized or not.

Our good thoughts are with you and your family......Always.

Thank you very much, Robert.

Leucanthemums are called "prestekrage" in Norw. Something like "vicar's collar" in English. A appropriate name these days. My mum liked them on the kitchen table :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on June 29, 2015, 11:44:56 PM
No mountain ranges to be seen from my place, Robert! No mountain at all to be seen from my summer-house either. Down here for a few days . . . .

It is dry here now, need some xeric plants I think! We have no formal garden but garden plants are spread among wild ones. We have very little soil, just some crevices and hollows filled by sand and a little organic soil.


Trond,

There are plenty of xeric plants here.  ;)  There will need to be some "packing" material with the big Aesculus seed.

A few weeks ago my wife and I brought the ashes of her mother and sister up to Pyramid Peak. Also Mr. Tri (a master teacher I had for many years) and my friend George. Nothing was planned, however we found the perfect "spot", a large flat rock like an alter. The wind was blowing very strongly and the ashes blew off the rock down the valley into the great beyond. It was the same the day George died. There is still grief, but not so bad now. It was all good.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 02, 2015, 07:15:15 AM
Hi Robert,

Thanks - and thanks for telling. My mother's ash will be put down beside her parents, my father and other relatives. We have a family grave in a protected old church yard in Oslo.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 02, 2015, 11:38:33 AM
Just a few pics from an "outing" with boat last week.

We went to Jomfruland, a long sandy island with some all year residents but more summer guests.

The guest harbour - early season, the really big yachts haven't arrived yet. You can't see mine among these though, it is too small!

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Nice beaches but nobody use them now - too cold water still. Few nice plants here, mostly "weed".

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The Norwegian champion ash, I don't know the circumference but my arms (2m) reaches less than 1/4 around the bole. It is green higher up but somebody has removed the lower limbs.

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The main road.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 02, 2015, 11:47:51 AM
The oak forest.

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Wild roses (dog rose and similar types - it is about 4 species here) are at their best now.

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The "outside". View of Skagerrak, almost to Denmark.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 02, 2015, 06:45:26 PM
Although calves grazes here some plants are left untouched like this Ononis arvensis.

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Also Geranium pratense is left undisturbed.

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Potentilla anserina comes in two leaf types - one is covered by silvery hair and one is more plain green.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 02, 2015, 06:55:15 PM
Sedum acre at the beach.

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The tarn. It is famous as several Norwegian painters have used it as a motif.

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Mixed conifer forest, mostly foreign. Hieracium in flower.

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A shady spot with Asplenium trichomanes.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 02, 2015, 07:03:03 PM
On our way back we visited a small islet with a duck's pond. Here we are allowed to walk, most islets are closed due to breeding birds in the summer.

Mostly Sedums but also Lotus corniculatus. They all seem to prefer the guano!

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 03, 2015, 03:24:08 AM
Trond,

I thoroughly enjoyed the photographs of your countryside! In a small way it helps me get a feel for the area.

Are the Ash (Fraxinus) and Oak (Quercus) native? What species?

It seems that Lotus corniculatus gets around. It has naturalized in the higher elevation of the Sierra Nevada. I wonder where else it has naturalized.

Asplenium trichomanes grows in the rock crevices as many of our California native rock ferns.

All very beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on July 03, 2015, 11:00:20 AM
Is it my imagination, or are these photos from your July outing even better than ever?  Perhaps it's that you are "catching" some favourite plants of mine - or the glimpses across water, which are  so calming?
Whatever - it's areal pleasure, thank you! 
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 04, 2015, 07:51:39 AM
Trond,

I thoroughly enjoyed the photographs of your countryside! In a small way it helps me get a feel for the area.

Are the Ash (Fraxinus) and Oak (Quercus) native? What species?

It seems that Lotus corniculatus gets around. It has naturalized in the higher elevation of the Sierra Nevada. I wonder where else it has naturalized.

Asplenium trichomanes grows in the rock crevices as many of our California native rock ferns.

All very beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

 :) My pleassure, Robert!

Both trees are natives. The ash is the easiest to name as it is only one species in N.: It is Fraxinus excelsior.

The oak is probably Quercus robur. We have two very similar oaks (The other is Q. petraea),  they do cross and the hybrid is very common! 
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 04, 2015, 07:53:31 AM
Is it my imagination, or are these photos from your July outing even better than ever?  Perhaps it's that you are "catching" some favourite plants of mine - or the glimpses across water, which are  so calming?
Whatever - it's areal pleasure, thank you!

It must be your imagination, Maggi ;D  But thank you, I do as best as I can!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 07, 2015, 07:22:37 AM
As mentioned elsewhere, this unknown rose has just started flowering. It has a very pleasant fragrance and both the leaves and stem are pretty. It looks very healthy!

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The maiden pink (Dianthus deltoides) grows all over the property and prefer dry sites.

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Two species of onion grow wild here but neither has nice flowers :-\  However, this sand leek (Allium scorodoprasum) grows to a stately plant about 1m tall.

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Bloody crane's-bill (Geranium sanguineum) is the most colourful of the flowers.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 07, 2015, 07:47:48 AM
Foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea - not all are purple!) do "pop up" whenever they get a chance. They prefer naked soil so when the vegetation is removed for whatever reason the dormant seed sprout immediately.
One plant has an extra big bell.

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Another tall plants but not anything like a foxglove, is the common agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria). It also prefer dry sites.

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This one, ivy-leaved toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis) has chosen the opposite way of growth form!

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on July 07, 2015, 11:00:24 AM
Trond, a real pleasure to see all these flowers . I am not a lover of roses generally - and I have no idea what your mystery rose might be - but my word, it is pretty.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 07, 2015, 12:16:21 PM
Thanks Maggi  :)

Here you have some more ;)

Peach-leaved bellflower (what a uncanny name!? Straight from Latin!Campanula persicifolia) grows many places and can make a great display.

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The angelica (Angelica archangelica litoralis) has tiny green flowers. What they lack in colour they make up for by producing great amounts of nectar. Many insects feed on them. Also butterflies, but this year I haven't seen many.

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Brambles. Impossible to walk through but the flowers are charming and the berries are very nice although late ripening.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 07, 2015, 12:29:58 PM
Caucasian stonecrop (I have seen it in full flower in Caucasian pine forest!)(Phedimus spurius - although I prefer Sedum spurium!) is very common here in many colours. Here are two.

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Some places hop clover (Medicago lupulina) replaces grass in the "lawn".

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Cow vetch (Vicia cracca) has nice flowers. I like the colour! Insects like the nectar.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 08, 2015, 02:26:50 PM
Trond,

Beautiful photographs!

I am surprised that most of the plants pictured are used by California gardeners, even today. Maybe, I should not be surprised as there is, or a least has been, such a strong connection between Europe and the U.S.A.

Allium scorodoprasum and Toadflax, Cymbalaria muralis are two plants we do not see here. Agrimony can be weedy for us.

Are all the plants pictured native to Norway or are some naturalized? Digitalis purpurea has naturalized itself in parts of the Pacific Northwest U.S.A. Given the history of Europe, maybe some none native plants became naturalized in other parts of Europe in the far distant pass. Who knows what the Romans may have spread around? or maybe something even more accent that that. I think that I remember reading that there was trade between Norway and other parts of the ancient world during the Bronze Age. Plants could have travel too??

Thank you for sharing the photographs. I certainly am enjoying your diary. The plants do not need to be exotic for me to appreciate your efforts and gain something positive. Thank you again.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 10, 2015, 08:49:22 AM
Thank you Robert! I really appreciate your comments :D

Sometimes it is very difficult to know whether a plant is naturally native or brought by man some time in the past. Sedum spurium is a garden escapee and Digitalis purpurea is native and has been here "always". Toadflax may have been brought by the monks and the onion is probably also once grown as staple. Some of the oldest inscriptions in Norwegian contains the word laukR which means onion (lauk, løk in modern Norw). Onions (different kind of alliums) were important food. Many plants here are linked to man either as actively brought in or passively with fodder etc. The land has been inhabited since the ice disappeared.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 10, 2015, 09:18:37 AM
All these are garden origin, anyway! Some are quite new and some are old and naturalized.

Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) almost like a weed were the soil is disturbed.

[attachimg=1]


Common mullein (Vebascum thapsus).

[attachimg=2]


Peonies.

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=5]


Crown vetch (Securigera varia)

[attachimg=4]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 10, 2015, 05:20:32 PM
Yesterday we went from the coast to the mountains - or higher grounds is more correct. Passed a some patches of snow along the road. The winter is long this year!

We had one stop to stretch legs and take some pictures.The roadside was very lush with a lot of exciting plants but most were still in buds although this was not high up.


A tall wood cranesbill with deviant colour among many ordinary ones. They were all rather tall.

[attachimg=1]


A little different oxeye daisy. It was not the only one.

[attachimg=2]


Alpine sow-thistle (Cicerbita alpina). The saying is it is bear food!

[attachimg=3]


Huge patches of common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii).

[attachimg=4]

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 10, 2015, 05:23:35 PM
Some colours:

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]

Out of focus - why can't the camera forget the green leaves >:(

[attachimg=4]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 11, 2015, 04:23:40 AM
Trond,

I even learned a little bit about onions in Norway when my wife and I were studying the Viking age, and thereabouts. The Varangian Guard in the Byzantine Empire, Olaf Tryggvasen, etc. it is all very interesting. Maybe you might know, is laukR a word now used in the Icelandic language? I understand that the Icelandic language is still close to Old Norse. or maybe I have a misunderstanding.

Your photographs and country are so beautiful. Dactylorhiza is such a beautiful plant. I always admire them. I do not think that they would grow with our heat and dry conditions, however I can admire them from afar. Peonies are worth a try here, but then again I think that they enjoy winters that are much colder than ours. From your photographs they look great! Verbascum thapsus is a weed here in our part of California. I like them so I always let a few grow. I never need to plant them, as they are more than happy to seed themselves around.

Believe it nor not it, here in California it snowed on the highest peaks and mountain passes yesterday. This is very strange weather for us. I can never remember this happening in the past during July or August. A week ago it was 42 C.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 11, 2015, 07:31:57 AM
Robert,

In Icelandic it is laukur! Roughly as far as I know the terminating -R became -ur in Iceland but disappeared in Norwegian (common ending in nouns).

I usually let the plants go their own way also. When I have acquired a new plant I try to put it where I think it will like to grow and then it is up to the plant. If it sow around I am happy. It is only two plants which have become problematic, and that is Circaea lutetiana and Meconopsis cambrica.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 11, 2015, 07:42:27 AM
Some plants from our mountain cabin "garden". It is no formal garden but I have helped to increase the diversity by planting a few that I think will like it up here. Some are native and some are foreign.

Castilleja miniata (I think) is foreign of course. I spread some seeds and the result so far is two flowering plants.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]


Also foreign is this Trifolium from USA not USA, probably the Alps. I am not sure of the name maybe Trifolium alpinum. Two plants with different flower colour but both seem to do good.

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]


Not foreign but very native is "tyttebær" Vaccinium vitis-idaea. We like to pick the berries but up here they ripen very late, not until October.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 11, 2015, 07:57:44 AM
This Anemone narcissiflora is also foreign and from seed. In a few years it has reached a considerable size.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]


Native and very abundant around here is Silene dioica. They are often very untidy but have a nice colour.

[attachimg=3]


An uncommon colour.

[attachimg=4]


My sister-in-law once planted one Jacob's ladder (Polemonium caeruleum). Now it is around everywhere without being a nuisance. It is native but not local.

[attachimg=5]

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 11, 2015, 01:59:22 PM
Trond,

The countryside around your cabin looks lush and green by California standards. Around here, at the low elevations, everything is golden brown now except for the trees and shrubs. Maybe I should take a photograph.

Your Castilleja miniata looks like it could be true to form. In California they grow at the higher elevations in moist meadows that are often dry by autumn. Growing semi-parasitic plants is fun and in some cases not all that difficult. In our garden we grow Castilleja foliolosa, one of our local low elevation species. It seems easy to grow from seed and establish in the garden - but then it grows locally too.

Your plants look great! Seeing them certainly helps me put our gardening situation in perspective. Thank you so much.  :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 11, 2015, 03:26:42 PM
Thanks again, Robert ;)

I am a pleasantly surprised by the Castilleja. It takes both cold and warm weather and doesn't seem to be slowed by frosty nights either.

I would very much like to see a picture of your surroundings, Robert!


Here are a few more of the native plants:


Potentilla crantzii still in flower. It is one of the first to start when the snow disappear.

[attachimg=1]


Antennaria dioica. It is also early. Several colour forms exist. Most are dull gray.

[attachimg=2]


Veronica fruticans. I have sowed this one here. It is from higher up.

[attachimg=3]


Myosotis decumbens. Often in moist places and often very lanky.

[attachimg=5]


Gentiana nivalis. Opens only in warm and sunny weather.

[attachimg=4]






Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Lori S. on July 11, 2015, 04:49:45 PM

I am a pleasantly surprised by the Castilleja. It takes both cold and warm weather and doesn't seem to be slowed by frosty nights either.


It comes from a pretty extreme climate, so no surprise there!  ;-)

Your plants are looking great, Trond.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Gabriel B on July 11, 2015, 07:26:57 PM
Trond, I love seeing your pictures. I have wanted to grow Anemone narcissiflora for a while, but there has always been a crop failure at the local spring plant sale where they sell it. Perhaps I will look for seeds. The large flower clusters are lovely, and they do look like a cluster of white small-cupped daffodils (which must give them their name).

I also have hop-clover as a weed, and peach-leaved bellflower in the garden (though it is getting swamped by other taller plants; I should move it).

Ivy-leaved toadflax grows in a morning-sun area; it's pretty, but the seed pods tend to creep into the crowns of my cyclamens and start new plants there, so I have to pull it out. The pods bend away from the light, and deposit themselves into dark places. Very interesting, the opposite way from how most plants grow.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 12, 2015, 12:59:23 AM
Thanks again, Robert ;)

I am a pleasantly surprised by the Castilleja. It takes both cold and warm weather and doesn't seem to be slowed by frosty nights either.

I would very much like to see a picture of your surroundings, Robert!


Trond,

Sunday I will be at the farmers' market. Monday or Tuesday I can take some photographs on the farm property that show the native vegetation. It is very dry now as you will see.

We have a number of Antennaria species that are native locally. Some are very difficult to identify. A. rosea is the easiest to identify. I suspect that some may be hybrids as the range of some of the species overlaps.

Gentiana nivalis is certainly a beauty. Is is a meadow plant? There are two Gentiana species native to the high country of the Sierra Nevada in our location. Both are fall blooming. I have success growing G. newberryi. I do not see G. calycosa very often and so far can never find the plants when I return to gather seed.  :'(  G. calycosa is very beautiful too and I would like to give it a try. Someday this will work out for me.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Rick R. on July 12, 2015, 03:35:03 AM
I'm very much enjoying this entire thread, Trond.  You sent me Veronica fruticans seed before, and it's good to know that they bloom just as dark blue in my warmer summers and neutral soils as they do for you.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 12, 2015, 07:14:59 AM
It comes from a pretty extreme climate, so no surprise there!  ;-)

Your plants are looking great, Trond.

Lori,

You'll know it, of course ;) Thanks :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 12, 2015, 07:31:07 AM
Trond, I love seeing your pictures. I have wanted to grow Anemone narcissiflora for a while, but there has always been a crop failure at the local spring plant sale where they sell it. Perhaps I will look for seeds. The large flower clusters are lovely, and they do look like a cluster of white small-cupped daffodils (which must give them their name).

I also have hop-clover as a weed, and peach-leaved bellflower in the garden (though it is getting swamped by other taller plants; I should move it).

Ivy-leaved toadflax grows in a morning-sun area; it's pretty, but the seed pods tend to creep into the crowns of my cyclamens and start new plants there, so I have to pull it out. The pods bend away from the light, and deposit themselves into dark places. Very interesting, the opposite way from how most plants grow.

Gabriel,

Thank you very much!
I can recommend growing Anemone narcissiflora from seed. My experience is that they germinate fairly easy. The down side is that you don't know the quality of the flowers before they flower which will take some time! Some plants are inferior.

The bellflower grows naturally in light woodland and glades or wood margins. It don't like too fertile soil as it easily get swamped by taller, more aggressive plants as you tell.

Interesting to hear about your garden, Gabriel!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 12, 2015, 08:00:00 AM
Trond,

Sunday I will be at the farmers' market. Monday or Tuesday I can take some photographs on the farm property that show the native vegetation. It is very dry now as you will see.

We have a number of Antennaria species that are native locally. Some are very difficult to identify. A. rosea is the easiest to identify. I suspect that some may be hybrids as the range of some of the species overlaps.

Gentiana nivalis is certainly a beauty. Is is a meadow plant? There are two Gentiana species native to the high country of the Sierra Nevada in our location. Both are fall blooming. I have success growing G. newberryi. I do not see G. calycosa very often and so far can never find the plants when I return to gather seed.  :'(  G. calycosa is very beautiful too and I would like to give it a try. Someday this will work out for me.

Robert,

Yes pleas, I would like very much to see the native vegetation around your farm! Yesterday we had about 20C up here and it is warm enough for me so I don't envy your heat ;D (The all time high for Norway is about 35C from the valley just below us here. We usually get temps up to 30C here at 900 m almost every summer. This summer is cold so far.)

Gentiana nivalis is an annual. It don't like to compete very much with other plants but can grow rather "big" (15cm) or bloom with only one tiny flower when only 3cm tall depending on soil and humidity. It is often found in short grass. The flowers open only in sunshine. We have another gentian (Gentiana purpurea) which flower later. It is very easy from seed. We also have a Gentianella campestre which also is annual or biennial and flower in fall.


Gentiana nivalis barely opens in overcast weather. Mixed vegetation (Always calcareous soil).

[attachimg=1]


Gentiana purpurea which will flower in a couple of weeks - this is from another year.

[attachimg=2]


Gentianella campestre - a fall bloomer.

[attachimg=3]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 12, 2015, 08:03:48 AM
I'm very much enjoying this entire thread, Trond.  You sent me Veronica fruticans seed before, and it's good to know that they bloom just as dark blue in my warmer summers and neutral soils as they do for you.

Thank you very much Rick!

Glad to hear that the Veronica flowers for you. Here at our cabin it is an early bloomer and each flower lasts only a few days so we rarely see it in full bloom.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 12, 2015, 08:27:31 AM
Speaking of lawns - what about an Antennaria lawn in dry areas? You never need to mow it ;D

[attachimg=1]


... or one with alpine lady's mantle (Alchemilla alpina). Also unnecessary to mow! Both examples are from our "lawn" up here.

[attachimg=2]


If your place is shady why not grow oak fern (Gymnocarpium dryopteris). It is very common in the birch and spruce woods up here.

[attachimg=3]


I spotted one plant of Potentilla erecta with 5 petals to the flowers. Half of the flowers were normal with 4 the others had 5 petals. Not a big issue though ;)

[attachimg=4]


In another thread people used the name dandelion for almost every yellow composite. For me, dandelions are only Taraxacums. We have several 100 species here if you count the way some botanists do. All of them are apomicts so they make clones which some call species. But certainly there are good species also. The tiny ones you find in the mountains are different to the big one in the garden! Here is but one example . The whole plant is less than 10cm wide.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 12, 2015, 08:58:37 AM
Yesterday we went for a walk in the nice weather. Temperature 16-20C, little wind, and sunny. Altitude 1000-1100m. It is just at the tree line.

Salix species make up much of the shrubbery. Some are showy but it is heavy stuff to walk in as they often grow on wet, swampy ground!

Three are silvery, S. glauca, lanatum and lapponum. They are easily confused, especially at a distance.

[attachimg=1]

The narrow leaves and short stalks on the catkins make this one Salix lapponum.

[attachimg=2]


Another very common shrub is juniper (Juniperis communis). It is found from sea level and as high up as woody plants grow. The ones in the mountains usually have much shorter needles.

[attachimg=3]


Common inhabitants: red wood ants (Formica rufa) which can male very big hills. The biggest I've seen up here is 1.5 m tall and 2-3m in diameter.

[attachimg=4]


Another not uncommon inhabitant. Last year was a lemming-year, although not of the greatest.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 12, 2015, 09:13:43 AM
It is not very steep here, only gentle hills but we are surrounded by more montane landscape in all directions.

[attachimg=1]


Cloudberries are common here. (Any germination, Robert?) They usually ripen in August.

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]


Patches of snow still linger. This is unusually late.

[attachimg=4]


One benefit is that where the snow just has disappeared you can see the early flowers of for instance dwarf birch (Betula nana). Here are both male and female catkins.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 12, 2015, 09:32:33 AM
Bartsia alpina common in wetter sites but also in drier situations.

[attachimg=2]


A tattered blue heath (Phyllodoce caerulea). Not uncommon here. This is an inferior specimen!

[attachimg=3]


Common cow-wheat (Melampyrum pratense) is everywhere here.

[attachimg=1]


The flowers of bog bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum) can be showy. And it is a lie it is a bog plant. It has a very wide ecological amplitude and grows in all habitats from bogs to very dry ridges.

In bogs it becomes rather tall.

[attachimg=4]

And on ridges it becomes short and dense.

[attachimg=5]

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 12, 2015, 11:28:13 AM
Seasonal ponds are everywhere here. Some are small and some are larger. They are filled with meltwater and most of them dry out during summer. They are refilled in fall rain.

[attachimg=1]


When I come to think of it many of the more showy species here are hemiparasitic like this Lapland lousewort (Pedicularis lapponica).

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]


Several species of violets occur here, among them marsh violet is the commoner.

[attachimg=4]


Another hemiparasite, marsh lousewort (Pedicularis palustris).

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: David Nicholson on July 12, 2015, 06:20:15 PM
Very enjoyable Trond, many thanks.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 13, 2015, 04:08:42 AM
Trond,

I certainly enjoyed the information and photographs of your native Gentiana species. Other than the two Gentiana species I mentioned earlier we also have Gentianella amarella, Gentianopsis holopetala, and Gentianopisi simplex in our area. I will post photographs if I do come across them this summer - fall.

As of today there has been no germination with the Cloudberries. I hope that they get enough winter chill this winter as I am certain that they will germinate sooner or later.

Your gray leaved Salix species are fantastic! I would love to grow them however I know that Salix seed generally does not stay viable very long, often only for hours before they need to find moisture. Recently I found some Salix petrophila, formerly S. arctica, with ripe seed near Red Lake Peak. I planted it immediately upon returning to the farm. I could have easily taken cuttings however I wanted to see if I could get the seed to germinate. This is one of those small creeping species from the high elevations of the Sierra Nevada.

Salix orestera is another local Willow species with great wooly, gray foliage. I will certainly photograph it when I see more.

One question, does Phyllodoce caerulea grow in areas where there is Norwegian type summer heat? I have success growing our local Phyllodoce breweri here at the farm. Cassiope mertensiana from local seed also grows well.

Thank you for all the effort putting together the photographs, making comments and answering questions. It is greatly appreciated!  :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 13, 2015, 01:51:26 PM
Very enjoyable Trond, many thanks.

You're welcome David!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 13, 2015, 02:50:53 PM
Trond,

I certainly enjoyed the information and photographs of your native Gentiana species. Other than the two Gentiana species I mentioned earlier we also have Gentianella amarella, Gentianopsis holopetala, and Gentianopisi simplex in our area. I will post photographs if I do come across them this summer - fall.

As of today there has been no germination with the Cloudberries. I hope that they get enough winter chill this winter as I am certain that they will germinate sooner or later.

Your gray leaved Salix species are fantastic! I would love to grow them however I know that Salix seed generally does not stay viable very long, often only for hours before they need to find moisture. Recently I found some Salix petrophila, formerly S. arctica, with ripe seed near Red Lake Peak. I planted it immediately upon returning to the farm. I could have easily taken cuttings however I wanted to see if I could get the seed to germinate. This is one of those small creeping species from the high elevations of the Sierra Nevada.

Salix orestera is another local Willow species with great wooly, gray foliage. I will certainly photograph it when I see more.

One question, does Phyllodoce caerulea grow in areas where there is Norwegian type summer heat? I have success growing our local Phyllodoce breweri here at the farm. Cassiope mertensiana from local seed also grows well.

Thank you for all the effort putting together the photographs, making comments and answering questions. It is greatly appreciated!  :)


Well Robert,

I am the one to thank you! You always give me great pleasure with your pictures and comments from California :D

Gentianella amara is a native of N. too but not around here. Gentianopsis is an unknown genus to me although one species grows in the north of N.

I can send you some seed of the gray-leaved Salixes to try. The seeds ripen now and it is worth trying. I have never tried sowing them myself but as the catkins sit on the shrub for weeks slowly releasing the seeds I think they live longer than a few days.

I have only planted one small Salix species in my home garden (S reticulata). The other ones tend to be too big, and they do best in open sunny situations. Here in the mountains they are so common that I haven't bothered planting any although I always look out for the best colour just in case ;)

Salix petrophila looks great! S. arctica grows in Svalbard where I saw it 2 years ago. S orestera looks a bit similar to glauca from the pics when I google it.

Phyllodoce caerulea grows in the mountains here in the south. I don't know whether they can take prolonged heat but around here the summers can be rather warm (that is around 30C/86F in Norway!). I had one plant in my home garden for many years (but the summers there are cooler than up here, especially the day temps. I can look for seeds if you are interested but the plant is difficult to find out of flower as it looks very similar to Empetrum which is abundant!

Cassiope is a beautiful genus! We have but one species in N and it grows in the north. I did see a lot of it in Svalbard.

Cassiope tetragona:

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 13, 2015, 03:14:59 PM
It is a little rainy today so I have time to do some homework ;)


View from a rocky outcropping at about 1150m.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]


Two species of birch grow here, Betula pubescens ssp tortuosa, (mountain birch)  and B nana (dwarf birch). They hybridize a lot and the offspring is a mix of the two parents.

The "big" tree is mountain birch, the low shrub is the cross and in the foreground is the smaller dwarf birch.

[attachimg=3]


Arctostaphylos alpinus with unripe berries.

[attachimg=4]

Seedpods of Loiseleuria (or is it Kalmia now?) procumbens. It usually flowers in the snow.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 13, 2015, 04:58:55 PM
Trond,

I was up early and took a few photographs mainly at the top of the farm property. The sun was just coming up so many of the photographs did not turn out as it was still too dark for my camera. I'll try again.

[attachimg=1]

Oak savannah / woodland. Some locations are more open and savannah like, others are more woodland like.

[attachimg=2]

This view shows how dry our conditions are. Oak savannah with Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii.

[attachimg=3]

A nicely shaped Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii.

[attachimg=4]

Some of the rock outcroppings at the top of the property.

[attachimg=5]

An early morning view to the northeast. This time of year the leaves on the trees block the view of the higher mountains.

We have 4 species of oak on the farm property; Quecus douglasii, by far the most numerous, Q. wislizenii, Interior Live Oak, Quercus lobata, Valley Oak, and Q xmorehus, Oracle Oak, a natural hybrid of Q. kelloggii and Q. wislizenii. California Gray Pine, Pinus sabiniana,  also grows here. Where there is plenty of moisture we have Fremont Cottonwood, Populus Fremontii, and two willow species, Salix lasiandra and S. goodingii.

The grass, mostly Ripgut Broom Grass - terrible stuff, not native, will not turn green around here until late October or early November when the fall winter rains return.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 13, 2015, 05:10:12 PM
Trond,

I would enjoy trying some seed of  Phyllodoce caerulea.

Gathering seed has been "hit or miss" for me this season.  :(  I will be returning to caregiving duty soon so who knows what I will be able to gather then. Despite the difficulties I still have fresh seed of many species and I am sure that I will have the opportunity to gather more. Hopefully we can do some trading.  ;D

The panorama views are great! I will try to get some from around here too.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Gabriel B on July 13, 2015, 06:03:50 PM
Trond, I love Antennaria! We call them pussytoes here. They would certainly make a great lawn. Here in North America, they also serve as the caterpillar host for the American painted lady butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis), and I've seen the butterflies laying eggs on them. They're beautiful, so I'm glad I have so many pussytoes for them to eat. Do you know if there is a European butterfly or moth whose caterpillars eat pussytoes?

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=2]

I have three species, Antennaria neglecta, A. plantaginifolia, and A. dioica. A. neglecta serves as groundcover on a hill that I planted with dry-loving species, and A. plantaginifolia (which has pretty large leaves, about 2 inches (5 cm) long, with five prominent veins) in the moister rain garden, where it grows around tall plants. I haven't found a good place for A. dioica yet.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=5]

[attachimg=4]

Oops, one of my images is rotated wrong!   Edit by maggi - rotation fixed. Edit by Gabriel: Thank you once again, Maggi!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Tim Ingram on July 13, 2015, 09:41:24 PM
Super pictures of antennaria and painted ladies Gabriel! I'd never thought of growing this in the lawn but what an interesting idea. Trond it is so very nice to see the landscapes around you in Norway - we are relatively built up in N. Kent and you can't escape from development despite some lovely smaller scale natural areas of woodland and downland. Those open vistas are very compelling.

I wonder what Linnaeus would make of all the name changes occurring for plants at the moment - Loiseleuria versus Kalmia? It is difficult to see the value of such a change if the purpose of names is to communicate about plants. The 'Mountain Azalea' is so unique - maybe we need to return to using 'common names'  ;).
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 13, 2015, 09:59:00 PM
Trond,

A few more photographs of some of the native trees on the farm property.

[attachimg=1]

California Gray Pine, Pinus sabiniana.

[attachimg=2]

Valley Oak, Quercus lobata. We only have a few on the property. Generally they grow on the bottom land in the California Central Valley. Their habitat has been decimated. We are losing the few remaining trees to agriculture and other forms of development. Mature trees and seedlings are suffering.

[attachimg=3]

Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizenii. The arching growth is typical of this species. On some of the ancient trees huge branches arch all the way to the ground and then arch back above the ground. When I was young we would play in such trees.

[attachimg=4]

Quercus wislizenii foliage.

[attachimg=5]

Foliage of Quercus lobata.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 13, 2015, 10:07:37 PM
[attachimg=1]

Fremont's Cottonwood, Populus fremontii. A good tree for acreage like the farm. The roots can cause many problems in our area. On the farm they have plenty of room and stay out of trouble. The leaves flutter in the wind and they have bright gold fall foliage.

[attachimg=2]

Populus fremontii, foliage.

[attachimg=3]

Foliage, Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii.

[attachimg=4]

Oracle Oak, Quercus x morehus. This is a natural hybrid of California Black Oak, Quercus kelloggii and Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizenii. We do not have any Black Oak on the property, however they do grow nearby.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 14, 2015, 06:54:38 AM
Trond,

I was up early and took a few photographs mainly at the top of the farm property. The sun was just coming up so many of the photographs did not turn out as it was still too dark for my camera. I'll try again.

Oak savannah / woodland. Some locations are more open and savannah like, others are more woodland like.

This view shows how dry our conditions are. Oak savannah with Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii.

A nicely shaped Blue Oak, Quercus douglasii.

Some of the rock outcroppings at the top of the property.

An early morning view to the northeast. This time of year the leaves on the trees block the view of the higher mountains.

We have 4 species of oak on the farm property; Quecus douglasii, by far the most numerous, Q. wislizenii, Interior Live Oak, Quercus lobata, Valley Oak, and Q xmorehus, Oracle Oak, a natural hybrid of Q. kelloggii and Q. wislizenii. California Gray Pine, Pinus sabiniana,  also grows here. Where there is plenty of moisture we have Fremont Cottonwood, Populus Fremontii, and two willow species, Salix lasiandra and S. goodingii.

The grass, mostly Ripgut Broom Grass - terrible stuff, not native, will not turn green around here until late October or early November when the fall winter rains return.

Robert,

I think your property looks exciting despite the dry conditions :) The assortment of trees is also impressive!
Seems the mature trees stand the drought well but what about seedlings?

I do see why a lawn is water costly but you should be able do grow a lot of different bulbs suited for a Mediterranean climate if you are interested.

I read about that grass, terrible thing :o  We have about 10 species of Bromus but not that species.

How cold does it get there during winter?
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 14, 2015, 07:00:29 AM
Trond,

I would enjoy trying some seed of  Phyllodoce caerulea.

Gathering seed has been "hit or miss" for me this season.  :(  I will be returning to caregiving duty soon so who knows what I will be able to gather then. Despite the difficulties I still have fresh seed of many species and I am sure that I will have the opportunity to gather more. Hopefully we can do some trading.  ;D

The panorama views are great! I will try to get some from around here too.

Robert,

I'll look out for them in the fall. Ripening of seeds is slower here ;)
Please don't hesitate to tell if it is other seeds you wish. I have to know what to collect as I only collect what people ask for.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 14, 2015, 07:20:56 AM
Trond, I love Antennaria! We call them pussytoes here. They would certainly make a great lawn. Here in North America, they also serve as the caterpillar host for the American painted lady butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis), and I've seen the butterflies laying eggs on them. They're beautiful, so I'm glad I have so many pussytoes for them to eat. Do you know if there is a European butterfly or moth whose caterpillars eat pussytoes?

I have three species, Antennaria neglecta, A. plantaginifolia, and A. dioica. A. neglecta serves as groundcover on a hill that I planted with dry-loving species, and A. plantaginifolia (which has pretty large leaves, about 2 inches (5 cm) long, with five prominent veins) in the moister rain garden, where it grows around tall plants. I haven't found a good place for A. dioica yet.

Oops, one of my images is rotated wrong!   Edit by maggi - rotation fixed.

Gabriel,

The Norw. name of the plants means pussyfoot!

I have checked a little and it seems that no caterpillar of butterflies use Antennaria as a host. I don't know whether any moth caterpillar does though.
Maybe I should introduce some of the American painted lady - I know they are in southern Europe.

We have two other Vanessa species and they are great!

In S. Norway it is only two species of Antennaria, A dioica and alpina. alpina has the nicest foliage I think but the other can have showier bloom.

Antennaria alpina leaf:

[attachimg=1]


Antennaria dioica is very variable as you can see here:

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]

[attachimg=5]

Male and female flowers are on separate plants.


I once grew A plantaginifolia from seed and had a nice patch in my garden but it disappeared  :( Does it like it moist?
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 14, 2015, 07:32:03 AM
Trond,

A few more photographs of some of the native trees on the farm property.

. . . .


I love trees! Especially oaks but I have too small property to grow all I want :-\  It seems you have some acres to grow trees ;D

The oak leaves are so different from species to species it is a pity the two native species are so similar.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 14, 2015, 07:45:43 AM
Super pictures of antennaria and painted ladies Gabriel! I'd never thought of growing this in the lawn but what an interesting idea. Trond it is so very nice to see the landscapes around you in Norway - we are relatively built up in N. Kent and you can't escape from development despite some lovely smaller scale natural areas of woodland and downland. Those open vistas are very compelling.

I wonder what Linnaeus would make of all the name changes occurring for plants at the moment - Loiseleuria versus Kalmia? It is difficult to see the value of such a change if the purpose of names is to communicate about plants. The 'Mountain Azalea' is so unique - maybe we need to return to using 'common names'  ;).


Tim,

Using common names wouldn't be easier - when I look up English names for a plant it usually is more than one ;D

Good old Carl von Linné wouldn't approve the namechangings, he just regarded names as a way of sorting live organisms without a thought of relationship. In his world all where unique and created as it was. He also thought that plants could learn how to cope with new environments. He wanted to grow all kind of exotics in Lappland!

This area is not very far from Kent, Tim ;)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 14, 2015, 03:04:10 PM
Trond,

Bromus diandrus, Ripgut Broom Grass, is nasty stuff!  :P  We have about 25 species of Bromus, both native and non-native that grow in our area. In order to learn the native grasses, I have to learn all the invasive ones too - and there are so many! The grasses are not that difficult to key out, however the numbers makes the situation a bit challenging.

In the fall the landscape on the farm comes alive with the beginning of the rainy season. By spring there are many wildflowers (I encourage them to grow and reseed); Ranunculus canum, Dodecatheon hendersonii, and Lupinus bicolor bloom by the thousands. There are Delphiniums, 3 species of Sanicula, and many others wildflowers too. Various species of Triteleia, Brodiaea, Dichelostemma, and Calochortus are all native to the property. With proper stewardship the display improves as the years pass.

Stewardship is important with the regeneration of the trees as well as the other species that grow on the property. Even with the drought there are tree seedlings at various stages of growth and all thriving. Even first year seedlings are doing well this year.

99% or more of the neighboring properties use the "scorched earth" method of maintaining their properties. Their properties are dead - no wildflowers, no native shrubbery, and sometimes even the native trees are removed! The city people that move to the country see the native plants as weeds that need to be removed. In the summer, in too many cases, the ground is just dry dust! No plant life at all. This is all very sad.  :(

As you might except I try to grow all sorts of Mediterranean climate type plants and (mostly) bulbs. For plants that need much summer irrigation I limit them to tiny plants such as Cassiope, Gentiana, Corydalis, etc - something small - then I can care for them well and it looks beautiful. There was and still is a large Rhododendron garden. Many have died-off in the drought and I will replace them with xeric species. Over time most of the Rhododendrons will go - that part of my plant growing experience is over.

As for winter cold - most winters get to 20 F (-6.5 C), 17 F (-8 C ) is not uncommon. The all time low temperature is 8 F (-13 C). In the past wintertime snow was common, now, with climate change, there is much less snow in the wintertime. As a matter of fact, lately the winters have been so mild that some of the fruit trees have not been getting enough chilling hours to grow or set fruit properly.

Well enough with my long windedness. I am not sure when I will get away for an outing this week. Hopefully soon.  :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Gabriel B on July 15, 2015, 06:21:29 PM
Tim and Trond, glad you liked the pictures!

Trond, Antennaria plantaginifolia certainly seems to like a little more moisture than A. neglecta and partial shade. My guess is that the larger leaves are an adaptation for less light. So you might try growing it in open woods, or underneath shrubs.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 16, 2015, 11:33:56 AM
Trond,
. . . .

Well enough with my long windedness. I am not sure when I will get away for an outing this week. Hopefully soon.  :)

Robert,

I do not easily tire of your expositions ;D

Two growing seasons - I guess together they are as long as our one! We have something like two seasons at the summerhouse. In the spring and fall the grass is green but in the summer it is yellow unless it comes a lot of rain. Our house is at an island and the climate is much drier than the mainland.

I am astonished that farmers use a "scorched earth" method :o Is it due to laziness or imprudence?


It is quite understandable that you are phase out growing rhododendrons :) My problem with them isn't lack of water (usually) but strong wind (almost the whole year) that damage the foliage or completely defoliate them - especially the larger leaved ones. It seems it is more wind than before though.

17F is about as cold as it gets here a few times during winter. The coldest I have experienced in the 35 years I have lived here is 0F.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 16, 2015, 11:41:04 AM
Tim and Trond, glad you liked the pictures!

Trond, Antennaria plantaginifolia certainly seems to like a little more moisture than A. neglecta and partial shade. My guess is that the larger leaves are an adaptation for less light. So you might try growing it in open woods, or underneath shrubs.

Thanks for the advise! I'll try it next time I get some :) I have more than enough of shady spots ;D
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 16, 2015, 02:39:42 PM
Robert,


I am astonished that farmers use a "scorched earth" method :o Is it due to laziness or imprudence?


17F is about as cold as it gets here a few times during winter. The coldest I have experienced in the 35 years I have lived here is 0F.

Trond,

I have yet to meet a lazy farmer! Here in California we have "gentlemen farmers". These are generally rich people from the city that know nothing about farming. They never get their hands dirty! At the best, they hire Mexican labours to do the farming. Too often they treat these people terribly - this is very disgusting and degrading. Sometimes I wonder if slavery has ever ended in the U.S.A. !  :'(   :(

Politicians are often "gentlemen farmers" too. Their so-called farms are disasters too, unless they can hire good Mexican labours. They are too busy being politicians to farm, however they think that it makes them look good to the voters to say that they are farmers.

Over the past 40 years many from the city have moved to the countryside to live, mostly in retirement. Too many do not know anything about living in rural areas and are unwilling to learn or change. They have a tremendous fear of wild fires. Maybe rightly so, their fears are somewhat understandable, however this is most often the source of the 'scorched earth" policy around their homes. They are not "bad" people, they just do not know any better. Change and new ideas can be difficult, maybe for everyone, however this does not help the environment, or the plants we love.

It appears that you have very mild winters too.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: christian pfalz on July 16, 2015, 02:46:29 PM
hello trond,
many thanks to show us the plants of your country, looks very well.
greetings from southwestern germany
chris
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 16, 2015, 09:30:35 PM
Trond,

I have yet to meet a lazy farmer!

Neither have I, but it seems to be farmers and people just owning farms then ;)

Regarding wildfires I once read an article where the author said that the forests burnt too seldom. This make dry wood etc to pile up and make a much bigger fire when it eventually catch fire.

(I am writing this at 10.23PM and the sun sets right now after a beautiful day :) )

I couldn't live without something green around, anyway.

Yes the winters are mild here at the coast as long as the fjord doesn't freeze over.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 16, 2015, 09:31:36 PM
hello trond,
many thanks to show us the plants of your country, looks very well.
greetings from southwestern germany
chris

Hi chis,

Nice to met you!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 16, 2015, 09:58:13 PM
This summer it has been much driving and now we are home again for a while. The weather is nice but not warm. In fact the weather has been colder than normal since April and much colder than last year (2014).

The warm summer last year have led to a fabulous bloom this year on the shrubs and trees which produce the flower buds the previous year.

Like this Cornus kousa and the cultivar 'Satomi'. Although at the end of the display they are still a sight.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]


Down there in the lower end of the garden a Stranvaesia (Photinia) davidiana is also laden with flowers but they are difficult to see among the leaves. The bees though have no problems. An evergreen Prunus lusitanica is also in flower and attracts bees. The trees and shrubs here are planted to get shelter from the prevailing, always cold, wind from N and NW.

[attachimg=4]


A big shrub rose (Rosa roxburghii) adds colour when it is in flower, usually in June. All these trees and shrubs also produce a pleasant fragrance discerable at a considerable distance when in flower.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 16, 2015, 10:24:39 PM
A Campanula lactiflora has planted itself among the shrubs. It has just started blooming. A pink one has found another place near by.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]


I have not many roses but a climbing 'Blaze' is growing against the west wall. It has to take all kind of weather during winter and I have tried to kill it with Roundup once when I wanted to grow something else there.

[attachimg=3]


Higher up in the garden a Stewartia pseudocamellia keeps it flower almost to high to admire. I had to bend down a branch to get a closer look.

[attachimg=4]

[attachimg=5]

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 16, 2015, 10:38:33 PM
I have always liked geraniums therefore I have several. Some of the modern cultivars are almost too overwhelming! This one has already swamped several smaller plants.

[attachimg=1]


Geranium macrorhizum isn't that greedy but it also spreads considerably.

[attachimg=2]


Another nameless one . . together with an onion which can't stand on its feet.

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]


An early marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata) (not so early here!) has to look out for not to be engulfed by its neighbors. Yes, it is weeds in the background ;D

 [attachimg=5]

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 16, 2015, 10:57:01 PM
A vigorous climber, Lonicera henryi does what it can to cover the garage. In summertime it is always laden with flowers. The colour isn't the most conspicuous but the bumblebees like them - they make a lot of noise up there!

[attachimg=1]


In the woodland the blooming period is almost over. Only a few like this unnamed seedling, still show some flowers.

[attachimg=2]


The foliage is more to the eye at this time when the new leaves unfold.

[attachimg=3]


I had to protect the plants in the rockery against the magpies which liked to pick the plants apart looking for edible stuff.
I have not been able to protect the plants against slugs though, they have destroyed dozens of plants here. So the pests do more harm than the weather.

[attachimg=4]

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on July 16, 2015, 11:09:20 PM
I don't think I've ever seen  Lonicera henryi  - perhaps I've led a very sheltered life? !!  Sounds like a great plant for a biggish space.

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 17, 2015, 12:49:07 AM
Trond,

I had a quick look at all your great photographs. Something for me to contemplate. Today I had a good outing in the High Sierra, however now I have to rush off to the big city, Sacramento for a few days - the farmers' market and all. I will have some good photographs to post sometime next week.

Your garden is very green and lush. Very nice!  :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 17, 2015, 06:50:37 AM
I don't think I've ever seen  Lonicera henryi  - perhaps I've led a very sheltered life? !!  Sounds like a great plant for a biggish space.

The first and I think only time I have seen it other places was at a nursery which had specialized in unusual plants. At that time (35 years ago) I was looking for plants (that is shrubs and trees) staying green in winter. I still have a fair amount of evergreens including conifers and rhododendrons in my garden ;D

It needs a house or something as big as that to climb. It has even found the way behind the wall panel and roof tiles and flower at the ridge of the roof! Have to remove that :-\
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 18, 2015, 02:39:39 PM
Back to the cabin again ???

Had a little morning walk today - windy and cloudy but nice walking weather. Unfortunately it was not easy to photograph plants in the strong wind :(

I visited a place on the other side of the lake where I know about a different-coloured common butterwort, Pinguicula vulgaris. This form is sometimes called f. bicolor. I tried to shelter the flower with a piece of cloth but then the camera preferred to focus on the cloth in stead :-X

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]


Not far form the butterwort grows a colony of the fragrant orchid, Gymnadenia conopsea. Here it always grows in bogs. Too much wind and a stupid camera (or inept photographer) entails blurred pictures.

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]


A welcome companion from high up in the mountains to the seashore is May lily (Maianthemum bifolium) should be called July lily up here.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 18, 2015, 03:05:22 PM
In my opinion the net willow (Salix reticulata) is one of the best ones. It is common around here also in the mixed forest of birch and spruce when it is not too dense but always on calcareous soil.

[attachimg=1]


You will find scattered specimens of round-leaved wintergreen (Pyrola rotundifolia) many places in the forest. Sometimes they are quite abundant.

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]


Another wintergreen which is very common here is the one-flowered wintergreen (Monese uniflora). The nodding flower is not easy to picture!

[attachimg=4]

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 20, 2015, 04:03:55 AM
Trond,

Your wildflowers are most beautiful. The Pyrola rotundifolia is most attractive. P. picta is our most common species. It grows locally in the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is one of 6 species that grow in our area.

Maianthemum is another familiar genus. Of coarse other species grow in our area.

Orchids are generally quite lovely too and yours are fragrant! On my last outing I found Sierra Bog Orchids, Platanthera dilatata var. leucostachys, in bloom. I will be reporting on this soon.

At one time I grew Salix reticulata. It was one of my favorite Salix species.

Pinguicula vulgaris is something that I am completely unfamiliar with. Annual or perennial? I will have to look this one up. The flowers seem most attractive.

Once again thank you for sharing the photographs. They certainly help me to expand my horizon on plants.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 20, 2015, 07:27:32 AM
Thank you Robert.

Did you have a nice time at the Market?

From pictures it seems that Pyrola picta has very nice leaves. The leaves of P rotundifolia are more plain. We have about 5 species of Pyrola. Here is another one, P minor.

[attachimg=1]

The flowers don't open more than this.

Looking forward to the Platanthera! One species is common at home and around the summerhouse but not up here.
The other common species here is Coeloglossum viride.

[attachimg=2]

It is tiny and anonymous but I always enjoy finding it (which happens quite often in fact :)).

Another very attractive Salix species is S lanata:

[attachimg=3]


Pinguicula vulgaris is perennial. It is very common but a bit hard to picture on the thin waving stems. It is a carnivorous plant and the leaves are sticky and glandular. The Norwegian name "tettegras" reflects that it has been used to curdling milk. Here you can see the foliage:

[attachimg=4]

(The whey was and still is used to make the Norwegian Brown Cheese.)

http://www.tine.no/merkevarer/brunostene-fra-tine/artikler/brunostens-historie (http://www.tine.no/merkevarer/brunostene-fra-tine/artikler/brunostens-historie)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 20, 2015, 07:59:32 AM
Sunday we had a long outing. The weather was a bit cloudy and the wind was cold (14C) but it was nice to walk so we spent 7 hours on the trip.

We have to walk through a birch forest on the first part of the trip. The birches have had a hard time: Some years ago they were attacked by moths in millions two years in a row. Many died. Last winter weighed them down with big amounts of snow. Several couldn't stand it.

 [attachimg=1]

The result is a very messy wood!

Higher up (1100m) the wood opens and you get a view of the landscape.

[attachimg=2]


The path looks like this:

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]

This path is "much" used. We actually met about 10 people on this Sunday. On an everyday we usually meet nobody.
The summit of Dyna ("The Duvet"). It is only 1212m but the highest point around here.

[attachimg=5]


Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: johnralphcarpenter on July 20, 2015, 10:50:35 AM
"It is only 1212m but the highest point around here"

That's a mountain by British standards! The highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike, is 978 metres!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 20, 2015, 02:40:46 PM
Trond,

Pyrola picta has very beautiful marbled foliage. P. aphylla, also a native, has no leaves at all and survives on organic material in the soil. P. minor is reported from our area, however I have never seen it (yet).

Our native orchids are an interesting group. Some can be very showy and, like yours, some are tiny yet are still quite charming.

In your vista photographs I see snow covered mountains in the distance. Do you ever visit them? Maybe they are very far away and there are no roads and few trails?

The farmers' market was slow for everyone on Sunday. More sub-tropical moisture has moved in making conditions very uncomfortable. It is also hot, about 94 F (34 C) during the day, and about 70 F (21 C) for a low temperature at night. It may rain today or tonight with a flash flood warning for the Sierras. This is very strange weather for us. Rarely do we get this type of sub-tropical moisture and this has occurred frequently so far this summer.

The farmers' market may have been slow, however the market manager will save my spot for the week 3 week until I can return again. I have had the same spot at the market for the last 15-20 years. I am glad that I will not have to move to a new location at market or not be able to attend as the market is full of vendors at this time of year. Care giving starts for me again on Wednesday. I have been frantically trying to get things done and earn some livelihood before Wednesday as care giving is 24/7 now. This is sucking the life out of my wife and I. We have no money and I am lucky to get anything done even when the hired help comes for about 6 hours for 4-5 days during the week.  :P   ???   :'(   :(

I look forward to your next outing. They are interesting and a delight for me. I will do the best I can to get out in the next 3 weeks. During care giving, getting out is a much needed mental health day for me.  :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 20, 2015, 09:17:48 PM
"It is only 1212m but the highest point around here"

That's a mountain by British standards! The highest mountain in England, Scafell Pike, is 978 metres!

Then our cabin had been almost at the summit of that mountain ;D

What is it like, up there? Rocks or heather?
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 20, 2015, 09:54:23 PM
Robert,

Not much subtropical here! It is rather chilly for the season :-\

I am very sorry for your situation. It seems to be very difficult for both of you. Hope it will not last too long. And I sincerely hope you'll have time to relax occasionally.we


I have been visiting some of the mountains a couple of times. The highest ones are about 1700m and although they usually have some snow all summer it is more now than normal.

When you look out at the landscape like in my photographs you can't see the valleys. Several million years ago this was a plane about at sea level. Upheaval in west (which created the higher mountains there) resulted in rivers running from west to east and then south. During the several glaciations the river valleys were widened and deepened but you barely see them from the plain. It takes about 1 hour to drive there. Maybe we will take a trip there later this week.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 20, 2015, 10:14:27 PM
Some plants from Sunday's outing.

Cardamine pratensis paludosa. The common cuckoo flower is very abundant at home but up here grows ssp paludosa and angustifolia.

[attachimg=1]


Rainwater and meltwater ponds are everywhere. Different species of sedges are common, and so is cottongrass, Eriophorum vaginatum.

[attachimg=2]


Astragalus alpinus. Native and common.

[attachimg=3]


Ajuga pyramidalis and Viola canina

[attachimg=4]


Diphasiastrum alpinum

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 20, 2015, 10:27:13 PM
Vaccinium uliginosum can be showy in flower.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]


Salix lanata. The female catkins are almost ripe while the male plant has just been rid of the snow cover.

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]


Salix glauca male catkins.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: johnralphcarpenter on July 21, 2015, 07:32:02 AM
Then our cabin had been almost at the summit of that mountain ;D

What is it like, up there? Rocks or heather?
Mostly rock. Lots of information here: http://english-lake-district.info/scafell-pike/scafell-pike.html (http://english-lake-district.info/scafell-pike/scafell-pike.html)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 21, 2015, 07:41:50 AM
Last ones from Sunday.

We found Viola biflora for the first time here. It is abundant other sites and we have expected it to grow here but never seen it in flower. It blooms when the snow melts. Out of flower the leaves look quite similar to Viola palustris. We found about 10 tiny flowering specimens and were very pleased!

[attachimg=1]


The ferns are late too. Here the fronds of Athyrium distentifolium unfurls.

[attachimg=2]


The Creeping Azalea (Loiseleuria procumbens) is also late. Usually the flowers are long gone at this time.

[attachimg=3]


The same with Phyllodoce caerulea. Here at 1200m it was plenty of them still in flower.

[attachimg=4]

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 21, 2015, 08:03:36 AM
Mostly rock. Lots of information here: http://english-lake-district.info/scafell-pike/scafell-pike.html (http://english-lake-district.info/scafell-pike/scafell-pike.html)

Looks very familiar. More like the rugged and bare fells in Rogaland county where I live than here in Buskerud county.

Rogaland Suldalsheiene.

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: christian pfalz on July 21, 2015, 07:07:10 PM
....the phyllodeuce looks great......
cheers
chris
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 22, 2015, 04:16:38 AM
Trond,

It appears that where you were hiking in Buskerud County was above the tree line.

I have to admit that I like many of the Viola species that are native to your region. Common or not, I certainly like Viola biflora. Phyllodoces can be beautiful too. Ours are all finished now. I saw masses of them blooming earlier, however my wife and I were on our "rescue mission" outing so there was no opportunity to photograph this beautiful site.

I appreciate that you take the time to photograph non-flowering or non-blooming plants. It all of considerable interest to me.  :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 22, 2015, 02:42:26 PM
Trond,

The Cottongrass, Eriophorum vaginatum, looks somewhat similar to one of our native rushes, Juncus chlorocephalus. I am giving this Juncus species a try in the garden, as I enjoy its white coloured flowering heads. If it blooms nice down here at the lower elevations and stays clumping it will be a keeper.

How is for the Cottongrass? Sometimes grasses can turn out to be weedy! - caution required. One has only to look at the weedy, invasive grasses that have taken over California.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 22, 2015, 08:27:50 PM
....the phyllodeuce looks great......
cheers
chris

It is a fine plant, Chris, I always take a second look when I find one ;)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 22, 2015, 09:14:54 PM
Robert,

We like to get above the trees when we are out and have the possibility. Our cabin sits in the subalpine zone but from old the area has been grazed and the 'cowboys' have picked firewood so the landscape was fairly open until 50 years ago. Now the spruce and birch woods creep into the meadows :(

Viola biflora is very nice! I am always happy when I find some in flower. It is common higher up, like where we went today, but very rare around our cabin. Just around our cabin we have a population of another violet, Viola rupestris, which I like very much but it is very early and finished now.

Viola rupestris
[attachimg=1]

I like non-blooming plants. Some are very interesting :)

The cottongras needs it very wet, and it seems to prefer poor, peaty soil so I doubt it will spread at your site :)
I like Eriophorum scheuchzeri better than vagans because it is shorter and have bigger heads. Neither clump but spread slowly by underground rhizomes.

Eriophorum scheuchzeri
[attachimg=2]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 23, 2015, 05:26:42 AM
Trond,

I see what you mean. Eriophorum scheuchzeri seems to make much more of an impression.

As for the Violets, I find both Viola biflora and V. rupestris to be quite charming. I am not sure what they would do with our heat, however it would be interesting to give them try at some point. I have some degree a success with Viola adunca, an evergreen, high elevation species here in the Sierra Nevada. The low elevation forms of Viola glabella are fairly easy to grow. I have some seedlings of this species from higher elevations coming on, so I will see how they do lower down the mountain. I am hoping for flowers next spring on these high elevation forms.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 23, 2015, 08:32:23 AM
Yesterday the weather forecast was good - that is no rain, and more and more sun as the day went on. We decided to go to a mountain area called Hallingskarvet. It is a 35km (21 miles) long ridge or a plateau. The highest point is 1933m (6341ft). We didn't want to ascend to the top. The plateau is covered by rocks, we call it 'et blokkhav' - ocean of rocks - and this year still snowcovered. It takes us little more than an hour to drive from the cabin and to the foot of the massif, here is a little town called Geilo.

Hallingskarvet seen from the south east side.

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We walked along this low ridge in the foreground (2. picture) to the foot of the cliffs and followed them westward. We started at about 1200m and went up to about 1500m at the highest. All my pictures this day was bad! I found out later that I had touched a button which I shouldn't have done! All the pictures were wrongly exposed. (My eyesight isn't what it was and it is difficult to read the screen in bright light.) In addition it was strong wind ;D :(

The first plant that caught our attention was Pedicularis oederi. It is very abundant here on wet calcareous soil.

[attachimg=2]


The second was also yellow, Viola biflora. Here it grows in tens of thousand.

[attachimg=3]


A nice Salix myrsinites. It has red catkins and shiny green leaves.

[attachimg=4]


Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 23, 2015, 08:51:31 AM
Low clouds come and went while we walked. It was rather chilly at times!

Vaccinium uliginosum caught diamonds of water and here the flowers were reddish.

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[attachimg=2]


Another common plant here is Dryas octopetala. It prefers calcareous soil. It grows along the ridge but the flowers there were damaged by frost or something.

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]


Silene acaulis is also everywhere here.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 23, 2015, 09:09:44 AM
The ridge - on the left (southwest and sunny side) it is very exposed and on the right side-  leeward - the snow accumulates. Here we had our lunch by the snow, warm and quiet while it still blew on the other side.

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Rhodiola rosea grows up here and down at the coast, at the shore. Male and female plants.

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[attachimg=4]


Salix herbacea

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 23, 2015, 10:24:18 AM
It is very rocky along the escarpment. Loose stones fall from the steep wall every spring when the frozen ground thaws, most are small though.

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[attachimg=2]


Millennia ago reindeer hunters built this trap to catch animals. They made guiding fences of stone which led the animals to the trap. Spears at the bottom killed the animal. You will find similar traps in many of the mountains here.

[attachimg=3]


Oxyria digyna grows among the rocks. It tastes good and I usually browse a little ;)

[attachimg=4]


Also Silene suecica (Lychnis alpina) grows here.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 23, 2015, 10:43:15 AM
These pictures turned out very badly, I managed to save a few though :(


Loiseleuria decumbens Loiseleuria procumbens    forms large patches here.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]


Cassiope hypnoides is also here.

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[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 23, 2015, 11:00:09 AM
This is a much visited area and the main paths have to take heavy use. Sherpas from Nepal have worked in Norway several summers to build steps and bridges etc in the mountains, a work they are used to and very good at. They get ordinary salary and earn more here than they would at home. This helps their country, especially after the earthquakes.

http://www.nrk.no/buskerud/sherpaer-pa-hallingskarvet-1.11167567 (http://www.nrk.no/buskerud/sherpaer-pa-hallingskarvet-1.11167567)

http://www.nrk.no/verden/jobber-i-norge-for-a-gjenreise-nepal-1.12362445 (http://www.nrk.no/verden/jobber-i-norge-for-a-gjenreise-nepal-1.12362445)


The climb from the foot of the escarpment and to the top is very steep. The path was very difficult before the Sherpas built the steps.

[attachimg=1]


Farther down they led the small watercourses between stepping stones.

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on July 23, 2015, 12:20:44 PM

We walked along this low ridge in the foreground (2. picture) to the foot of the cliffs and followed them westward. We started at about 1200m and went up to about 1500m at the highest. All my pictures this day was bad! I found out later that I had touched a button which I shouldn't have done! All the pictures were wrongly exposed. (My eyesight isn't what it was and it is difficult to read the screen in bright light.) In addition it was strong wind ;D :(

I thought the first two photos  of the scene were wonderfully atmospheric  so I was astonished to read you say that, Trond.

The "creeping Azalea" is  Loiseleuria procumbens  rather than   Loiseleuria decumbens  so I made an edit for you.  :)


Those Sherpas make a very good job, don't they? Most impresssive work.  8)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 23, 2015, 01:54:24 PM
Trond,

What an impressive landscape. It is like nothing I have ever seen before. Your home country is so very beautiful and there are certainly many beautiful plants.

It must rain often during the summer and always be cool in this area? There is nothing like this in California, even on the highest peak.

I agree the Sherpas do excellent work.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 24, 2015, 07:34:32 AM
I thought the first two photos  of the scene were wonderfully atmospheric  so I was astonished to read you say that, Trond.

The "creeping Azalea" is  Loiseleuria procumbens  rather than   Loiseleuria decumbens  so I made an edit for you.  :)


Those Sherpas make a very good job, don't they? Most impresssive work.  8)

Maggi,

Fortunately some of the pictures turned out to be better than they looked at first but I had to do some work on them . . . 

Thanks for the editing :)  It seems I can't trust my memory anymore  ???

Yes, those Sherpas do the most impressive work for sure :)  And very fast too.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 24, 2015, 07:52:15 AM
Trond,

What an impressive landscape. It is like nothing I have ever seen before. Your home country is so very beautiful and there are certainly many beautiful plants.

It must rain often during the summer and always be cool in this area? There is nothing like this in California, even on the highest peak.

I agree the Sherpas do excellent work.

Robert,

That's one reason why I am fascinated by your landscape. It is so different from here :)

It rains often by your standard but this is in fact a rather dry area. I haven't shown pictures from the dry pine forest around here yet. The precipitation here is between 500 and 700 mm/year (20-28 inches/year). Most of it in summer though but in winter (Nov - Apr) most fall as snow.

And this is also a warm area by Norwegian standards, the record is 35C but that is down in the valleys. It is much cooler up in the mountains of course. The average precipitation in June, July and August is about 2 inches each month. The average temperature during these months is about 14C in the valleys.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 24, 2015, 09:37:31 AM
Trond,

14 C as an average temperature during the summer is, of coarse, very cold compared to our average summer temperatures. More like winter here. Often the Sierra Nevada gets little or no rainfall during the summer months. It has been very different this summer with all the monsoonal moisture. The higher elevations of the Sierra have remained fairly moist due to the extra thunderstorm activity this season.

I am still very fascinated by my native California.  :)  Even more so with your native home, Norway.  :)  I think that one reason I try to write as much as I can about my outings is that it helps present a more complete image. I only scratch the surface with each posting. I guess that this is good. For me there is never a dull moment, even for the places I have been visiting for the past 55 years.

Midnight, can not sleep, however I think that I will go back to bed anyway.  ???
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 24, 2015, 09:46:58 AM
Hopefully you get some rest! Think of all the nice places you have been and the wildlife you have seen and not of the daily trivialities :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on July 24, 2015, 02:05:13 PM
Trond,

Great advice! Thank you.  :)

The crickets are very loud this time of year. I like their sound. My wife and I always say they are "playing our song". This got me back to sleep very quickly.

We have been having "resort weather", 88 F (31 C) for high temperatures the last few days. It is back to 103 F (39 C) for next week. Our "Angel" (hired help) will be here next week so I should be able to get away on an outing sometime next week, maybe to Grouse Lake. I have not been there since last fall, gentian time. There are more crowds this time of year, however the trail goes straight up the mountain and I will certainly see different species. The base rock and habitats are different.

I have also been wanting to go to Red Peak. I have never reported on this area. It is not so far of a drive, however the hike into the area is very long. A very different mix if plants in this area too. Earlier in the season there are meadows full of Blue Cammus, Alpine Dodecatheon, and other wildflowers. Different rock plants on the high ridges too.

Anyway, something positive for me to look forward to!  :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on July 24, 2015, 03:43:06 PM
Robert,

no crickets up here (we have grasshoppers though)  but a lot of birds and many are still singing their spring song! In summer we always sleep with the window open to breath fresh air and hear the sounds - I even like to listen to the falling rain (if it is not too much wind ;D).

We will hear the big bush crickets when we are down to the summerhouse in August. And if we are lucky we will have temps of 80+ :)

Looking forward to your next reports - you have a great deal more variation in plant life than I have around here, and don't be afraid of using many words ;)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 01, 2015, 07:35:25 AM
We all (that is my family and my sister-in-law's; totally 8 persons) decides to investigate a new area for us. It is about 2 hour's drive from our cabin. The bedrock and vegetation turned out to be somewhat similar.

We set out from Lake Rødungen (1022 m). This is a popular destination, both summer and winter (hiking, cross country skiing, fishing, etc).

[attachimg=1]


The path was lined by well known heathers but Phyllodoce caerula was very abundant and still in flower which means that the snow lay here until recently.

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We headed for the ridge ahead, Reineskarvet. The weather was a bit cloudy and cold in the early morning (4-5C) but rose to about 12 C. The weather forecast said cloudy and maybe thunderstorms but luckily we didn't experience that. On the contrary the weather turned better and better.

[attachimg=3]


The highest peaks and ridges around here are about 1800m.

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The landscape is strewn by lakes and the shores are often covered by "chaparral" consisting of Salix species which can be very dense. No thorns though ;) but mosquitos :-\

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 01, 2015, 08:04:27 AM
The landscape is crisscrossed by paths. Some are marked with a red T which means it is controlled by the DNT (the Norw. tourist org.). Such paths you can follow from cabin to cabin. The cabins are separated by a day's walk. Some are manned and some are unmanned but they always have stores of food etc.

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Rhodiola rosea by the lakeshore.

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We had to cross several small watercourses but Eitra was a bit more challenging. All the meltwater filled the lake to the brim and we had to take off the boots when crossing. Nice and ice cold ;D

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A "setergrend, støl". From old the farmers brought their livestock up in the mountains during the summer.  A young boy tended the animals during the day and brought them back to the "sæter" in the evening where a milkmaid made cheese and butter of the milk. This kind of lifestyle has declined since 1960. Now it is mostly sheep and few cows in the pastures. The houses are used as cabins in the vacations.

This is Eitrestølen (1200m).

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Saxifraga stellaris likes moist sites!

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 01, 2015, 09:25:20 AM
Viola biflora were everywhere in the short grass and along the creeks,

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Alchemilla alpina is one of the commonest plants here. It often grows where the snow lies very late.

[attachimg=1]


An attractive but very small plant is Veronica alpina (bad image!).

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View

[attachimg=3]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 01, 2015, 09:55:47 AM
The oldest buildings are made of stone. The roof traditionally where turf on top of birch bark (called never in Norw.). This roof is repaired(!) sometime in the 20th century!

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Astragalus alpina is very good for the livestock. The Norw. name "setermjølke" (≈ milk) reflects that.

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You can usually drink the water up here. Only the years with a huge population of rodents you have to be careful, also with meltwater.

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But water from springs like this is safe.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 01, 2015, 10:14:14 AM
We aimed for Eitrejuvet (gorges of Eitra, the river) but unfortunately we had not enough time to explore it. In the 18th century a man was sentenced to death for manslaughter but he escaped and lived as an outlaw for 20 years till he was killed in this area. One of his hiding places was the gorge.

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Silene acaulis grows here.

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We also found Beckwithia (which I prefer to call Ranunculus) glacialis at 1400m.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Chris Johnson on August 01, 2015, 11:15:19 AM
Wonderful images, Trond, especially the landscapes.

There's an aesthetic appeal to buildings built from local stone. I presume these are akin to our black-houses which housed both families and livestock.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on August 01, 2015, 02:41:07 PM
Trond,

Yes, it is a very beautiful land! I enjoy the added names, history, and other details. For some reason I do not think of Norway as a land of outlaws. Our "wild west" here in the U.S.A. seems the land of Josey Wales (fiction), Billy the Kid (the real thing), or John Marsh (a relative). Also, there is rarely any shelter in the Sierra Nevada wilderness. One has to bring their own. This is very necessary early in the season. We have hoards of mosquitos and other biting insects too. In the autumn with frost all the "bugs" are gone.

In the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California it is unsafe to drink the water in lakes or streams (harmful bacteria and parasites). The water from springs and snow melt is safe.

I will have to try Phyllodoce caerula some day and find out how well it grows here. Viola biflora too.  :)  All the plants shown were very lovely!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 02, 2015, 07:56:34 AM
Wonderful images, Trond, especially the landscapes.

There's and aesthetic appear to building built from local stone. I presume these are akin to our black-houses which housed both families and livestock.

Thanks Chris :)

Yes, the houses where originally often combined, but later, and especially where they had access to timber they built separate buildings. The household was small on the sæter, a milkmaid and a boy. The goodman or other persons visited them in the weekend ;) Some had a full days walk to reach the sæter so they had to use the night also. The livestock had to walk the distance twice. From the farm down in the valley in early summer and down again in fall.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 02, 2015, 08:15:19 AM
Robert,

Eivind the lawless was not the only lawless person in Norway :o The knife was easy to draw, especially if you had tasted the local moonshine ;D
They could quarrel about girls but also borders, livestock etc. So quite a few had to flee. Some were 'Robin Hood'-types other were thugs.

If you want to find something akin to the Wild West I think you have to go 1000 years back in history ;D ;D

These areas have been used by people 9500 years, since the glaciation ended.


The glaciation left a landscape filled with water and lakes. The lakes sit in hollows made by the glacier or are dammed by moraines.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Chris Johnson on August 02, 2015, 08:49:28 AM
Thanks Chris :)

Yes, the houses where originally often combined, but later, and especially where they had access to timber they built separate buildings. The household was small on the sæter, a milkmaid and a boy. The goodman or other persons visited them in the weekend ;) Some had a full days walk to reach the sæter so they had to use the night also. The livestock had to walk the distance twice. From the farm down in the valley in early summer and down again in fall.

Thanks Trond - I have since edited out all the typos in that short message. :)

A walk that we would regard as pleasant today must have been quite onerous then, trying to eke out a living.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 02, 2015, 09:07:04 AM
Chris, I try to weed out my own typos and have no time to look for others ;D
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on August 02, 2015, 02:16:47 PM
Trond,

If I understand your history correctly, someone like Eric the Red was more or less an outlaw, causing trouble in Iceland and then sort of banished to Greenland (his real estate deal). Of coarse having most sailors drinking 6 pints of mead a day did not help the situation. It was an excellent way to store food calories. It did not go bad! and sailing around those ice cold waters, well, there was certainly a need for many food calories.

I was doing some research for one of my project around here and noticed that Cottongrass in also native to El Dorado County. I will have to look into this some more. I never remember seeing it on any of my hikes.

We have our glacial lakes too, mostly in the high Sierra Nevada. In many cases the over all look is different. I have some old photographs of Desolation Valley on my other computer. They show the effect of the ice very clearly.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Ian Y on August 02, 2015, 04:14:04 PM
Trond, I am among  the many people who are enjoying your notes and images , such lovely wild places are a joy to see even in pictures.
I had the pleasure of exploring an area in the North of Norway east of Tromso some years ago and would love to see more one day.
Thank you for sharing.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 03, 2015, 09:13:27 AM
Robert,

Eiríkr rauði (Eirik Thorvaldsson) was born in Jæren (not far from where I live) about 1065 years ago. (He was married to my second cousin 29 times removed ;D)

His father Thorvald Åsvaldsson was outlawed in 960AD and moved to Iceland where Eirik was outlawed for 3 years in about 982 when he went to explore Greenland. In those days you had to fight for your rights but sometimes people was killed in the quarrels. The society had laws and the Thing could convict you to outlawry. The usual punishment for manslaughter was to be convicted outlaw for 3 years. As an outlaw you had no rights and anybody could kill you.

Eirik investigated Greenland (which was well known but not habited by anyone, not even Eskimos) during his 3 year sentence and found the land very good and habitable. Back in Iceland he recruited many Icelanders and Norwegians to move. 25 ships with men, women, children, livestock and all you need for the household went about 985AD but only 15 made the journey. Although the land was productive they lacked timber and iron and had to get that from Norway and also from America. About 200-300 farms were built at Austrbygda and about 100 in Vesterbygda with more than 4000 people altogether. The settlements lasted for more than 400 years. The last recorded visit there was in 1480.

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 03, 2015, 09:22:25 AM
Ian,

Glad you like it! It is a pleasure for me too :)  (I enjoy your bulb logs!)

I have "explored" the county of Troms when I was doing my military service many, many years ago ;D But later I have visited the Archipelagos of Lofoten and Vesterålen which are very scenic and also have a nice flora.

You are welcome back any time though (and bring your wife ;) )!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on August 03, 2015, 03:00:05 PM
Trond,


I enjoyed that bit of history. My wife did correct me, she read that the sailors and others drank 15 pints of mead a day back then! Since I never drink, something like that would kill me!

I am looking forward to your next set of photographs!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Tim Ingram on August 03, 2015, 08:35:00 PM
At the Czech Conference in May 2013 we were told quite a lot about the Vikings! ;) It seems as though they are still alive and well, if a bit more sober than they used to be!! Wonderful stories Trond and lovely picture of the cotton-grass as well as many other plants; brings back great memories of a short holiday in Norway with two good friends back in the 1980's. Look forward to an Alpine Conference at Tromso :) :D with a field trip to Svalbard - that would be something special!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on August 03, 2015, 09:07:52 PM
That particular Viking is coming to the SRGC Discussion Weekend  this year, Tim - Kai Andersen- with Minna too.
And  friends just off to Tromso are hoping to see the second (Czech) Viking, Martin  Hajman !
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 04, 2015, 11:27:40 AM
Robert,

I think they needed that much mead to swallow all the salt meat and fish!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 04, 2015, 11:41:45 AM
The Czech Viking has a wrong helmet - they didn't have horns - except maybe in some rituals ;D

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bf/Vikinghjelm%2C_Gjermundbu.jpg/220px-Vikinghjelm%2C_Gjermundbu.jpg)


A conference in Tromsø with a field trip (for at least a week) to Svalbard had been something!


[attachimg=1]


Svalbard poppy Papaver dahlianum
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 04, 2015, 11:49:22 AM
The yellow mountain saxifrage (Saxifraga aizoides) started blooming last week - a bit late. And they are not all yellow!

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]


Small tortoiseshell on an Arnica montana

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 04, 2015, 12:19:40 PM
A few plants from our meadow:

Campanula barbata, native but not local. Self seeds in the short grass.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]


Goldenrod Solidago virgaurea, very common and very variable from 5cm tall in the mountains to 80cm in the woods.

[attachimg=3]


Arnica without butterfly

[attachimg=4]


Parnassia palustris

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 04, 2015, 12:31:57 PM
The last pictures from the mountain cabin this time.

Pyrola minor - not as showy as the next one!

[attachimg=1]


Pyrola norvegica or rotundifolia. Both are common in the birch and spruce wood around the cabin.

[attachimg=2]


Rosa majalis Very late this year.

[attachimg=3]


Fallen log with Lycopodium annotinum.

[attachimg=4]


Mountain spruce forest.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on August 04, 2015, 03:10:22 PM
Trond,

Where is the mountain spruce forest?

This is what I imagined Norway to be like. Many of you other photographs show scenes that are much different - very open with few or no trees at all. Or very different types of trees. Is it elevation? Topography? or many factors that account for the difference?

We have our version of Parnassia here in California. I have not come across any this season. They are not rare, I just have not seen any.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 04, 2015, 04:04:51 PM
Robert,

About 30% of Norway is covered by forests, the rest is either above the timberline or too far north, or at the coast.
Norway spruce (Picea abies) make up about 50%, scots pine (Pinus sylvestris 30% and 20% deciduous trees, mostly birch (Betula pubescens and pendula).

The picture of the mountain spruce forest (it is not a species but an ecotype) is from between Veggli in Buskerud county and Tinnsjøen in Telemark county.

It is many factors that account for the type of forest. Temperature is the most important but also precipitation. Usually birch and spruce make up the montane forest types but also pine where it is drier. Temperate species like oak, linden, ash, beech and elm grow only at the valley bottoms, in southfacing screes along the fjords and along the coast of South Norway.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on August 04, 2015, 05:11:40 PM
Trond,

This information helps. Somehow I had the idea that Norway was more like 80% forested, at least in the south, as pictured (mountain spruce forest). I will have to readjust my thinking.

I have been trying to put together a map based on the site names you have given. If I can get this to work for me I will have a better understand of how things are. Or at least the best I can from several thousand miles away.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 04, 2015, 07:13:05 PM
Robert,

I don't make it easy for you by jumping here and there and not telling where I am!


Here are some examples - but I realized when you asked that I have no pictures of that kind of forest which I spent most time in my youth :o


Here are but a few examples of forests:


Sør-Trøndelag not far from the border (Sweden) spruce and pine.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=5]


When the pines grow at the treeline:

[attachimg=4]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 04, 2015, 07:21:33 PM
Haukelifjell - main road between Oslo and Haugesund (and also to Bergen and Stavanger) crosses this plateau.

Mixed spruce and birch forest. It is easy to see in this autumn picture.

[attachimg=1]



Typical "forest" at the coast. Few trees grows here naturally. It is not the climate but the use of the land that keeps trees away. But after WW1 much have been planted. Sitka spruce is much used for that and it self seeds everywhere (picture).

[attachimg=2]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on August 05, 2015, 05:38:30 AM
Trond,

Several years ago my wife and I watched some Swedish movies. One was about a Norwegian farmer. All the scenery of the countryside showed the spruce/pine or spruce/birch type forest, much like your photographs. These images and my idea that Southwestern Norway might be like Southeastern Alaska gave me the perception that there would be much more forested land in Norway, especially the southern coast.

For me it is surprising to learn that the southern coast has very few trees. May it have been thickly forested in the long distant past? And I have to wonder why the use of Sitka Spruce? Yes, it does thrive in Southeastern Alaska, but are there not conifers native to the coastal areas? Would they be a better choice? If the forest are somewhat gone, may there have been many other species of plants at one time and they are gone now too?

Maybe too many questions, so please do not feel you have to answer any of them. It is all very very fascinating for me. I definitely appreciate you posting the photographs.

I wonder how many understand that a "thing" (not spoken as in English) was a sort of tribunal used the keep the ancient blood feuds from getting completely out of control? I do not think that I would like to have Eric the Red / Eric Blood Ax or his children as neighbors, although Leif seems like he might have been okay. I definitely would not want to mess with his sister!  :o   ;D
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 05, 2015, 07:46:04 AM
Robert,

spør i vei!  ;)  Just ask and I will try to answer the best I can. Hope my English is understandable ;D

The spruce is in most places a rather new immigrant to Norway. It is 3 sources (at least), In north (Pasvik) it is a form sometimes considered another species coming from east. Most trees in southeast Norway (up to Trøndelag) come from east during the last 2000 years. It has not reached the western ends of the eastern valleys yet, and not the west coat where it grows fast when planted. The 3. source was maybe a refugium in the North sea during the glaciation. Some of the north-westernmost trees in S Norway has a different genetic fingerprint than the majority.

The natural forests along the coast are pine and hardwood. But the western coast has been inhabited since the glaciation ended and forests never developed in many populated areas. It is trees of course, and some pine forests but the land was intensely used as pastures. To keep the pastures productive they were burnt regularly.

Once Sweden was a big power and they wanted to be independent in all ways - so Mr Carl Nilsson Linnæus (Carl von Linné) wanted to grow all the Worlds cultivated plants in Swedish soil. He believed he could train them to grow in all conditions. So his students went abroad and sent all kind of plants home to Sweden.

Have to stop, will continue ;)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 05, 2015, 08:21:25 AM
This idea also spread to Norway where a society was established (I think it was the one named Selskabet for Norges Vel). Anyway a large scale tree planting started mid 19th century. Timber was big business in Norway and they aimed to increase the productivity. A lot of foreign species (mostly conifers) were tried and eventually planted. Now it is a lot of forests consisting of foreign species, especially at the west coast. Today many are black listed!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on August 05, 2015, 03:42:31 PM
Trond,

In one of the Swedish movies, they filmed from the border of Sweden - Norway to somewhere near the west coast of Norway (it was not stated). Near the border it appeared as if all the conifers had been planted in rows (like what we see in the U.S.A. in certain areas). In other areas it appeared that the conifers had grown naturally. The scenery was not the subject of the film, however the trees looked very much like Spruce.

I had thought of Southwestern Norway as being like Southeastern Alaska. From your information it is clear that, although the climatic conditions are somewhat similar, there are climatic differences too. Southeastern Alaska basically does not have hardwood trees. There are Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum), and maybe a few others, however Sitka Spruce and other conifers are dominant. The ocean currents must keep Southern Norway much warmer to support some hardwoods such as Oak, Linden, etc.

This is all extremely interesting to me. Thank you for answering my questions.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 10, 2015, 07:03:59 AM
Robert,

when they cut down the forest they are obliged to plant. A certain amount of the profit has to be used especially for replanting. Those plants are usually in rows unless it is more favorable to put the plants otherwise.

You know, Norway (150,000 sq miles incl the islands) is almost as big as California (158,000 sq miles) but probably cover more climatic differences.

Yes, Norway is warmer than expected from the latitude but that doesn't mean it is hot here!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 10, 2015, 07:14:48 AM
Now to the sea level - Kragerø archipelago in Telemark, 58.9N (a little north of Juneau, Alaska!).

Most islands here are solid rock polished by the glacier some time ago ;D

Typical pine forest on Oterøy (where I have my summerhouse).

[attachimg=2]


Some islands, particularly Jomfruland is mostly sand. Beneath the layer of sand is a layer of blue clay. The island is a terminal moraine. This little wood is black alder (Alder glutinosa) but the forest of the island is a mixture of many species.

[attachimg=1]


The island Stråholmen is a mixture of sand and rock.

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 10, 2015, 07:43:42 AM
Sea of sea lavender (Limonium humile).

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]


Sea kale (Crambe maritima). Bleached it tastes not bad.

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]

With a moist summer and enough food (rotting seaweeds) this beggarticks (Bidens tripartita) has grown huge. Normally they are smaller out here.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 10, 2015, 07:58:00 AM
Rocky shores and cold water!

[attachimg=5]


Sea rocket

[attachimg=1]

It looks like this:

[attachimg=2]


Sea holly (Eryngium maritimum) is a rare and endangered plant here.

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 10, 2015, 08:42:33 AM
Sea mayweed (Tripleurospermum maritimum) is all along the shore. It starts early but this year it is still in flower now due to the moist summer.

[attachimg=1]


Thornapple (Datura stramonium) has naturalized along the sandy shores.

[attachimg=2]


Compact rush (Juncus conglomeratus) and milk parsley (Peucedanum palustre).

[attachimg=3]


Bullrush (Typha latifolia) has found a home in a very small pond. The pond is a pothole.

[attachimg=4]


Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria).

[attachimg=5]

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 10, 2015, 09:00:38 AM
The bedrock is shaped by ice and running water which have created potholes and other structures. The lichen is Xanthoria sp.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]


A grazed meadow. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), brown knapweed (Centaurea jacea) and burnet-saxifrage (Pimpinella saxifraga) are left.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on August 10, 2015, 03:14:01 PM
Trond,

The coast seems a beautiful and open land for the most part. The polished rocks with the lichen are beautiful.

Thank you for the names and locations. I does help me map things out so I get an idea of what is where.

It appears that I am out of service for a while. Far too ill the get out, except to work (not very fun  :P ), at least I can enjoy your outings and other postings on the forum.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: ashley on August 10, 2015, 04:43:25 PM
Very sorry to hear you're unwell Robert.  I hope you recover soon.

Interesting photos and notes Trond.  Does Mertensia maritima grow along these coasts, or is it localised as in northern Iceland?
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 10, 2015, 05:52:59 PM
Robert,

Hope you recover soon!

I'll bring a few more pictures soon :)

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 10, 2015, 05:57:56 PM
Ashley,

Martensia maritima is very rare around here. I have seen it once on the mainland not far from Stråholmen. It is a species with a more northerly distribution. It is more common in the north of Norway and even at Svalbard where I did see it in 2013.

Mertensia maritima, Svalbard:

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: astragalus on August 10, 2015, 07:41:26 PM
That is such a lovely soft blue, especially against the foliage.  Just a nice plant (which doesn't appear to accept heat, humidity and drought in the garden.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: ashley on August 10, 2015, 10:33:52 PM
Isn't it a lovely plant?  The foliage is a beautiful hazy blue too (hard to capture accurately in a photograph).
Here it is in NW Iceland (Westfjords, Þingeyri harbour), but we also came across small populations further along the north and west coasts.
 
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on August 11, 2015, 01:04:17 AM
Trond,

Mertensia maritima certainly appears to be a beauty and most likely impossible to grow in hot inland California. I agree with the others, the foliage seems most attractive too.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 11, 2015, 06:34:47 AM
Yes it is a lovely species and I assume very hard to grow in any garden! Especially the subspecies from Svalbard (Mertensia maritima ssp tenella). It start flowering at a very early stage, quite small.

[attachimg=1]


Look here also:

http://svalbardflora.no/index.php?id=680 (http://svalbardflora.no/index.php?id=680)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 11, 2015, 07:06:06 AM
Continue Kragerøskjærgården (Kragerø Archipelago) - Stråholmen island.

One of the locals - a nymph of (Tettigonia viridissima) great green bush-cricket. This species is common here.

[attachimg=1]


Sea aster (Tripolium pannonicum) blooms late. It is also very common and always grows with its roots in salt water or salty soil.

[attachimg=2]


The cross between the yellow bedstraw Galium verum and the white Galium mollugo gets pale yellow flowers.

[attachimg=3]


Quite small but very nice. Eyebright (possibly Euphrasia stricta).

[attachimg=4]


Common skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata) is common but I like the blue flowers between the rocks.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 11, 2015, 07:28:00 AM
Meadow. This island was inhabited by pilots. They waited for ships to appear in the horizon and rowed or sailed down to them. They had cows for milk and a small kitchen garden for vegetables. Some also had fruit trees.

[attachimg=1]


Notice the difference. To the left of the fence: no animals, to the right: sheep.

[attachimg=2]


Sea kale land

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]


Layers of seaweed. Some winter storms accumulate dead seaweeds other remove it. Until WW2 people living here used it like manure in the kitchen garden and on the meadows.

[attachimg=5]



Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 11, 2015, 07:49:07 AM
Trees and shrubs. It is many different species on the islands, here are some.

A small tree of buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and a Sorbus species. Sorbus is especially common around here with some endemic species as well.

[attachimg=1]

Leaves of a Sorbus.

[attachimg=2]


The guelder rose (Viburnum opulus).

[attachimg=3]


Barberry (Berberis vulgaris). One of the many thorny plants here.

[attachimg=4]


Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) By far the commonest conifer on the islands (well, maybe juniper is commoner).

[attachimg=5]

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Tim Ingram on August 11, 2015, 07:51:29 AM
Trond - Elizabeth Strangman and Graham Gough at Washfield Nursery (as was) used to grow Mertensia maritima well on a sandy raised bed but it is a martyr to slugs!! It is not easy to keep but sets seed very reliably and is easy to raise from seed. Quite a few nurseries are listed as growing it in the Plantfinder. It's worth trying in a sand bed with minimal humus along with sedums and the like and the wonderful sea holly and sea poppy. There are many very interesting American montane species in the genus that Robert may grow or have grown(?) - this is a quote from 'Western American Alpines' by Ira Gabrielson:

'M. longifolia (M. pulchella, M. horneri) stands at the head of the list of dwarfs. It is unbelievably lovely, with one or two big, ovate, blue-green, basal leaves and not more than two or three smaller stem-leaves that diminish rapidly towards the hanging clusters of long pale blue trumpets with crinkled bells... This species has proved to be rather fussy, its thickened almost bulbous root showing a tendency to disappear that is truly astonishing. Again, it will reappear in the most unexpected places in the garden years after it has vanished from a given spot. Its beauty is so great, however, that no trouble should be too great to get it established under moraine conditions...'

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 11, 2015, 07:58:37 AM
Tim,

I have tried growing some of the other species in the genus at home but they disappear - probably due to slugs. I also intend to try M. maritima here at our summerhouse down by the beach :D

In Svalbard we observed thousands of seedlings in the gravel at the beach. But no seed whe I was there :(
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 11, 2015, 08:14:02 AM
More trees. Mixed hardwood and conifer forest.

[attachimg=1]


Oaks. This patch is grazed by calves.

[attachimg=4]

[attachimg=5]


Black alder (Alnus glutinosa). Dense crown but open when you get into a pure stand, always on seasonally wet soil.

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Lori S. on August 11, 2015, 05:14:45 PM
Yes it is a lovely species and I assume very hard to grow in any garden! Especially the subspecies from Svalbard (Mertensia maritima ssp tenella). It start flowering at a very early stage, quite small.
Mertensia maritima was actually very easy to grow in the garden here!  Unfortunately, being a lazy gardener, I let it be overwhelmed by other plants and eventually lost it.  Of course, I haven't seen it anywhere since.

I'm enjoying your photo essay hugely, Trond!  What a great tour of the local plants and sights!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Rick R. on August 12, 2015, 12:56:34 AM
Scutellaria galericulata also grows in our wet prairies here Minnesota (north central USA).
https://www.nargs.org/comment/20608#comment-20608 (https://www.nargs.org/comment/20608#comment-20608)

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on August 12, 2015, 05:03:43 AM
Trond and Tim,

We have a number of Mertensia that are native to California as well other parts of the Western U.S.A.

Mertensia ciliata has been the easiest species for me to grow. In California, M. longiflora grows mostly in Northeast California, Modoc Counrty. It is a very choice species, unfortunately a bit more difficult to grow. It is also considered Rare and Endangered, at least here in California. The range of M. oblongifolia, in California, is Modoc County in the northeast and Eastern California on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. It is another good species, well worth growing. It likes drier conditions during the summer.

M. cusickii and M. bella are both on the California Rare and Endangered listing. I do not have any experience with them.

M. franciscana is somewhat of a mystery to me. It is said to grow in El Dorado County (where I live). One of many plants I have been wanting to investigate but have not had the time.  :'(

I will be very happy when I have more time to travel farther from home as there is so much to see here in California. There are many sites I have not been able to visit for many years now.

I did go up into the mountains yesterday. Mostly to regain my health, however I did see some interesting plants and I brought my camera. Not too many pictures though. I will post them as I am feeling much better now and hopefully I can find time. Very busy, too busy.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 12, 2015, 06:31:27 AM
Thanks Lori :)

Did you grow the Mertensia in ordinary soil or in your tufa bed? Make sense it dislike competition.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 12, 2015, 06:39:55 AM
Rick,

I remember your thread but not the skullcap ;) Interesting that a species has so wide distribution both geographically and climatically.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 12, 2015, 07:02:17 AM
Robert,

There you have the difference (one of the many I should say) between California and Norway: We have but one species of Mertensia while you have several! That's not fair ;)

Glad you feel better - you don't seem to lie down much, anyway :)

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Lori S. on August 12, 2015, 03:33:46 PM
Thanks Lori :)

Did you grow the Mertensia in ordinary soil or in your tufa bed? Make sense it dislike competition.
In ordinary soil.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on August 12, 2015, 03:59:43 PM
Robert,

There you have the difference (one of the many I should say) between California and Norway: We have but one species of Mertensia while you have several! That's not fair ;)

Glad you feel better - you don't seem to lie down much, anyway :)

Trond,

I guess you are right, I am not one to lie down much. And, yes we are very blessed to have many species of plants! It does make things very interesting.  :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: ranunculus on August 12, 2015, 05:47:40 PM
Just a few images from arctic Norway taken in the last few days ...
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on August 12, 2015, 07:03:45 PM
How beautiful, Cliff - even Epilobium can be attractive  in some situations!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: ranunculus on August 12, 2015, 07:05:40 PM
It appears to be everywhere in this part of the world, Maggi and looks as glorious by the fjords as it does in the Canadian Rockies.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: ranunculus on August 12, 2015, 07:27:02 PM
Just a few of the hundreds of breathtaking landscapes we have encountered so far … from Tromso to Bogen and the beautiful region of Vesterålen.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: ranunculus on August 12, 2015, 07:29:27 PM
The clarity of the water and the reflections have to be seen to be believed.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on August 12, 2015, 07:39:46 PM
Glorious, Cliff, just glorious!   8)   What a trip you are having!

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Tim Ingram on August 12, 2015, 08:03:00 PM
Breathtaking pictures Cliff! It brings back memories of going to Norway with friends many years ago - much further south. The landscapes are extraordinary and incredibly appealing, even if the long winter nights so far north must be hard. One day...
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: ranunculus on August 12, 2015, 08:44:48 PM
Many thanks Maggi and Tim,
We knew from reports just how beautiful arctic Norway could be, but we never expected idyllic beaches and such an abundance of flowers and berries.

Swedish Cornel or Bunchberry (Cornus suecica) is in flower in Tromso and in fruit here in Bogen.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 12, 2015, 09:21:36 PM
Hi Cliff,

Seen any buttercups ;)

Very nice pictures indeed! Reminds me I should have been up north more often :)


You mention beaches - here is a sandy one on Andøya with searocket, Cakile maritima.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on August 13, 2015, 12:35:31 AM
Cliff,

Fabulous photographs. Many remind me of Southeastern Alaska. Thank you so much for sharing them!  :)

Trond,

Your land is very beautiful! I have not seen any place that looks ugly. Maybe there are not as many species as California, but the scenery is awesome. What a blessing to live in such a beautiful land.

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Roma on August 13, 2015, 01:49:21 PM
Wonderful pictures, Cliff.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 14, 2015, 08:08:09 PM
. . . .

Trond,

Your land is very beautiful! I have not seen any place that looks ugly. Maybe there are not as many species as California, but the scenery is awesome. What a blessing to live in such a beautiful land.

Robert,

I have not seen any landscape where I have been which is ugly. It is what people do to the land (and to each other) that makes a place ugly.

Your pictures show a beautiful California, no doubt of that :)

On the other hand you can't live of only a beautiful landscape - it is necessary to exploit some resources which almost always makes scars in the face of earth especially when the population grows and everyone crave more and more.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 14, 2015, 08:24:54 PM
Back home again and back to work. The garden is a jungle but I don't know where to begin!
The slugs have taken their toll during the summer  :( However the population of gastropods seems to have declined. Hope it continues that way!

Many plants bloom but not all are worth a picture ;)


 A Campanula lactiflora has grown very huge - my daughter home for a visit though it was a new shrub :)

[attachimg=1]


A primula has its second flush on the roof.

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Also the Fuchsia magellanica is big. No damage last winter.

[attachimg=3]


An American plant, yerba mansa (Anemopsis californica), flowers nicely - a bit later than in its homeland I guess  :D

[attachimg=4]


In the background is a waterlily flowering for the first time in my very little pond which it shares with four little kois.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on August 15, 2015, 02:14:28 AM
Trond,

At one time we grew Fuchsia magellanica in our garden. They did surprisingly well in the hot weather. Unfortunately, after about 5-6 years the Fuchsia mites found them and that was the end of them.  :(

Yes, I agree, California is very beautiful. Sadly, the Central Valley and the lower elevations of California are under tremendous population pressures. There are important habitats and environments that are under huge pressures. Often even the preserved areas are becoming highly degraded by unregulated activities. From my horticultural view point there are too many species at risk. Even this season I have found a few interesting or unusual variations of species that could be of value in our gardens. This and so much more will be lost if something does not change here in California soon. Sadly, government is overwhelmed with far too many issues. Sometimes I wish that I could help awaken awareness of the situation in our wild places. I am not Gandhi or Buddha, I do not know what to do.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 20, 2015, 02:39:53 PM
Individually we have little impact but a group may achieve something.

This is an example:

http://www.osloby.no/nyheter/Humlene-i-Oslo-far-egen-autostrada-8029208.html (http://www.osloby.no/nyheter/Humlene-i-Oslo-far-egen-autostrada-8029208.html)

http://www.osloby.no/nyheter/Vil-fjerne-ostvest-skillet--for-humler-og-sommerfugler-7905809.html (http://www.osloby.no/nyheter/Vil-fjerne-ostvest-skillet--for-humler-og-sommerfugler-7905809.html)

Sorry, just in Norwegian but it is about this: Oslo city has made a corridor for insects through the city and they build insect hotels in the city.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 20, 2015, 05:00:39 PM
We have had some very nice days the last week with sun and temperature around 25C.

yesterday we took the boat midfjords and had coffee out there. Not many plants to see though :D

Some Hylotelephium maximum in full bloom 1m above the sea caught my interest.

[attachimg=1]


The common ling Calluna vulgaris[/] is at its best now. When I had bees I looked forward to this period. It is a good honey plant. to show

[attachimg=2]


It is a bit late for the bog asphodel (Narthesium ossifragum) but some places it is still showy. The plant grows on very wet and calcium poor sites so sheep grazing here can get calcium deficiency and develop week bones. Also some special cyanobacteria grow in the same places. These are suspected to cause photosensibility in lambs so they develop alveld.

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]

It is aid to be pollinated when dropslets of water are caught in the hairy filaments and pollen float to the stigma. I don't know whether this is true.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 20, 2015, 05:21:12 PM
Erica tetralix is common in wet areas but also a bit drier. But it never makes big patches like the next one.
 
[attachimg=1]


Erica cinerea is the showier of the heaths here in my opinion. It also gives an excellent honey.

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]


Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) is among the few other flowering plants in the heathlands.

[attachimg=4]


Also ragwort Senecio jacobaea grows here. It is toxic to cattle and horses.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: ranunculus on August 20, 2015, 08:37:22 PM
Not convinced that Norway is one of the most beautiful countries on earth?

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Roma on August 20, 2015, 11:16:30 PM
Beautiful picture, Cliff.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on August 21, 2015, 02:09:25 AM
Trond,

Thank you for sharing the beautiful selection of wildflowers. Erica and Calluna look quite nice in their native habitat. I can see why folks plant them in their gardens. Some forms of Calluna vulgaris do okay for us, or at least they have in the past. Erica cinerea were even better, most blooming in the winter or early spring in our area.

Your Narthesium is excellent. We have N. californicum. I was surprised that I did not come across any this season. For us it is a high elevation species.

My favorite was the Senecio jacobaea. We have a number of Senecio species in our area, especially if one counts Packera, which was divided out of the Genus Senecio. Packera cana is a beauty. I have been wanting to post some photographs of some seedlings that I have coming on. They have fantastic silvery-gray foliage in tight compact buns or mats with bright yellow "daisies". It is slow but seems to do well in our heat. I saw many the other day on Peak Lake Peak. No flowers, but the silvery mats looked great mixed with all the other alpine species.

I look forward to your next set of images!   :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 22, 2015, 09:00:43 AM
From pictures Narthecium californicum looks quite similar to ossifragum. They also prefer the same conditions I assume.

Senecio jacobaea (syn Jacobaea vulgaris) is a pretty plant but kind of a weed! I have some in my garden and they spread to my lawn but are not difficult to remove. It is a common sight along the roads in this area. I like it because it is a lush bloomer at this time of the year. We also have a lot of Hieraciums in flower now.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: johnralphcarpenter on August 22, 2015, 12:13:00 PM
Senecio Jacobaea is a pernicious weed in the UK and landowners are required to remove it. This from the UK Government website:
"Common ragwort is the most commonly reported weed and can seriously harm grazing livestock, including:
•cattle
•horses
•ponies
•sheep

If you’re a livestock owner you should protect animals from ragwort poisoning. Any feed or forage containing ragwort is unsafe for animals."

It can be harmful to humans too, with excessive contact causing kidney failure. Not a risk for most gardeners or farmers but certainly a risk for researchers into the genus.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 24, 2015, 09:00:24 PM
Ralph,

I know it is toxic to animals but here the farmers don't seem to bother. Last Sunday I saw several farms with lots of ragwor in the pasturest but the cattle and sheep didn't eat it so they stood as the only tall plants in the fields.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 24, 2015, 09:07:17 PM
We had a walk in the southern part of Karmøy island just off the coast here ( The island is linked to the mainland both by a bridge and a tunnel.) The weather was very nice and warm (that is 25C!).

It is not much soil there, and it is very acidic. So not many different flowering plants. Much of the forest is pine (Pinus sylvestris). It is a rugged landscape with lots of small lakes, tarns and wet bogs.

[attachimg=1]

[attachimg=2]

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: ranunculus on August 24, 2015, 09:10:46 PM
Delightful images, Trond.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 24, 2015, 09:12:54 PM
Thanks Cliff :)

I have to say the same to you!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: ranunculus on August 24, 2015, 09:16:21 PM
Lotus corniculatus on the Lofoten Islands.  Habitat and close-up of the same plant. 
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 24, 2015, 09:22:25 PM
Potamogeton spp are common in the shallow ponds.

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Goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea) is rare here but very common elsewhere.

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In shallow water water lobelia (Lobelia dortmanna) is very common - out of flower now. Mixed with the "broad" leaved rosettes of the lobelia is rosettes of quillwort Isoëtes echinosperma

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 24, 2015, 09:53:24 PM
Bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata)

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Erica tetralix

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Hard fern (Blechnum spicant) is the most common fern.

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Festuca vivipara - a common grass.

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Blue buttons (same as the Norw. blåknapp) or devil's bit scabious with yarrow

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 24, 2015, 09:56:28 PM
Different colours of blue buttons:

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on August 24, 2015, 10:25:37 PM
We had a walk in the southern part of Karmøy island just off the coast here ( The island is linked to the mainland both by a bridge and a tunnel.) The weather was very nice and warm (that is 25C!).

It is not much soil there, and it is very acidic. So not many different flowering plants. Much of the forest is pine (Pinus sylvestris). It is a rugged landscape with lots of small lakes, tarns and wet bogs.

  These photos will be fondly admired by the Scots -  very like "home" !
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: ian mcdonald on August 24, 2015, 10:28:38 PM
The Botany is very similar as well. Not far from where I am, in a rain shadow of the Pennines, is the largest raised bog in the country.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on August 25, 2015, 12:16:45 AM
Trond,

As usual a very interesting report. Festuca vivipara looks somewhat like our Elymus elymoides, a fequently seen species here in the Sierra Nevada from the low elevations to the highest peaks.

I have some more information to add later, but right now I need to change the oil in the truck in preparation for my trip to the Monitor Pass area.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on August 26, 2015, 03:53:00 AM
Trond,

I found an interesting report on the flora of the Merced River basin. This is, more or less, Yosemite National Park, California. A rock climber in Yosemite Valley noticed that many plants were growing on thin, narrow rock ledges above the valley floor. The plants grew within the spray zone of the various waterfalls that Yosemite Valley is known for. One species that grew and dominated these ledges was Narthecium californicum. Certainly not where one would expect to find this species!

Another place to look for plants!?   ::)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on August 26, 2015, 12:44:33 PM
A rock climber in Yosemite Valley noticed that many plants were growing on thin, narrow rock ledges above the valley floor. The plants grew within the spray zone of the various waterfalls that Yosemite Valley is known for. One species that grew and dominated these ledges was Narthecium californicum. Certainly not where one would expect to find this species!

Another place to look for plants!?   ::)
My goodness - amazing. Isn't it just such examples which prove the fascination of plants?  8)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 31, 2015, 08:40:52 PM
Have been away for some days without access to my Mac :o  (Forgot the charger :-[ )

Here comes shortly more for the Scots, Maggi!


Robert,

I always wonder what's  growing on the ledges high above the valley bottoms but have no chance to find out ;)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 31, 2015, 08:57:52 PM
We had a long weekend from Thursday till Monday and visited a friend and his family in Vang in Valdres. He has a farm at about 750m asl.

A view from the house looking NW.

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A common plant, Cirsium heterophyllum:

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Saussurea alpina, almost finished for the season.

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Two residents, possibly a Boloria sp and Lycaena virgaurea.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on August 31, 2015, 09:18:48 PM
Saturday we went for a walk along the river Mugna and hoped to reach the summit of Mugnetind 1740m. It is a good path but steep a few places. We met a lot of people - the youngest who walked for themselves were 4 years. Smaller children were carried by their father or mother.

The river Mugna.

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Although still August the autumn colours some of the plants.

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Fruiting Loiseleuria.

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Mugnebottjernet (Botn is the end of a valley where a glacier has eroded the mountain but died before it could finish! Tjern is a tarn, small lake.)

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Up here the snow has just gone so the mountain dandelions (Taraxacum sect. alpina.) are in flower now. here is one among Salix herbacea and Sibbaldia procumbens.

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More to come . . . .
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on September 01, 2015, 12:37:06 AM
Trond,

Your countryside is still so green and it is so close to 1 September! Even some patches of snow.

Here, everything is drying-up from 4 years of drought. In many cases there will be no fall colors as the trees are now dropping their leaves hoping to survive the dry conditions. I will do the best I can to get some photographs of the countryside around the farm. It is very noticeable how the oaks are defoliating extremely early. In the higher terrain many pines are stressed and being attached by pine bark beetles. In many cases now, looking for herbaceous plants is like detective work - trying to piece together the dry remains.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 01, 2015, 03:48:20 PM
Robert,

Nothing is drying up here for sure! Not this year anyway. Higher up the trees will get their fall colour during September but the plants newly emerged from their snow cover will stay green for a while - until the temperature gets too low. Down here at the coast the trees will stay green a bit longer if they are not defoliated by fungus attack.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 01, 2015, 04:09:24 PM
From Mugnebottjernet we went up to Skavletjernet (1541m)(skavl = snowdrift). You can easily see why the name is "Snowdrift tarn".

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The most conspicuous flowering plants were different yellow-blooming Asteraceae like this Hieracium sect. alpina.

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A few Silene suecica (syn Viscaria alpina) were also to be seen.

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. . . and a little Ranunculus pygmaeus.

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Higher up still - more and more rock and less and less plants!

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 01, 2015, 04:57:30 PM
Few flowering plants grow above 1600m . . .

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. . . but one is very abundant: Ranunculus glacialis (syn Beckwithia g.).

Here is one that just hast emerged from the snow. They can stay alive covered by snow for up to 2 years in a row.

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Another one in full bloom.

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and some older ones turning red as they age.

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Another typical plant is Saxifraga cernua, here without flowers but bulbils in stead.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 01, 2015, 07:10:27 PM
The last leg to the summit!

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Looking back - towards the western mountains.

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Another species of Taraxacum sect. alpina just starting to open the first flower.

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Dwarf cudweed, Gnaphalium supinum, common from the lowland and upwards but here it is really a dwarf.

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Sibbaldia procumbens, also common from lower altitude, especially where the snow linger.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 01, 2015, 07:30:59 PM
Cardamine alpina (Cardamine bellidifolia subsp alpina) in flower at 1700m. .

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. . .and in seed  further down.

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At the summit - view south. The "warts" are remnants of a hard layer of rock which the glaciation has removed.

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East:

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Unfortunately the clouds hang down on the mountains to the north. Several peaks reach above 2000m in Jotunheimen.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 01, 2015, 07:47:28 PM
On the way down - Salix lapponum.

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Cladonia sp.

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Alchemilla alpina meadow.

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Alchemilla glomerulans - always near water.

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An old  "well" near a sætergrend. It is probably used as a fridge for the milk.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 01, 2015, 07:59:04 PM
The water runs from the mountains . . .

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. . down . down .

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At the valley bottom it is used. Here is an old grain mill - out of use now!

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on September 01, 2015, 08:04:09 PM
We are enjoying these reports very much, Trond.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 01, 2015, 08:09:06 PM
I am glad to hear that, Maggi. Thank you!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 01, 2015, 08:41:47 PM
Lake Vangsmjøsa (465m asl) lies at the bottom in Valdres valley about 200km from the sea (at Drammen).

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Euphrasia stricta

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A faded Saxifraga cotyledon at the shore - usually it grows higher up in the mountains.

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The Øye stave church. Not the biggest, built about 1150. The main stave church, Vang, was sold and moved to Karpacz, Karkonosze, Schlesien now Poland, in 1842.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/57/Vang_stave_church_back_side.jpg/1024px-Vang_stave_church_back_side.jpg

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on September 02, 2015, 04:25:22 AM
Tond,

What spectacular scenery! Were have nothing like this at all here in California.

It is very interesting to see familiar plants. Sibbaldia grows in our area in the higher parts of the Sierra Nevada. We also have various species of Hieracium, however the species are different.

I think that my favorite plant was Ranunculus glacialis. I feel sure that it would never grow here but I was very pleased to see the photograph.

For how many weeks is the snow gone from the high country? It seems that the snow has just melted and that it could start snowing again at any time. Or maybe it can snow any time of year in the higher regions?

The area around Lake Vangsmjosa is incredibly beautiful. Are there interesting plants in this area?

Thank you for sharing your outing with us.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: ian mcdonald on September 02, 2015, 09:07:05 PM
Trond, it is good to see we have so many species in common.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 05, 2015, 09:13:07 AM
Robert,

Ranunculus glacialis (issoleie) is a plant I like very much! You usually have to get quite high up to find them. I think they are very difficult to grow in a warm climate. They grow (at 2370m) almost to the summit of the highest peak (2469m) in Norway.

I think Ranunculus grows it (do you Cliff?).


It is very difficult to say for how long the high country is free of snow. Some places it never disappear or it disappear only some years (such sites are called snøleie "snowbed". Only few kind of plants can grow there. Mosses are typical plants for snøleier. It can snow every month and you should always be prepared for bad weather when you are up in the mountains, especially if you are walking far from the cabin/car. At our mountain cabin (1000 -1200m)  the last snow usually disappear in early June and we can expect snowfall in late September or early October - but we can also have nice warm weather in October! The snow usually starts accumulating in November or December.

You will find the same common plants almost everywhere depending on soil conditions and the soil depends strongly of the bedrock. Most of the bedrock is hard and nutrient poor but where it is sedimentary rocks (or glacial deposits of the same) you can find a different (and more exciting) plant community. The flora around Vangsmjøsa is rather of the common type although one place is known for its uncommon plant community (it is more that you find warm-loving lowland plants than rarities).


Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 05, 2015, 09:14:55 AM
Trond, it is good to see we have so many species in common.

Ian,

It is not that far across the North Sea ;)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 05, 2015, 09:46:39 AM
Last week I was a short walk into a valley (Stordalen) branching off from one of the fjords here (Åkrafjorden). A lake (Stordalsvatnet) in the valley makes it look like a fjord. The valley ends abrupt (such valley ends are called a botn) and you have to climb quite steep up to the next hanging valley several hundred meters above the main valley.

View SW to Stordalsvatnet.

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Not very high up (about 600m asl) you can still find patches of snow in the lee side of the mountains. Although rather far from the open ocean this area gets much precipitation all year due to the steep mountains here.

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Digitalis purpurea is a common plant along the west coast and it goes rather high up in the mountains although it is regarded as a typical coastal plant.

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Blomstølsvatnet (630m).

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The soil is very wet here and bog plants like this Drosera intermedia was plentiful.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 05, 2015, 10:03:34 AM
It was not an exciting flora there so I didn't take many pictures.

At our mountain cabin, the tree limit is 1150m, here it is 600m!

Birches grow everywhere. Like these high up in the valley and tortured by heavy snow in winter.

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Grey alder (Alnus incana) was another common species here. Young trees has a smooth grey bark, but this old specimen looks more like a black alder (A. glutinosa)!

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High up in the southfacing screes you also find elm (Ulmus glabra) and linden (Tilia cordata). Also ash (Fraxinus excelsior) grows almost as high up as the birches here.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on September 05, 2015, 04:05:25 PM
Trond,

Thank you for taking the time to explain the snow patterns. Slowly I am getting a general image of how geology, climate and other factors shape the flora of Norway. If I understand correctly, because of elevation, glaciation, and a cool, very short growing season much of Norway is unsuitable for good tree growth.

It is fascinating to learn that Alnus incana grows in Norway. Here in the Sierra Nevada Mountains were have the shrubby Alnus incana ssp. tenuifolia. They rarely grow over 2-3 meters tall and are always found near a year round source of water, such as a stream or lake.

What species of Birch grow in Norway? Betula alba? Is there more than one species of birch native to Norway?

I can see how the trees can become twisted and tortured by the weather at the fringe of their range. We have beautiful moss covered trees like the ones pictured along the coast here in California. They always grow in the summer fog belt very near to the ocean. On ridges they too can become twisted and tortured by the strong winds coming off the ocean.

The fjords are very dramatic and beautiful!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 05, 2015, 05:13:14 PM
Robert,

It is 3 species of Betula in Norway. 2 are tree like and the 3rd is the dwarf birch Betula nana. The other two are B. pubescens (a subspecies ssp czerepanovii grows in the mountains) and B. pendula (syn. verrucosa). The last one is a lowland species. B. alba is not native here.

Both Alnus incana and glutinosa are trees although incana grows as a shrub or small tree along the creeks in the mountains.

Here are some facts about N.:

More than 5% of the area is freshwater. 22% are islands, 37% are above 600m (half of this is above 900m). Much of this is unforested of course and only 24% are productive forest.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on September 05, 2015, 09:58:41 PM
Trond,

At one time I grew Betula nana as a containerized shrub. It needed much attention to survive the long hot summers, i.e. some afternoon shade, plenty of water at all times. The tiny leaves, twiggy growth, and some trimming made it look like a bonsai or niwaki.

Thank you for all the other information. Given the photographs you have posted I can see how much of the land is unforested.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 06, 2015, 09:08:55 PM
My father in law tried to grow Betula nana in his garden but they never behaved like in the mountains. Especially the fall colours were inferior.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 06, 2015, 09:13:38 PM
I have several rowan trees in the garden. They are wild and grew here before I started gardening. Here is one of them in fruit.

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The berries are very good to make jelly of!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on September 06, 2015, 09:48:44 PM
The Rowans  seem to be well berried this year here - always such a pretty tree. Rowan jelly is a tasty treat - very good with meats.

As an aside, our  dear Web Master, Fred, has very recently become a grandfather for the first time  - his beautiful grand-daughter, born to Fred's son Gordon and his wife Claire, is called Rowan  !
 Congratulations to all the family  on this new addition!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 06, 2015, 09:58:33 PM
Congrat to Fred and his family :)

Seems Rowan can be used both as a girl's and a boy's name? I am thinking of a man sometimes called Mr. Bean ;D

Rowan is rogn in Norwegian if you have wondered ::) ;D



PS. All kinds of wild berries are plentiful but late this year. Unfortunately we have not have the chance to pick cloudberries this season.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on September 06, 2015, 10:11:18 PM
Yes, Trond, it can be used for girls and boys. Mostly used for girls in Scotland.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 07, 2015, 07:40:18 PM
We have some such names here also but I think they are rarely used for both sexes nowadays. One such name is Tore. Today Tore is mostly used for males and Tora for females.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 07, 2015, 08:00:18 PM
Last Sunday we made another walk in Karmøy. This time we visited the Visnes area.

Some of you should recognize this statue?  ;)

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Karmøy once had a copper mine (1865 - 1972). Now it is a museum. The area around is a kind of park. It is said that the copper from "Vigsnes Kobberverk" is used in the Statue of Liberty. The reason is that the mine was owned by the French during  the building of the statue.

Some of the mine buildings. The mine shaft is 730m deep (below the sea). A telephone network was installed in the town here in 1880 and electric light in 1885.

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The harbour:

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 07, 2015, 08:21:14 PM
The smelt hut (where the furnace was) is a short way from the town and lacks roof. (Is it called a smelt hut in English?)

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The wall-rue (Adiantum ruta-muraria) has established itself in the walls!

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 07, 2015, 08:37:35 PM
I was especially looking for ferns. The flora consist mostly of heather on the barren hills. Where it is enough soil sitka spruce is planted :(

Another nice find was black spleenwort (Asplenium adiantum-nigrum).

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Also northern spleenwort (Asplenium septentrionale) was common. In the first picture together with a yellow form of the common heath.

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I also found a few maidenhair spleenwort while looking for A. adulterinum (which I didn't find)

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I found several other ferns like Polystichum aculeatum too , but didn't take pictures :(
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on September 07, 2015, 08:51:38 PM
Wall-rue is one of our favourite little ferns.

We would  call the smelt-huts smelting houses - and I believe in Cornwall they also call their smelting houses "blowing houses" too.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 07, 2015, 08:58:02 PM
Thanks Maggi! I'll try to remember smelting house till next time ;) In N. it is smeltehytte.

Wall-rue is one of my favorites too and I have a couple in my garden.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 13, 2015, 08:47:03 AM
Our daughters are home this weekend and they had planned an excursion to a new site: a walk up to Folgefonna. Folgefonna is the 3rd biggest glacier in Norway (>200sq. km and one of the most southerly). We (or the girls) had chosen a long walk and as it turned out we didn't quite reach the ice.

Our path started almost at the shore of Sandvinsvatnet in Odda and climbed rather steep for 450m up to a small tarn by Fossasete. Although it is steep the path is good and stairs have been made at several places as this is a much used route into the terrain (and up to the cabins/setrer from old).

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It was difficult to take pictures of the river we followed but on the other side of the Odda valley was a similar river. It is a lot of rivers here and they all make scenic waterfalls of about 500m.

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"Our" river through the forest:

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The forest here consists of birch, pine, alder, rowan, aspen, ash and planted spruce.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 13, 2015, 08:56:55 AM
The locals use this cableway to bring their gear up or down the steep part of the track.

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A small building along the track:

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Pine forest at 500m:

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Higher up it was mostly birch forest:

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 13, 2015, 09:14:29 AM
We followed a valley gradually higher up. The valleys here are "hanging" valleys high above the main valley. They are carved by the glacier, that once covered all Norway. The hanging valleys climb step by step steadily higher up but often ends blind in a botn. The valley floor usually has several small lakes and tarns. The valley we followed do not drain the Folgefonna but other small fenner (patches of snow).

An outhouse!

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A small tarn.

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The birch forest floor is covered by ferns (Blechnum spicant and Athyrium distentifolium) and bilberry bushes (Vaccinium myrtillus).

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 13, 2015, 09:34:47 AM
We had hoped to reach the ridge to the left (Reinanuten 1295m) but the time went too fast!

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The flora here do not diverge from the ordinary which you do find everywhere.

It had been much snow last winter and it had barely melted many places so it was still spring! Pinguicula vulgaris in flower.

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Soon the winter is here and frost has already touched this Trichophorum cespitosum (a rather common sedge relative).

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Where the snow had disappeared early we found tonnes of ripe blueberries and we ate a lot :)

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I always wish that more bulbous plants did grow here, but in wain. I have to do with plants like this Luzula sp. :-\

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 13, 2015, 09:52:01 AM
As I told, the snow had barely gone in the higher grounds. So the vegetation was in spring modus, still in flower and very green. The winter will come in a month or two . . . .
Rubus chamaemorus was flowering where the snow had disappeared a week or two ago. (This is a male flower, so no fruit anyway ;D)

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Also Cornus suecica (or whatever it's name is nowadays) was in flower some places and in fruit other places.

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A pond with Eriophorum sp.

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Phyllodoce caerulea.

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: David Nicholson on September 13, 2015, 09:53:04 AM

An outhouse!

If that is what I think it might be there's never going to be a queue is there?

Great post as usual Trond.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 13, 2015, 10:24:08 AM
We stopped at Hegnenuten 950m. To reach Reinanuten we had to descend 100m before climbing 500m to the summit but it was getting late (too much blueberry!).

Views of Reinanuten and the part of glacier called Buerbreen.

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The birches are severely tortured by heavy snow cover in winter.

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Buervatnet and another arm of the glacier.

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Lake Buervatn.

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Steep cliffs!

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Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 13, 2015, 10:29:15 AM
If that is what I think it might be there's never going to be a queue is there?

Great post as usual Trond.

David, you are right in both presumptions ;D

Thanks ;)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on September 13, 2015, 03:04:53 PM
Trond,

The scenery is stunningly beautiful!   8)  I would never tire of this.   :)

Is Rubus chamaemorus monoecious or dioecious? I think that you told me at one time but I have forgotten.

You say that the native flora does not have much variety, but it seems that at least the climate would be an alpine gardener's paradise.  ;D
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Tim Ingram on September 13, 2015, 08:08:00 PM
Spectacular scenery! But why would you need an outhouse with so many trees? Norwegians must be very civilised people!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on September 13, 2015, 08:51:35 PM
Spectacular scenery! But why would you need an outhouse with so many trees? Norwegians must be very civilised people!

I'm sure Norwegians are very civilised - I expect they are also keen not to expose their important little places to icy blasts.....
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on September 13, 2015, 10:32:43 PM
I bet mosquitoes are a factor too!  ;D
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Tim Ingram on September 14, 2015, 07:24:16 AM
 :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Maggi Young on September 14, 2015, 12:35:49 PM
 ;D
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 14, 2015, 08:14:46 PM
Trond,

The scenery is stunningly beautiful!   8)  I would never tire of this.   :)

Is Rubus chamaemorus monoecious or dioecious? I think that you told me at one time but I have forgotten.

You say that the native flora does not have much variety, but it seems that at least the climate would be an alpine gardener's paradise.  ;D

 :)

The cloudberry flowers are dioecious ;) Sometimes all I findare male :(

The native flora is poor. As you can see from the pictures most of the species are the same everywhere. Alpines do well, at least someplaces! I have to watch out for slugs and also blackbirds and magpies - they uproot every plant in my rock garden :-X (A gardener is never satisfied, you know  ;D)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 14, 2015, 08:16:24 PM
Spectacular scenery! But why would you need an outhouse with so many trees? Norwegians must be very civilised people!

Some of us are when we have to ???
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 14, 2015, 08:18:10 PM
I'm sure Norwegians are very civilised - I expect they are also keen not to expose their important little places to icy blasts.....

We usually have trousers for that ;)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 14, 2015, 08:23:17 PM
I bet mosquitoes are a factor too!  ;D

Mosquitoes? Never heard of that. Are they dangerous?

[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on September 15, 2015, 04:20:15 AM
I think that Black Flies, various Gnats, Deer Flies, and other blood sucking insects could be added to the list. Seems to me that an outhouse is a good idea. I certainly would not turn it down.  ;D  And then there is the -20 F with the 40 mph wind or the driving sleet. The outhouse starts looking better all the time.  ;D

Although I have some stories about outhouses that are humorous but not very pleasant, I will stop here.  :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Chris Johnson on September 15, 2015, 07:55:01 AM
I would think the protected, humid, damp environment of the outhouse would be an ideal residence for midges and other biting insects. Your backside would come out a rather different complexion than when it went in.  ;D
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: johnralphcarpenter on September 15, 2015, 12:36:39 PM
Do we need a separate outhouse topic?
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on September 15, 2015, 07:08:42 PM
Do we need a separate outhouse topic?

Oh yes! Seems to be a popular topic ???

The mentioned one actually sits in the middle of a cluster of cabins so I think not insects are the main issue ;) Not when you sit there but maybe for the cabins ;D
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on October 09, 2015, 09:14:52 AM
We have been at our mountain cabin to make it ready for the winter. It is probably several months to our next visit and then it will be cold and much snow.

We got a taste of the coming season when we woke up one day to a few cm of snow. It didn't last long but the weather has been grey and wet with rain, sleet, fog but fortunately no wind. Everything is dripping wet and the soil is soaked. Not the conditions for long walks.

View of the neighborhood and the lake Mykingsjøen.

[attachimg=1]


Larch trees (Larix decidua) are not native but often planted as a forest tree. This is a seedling I found in the road verge and moved to our property.

[attachimg=2]


Rowan trees (Sorbus aucuparia) are native and very frost hardy. Yet they are a bit rare up here because all kind of browsing animals seem to chew on them.

[attachimg=3]


Yellow bedstraw (Galium verum) is more common in the lowland where it flowers early in the season. Up here it is a late blooming plant - very late this year as the summer was cold.

[attachimg=4]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on October 09, 2015, 09:36:37 AM
A nosy friend (a stoat) had paid us a visit during the night.

[attachimg=1]


Sheltered by a spruce we could still admire the fall colours of the bog bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum).

[attachimg=2]


The neighbour plant (Greater knapweed, Centaurea scabiosa) is not a native up here but seems to thrive although it almost never finish flowering before the winter arrives. Some years though the seeds have time to ripen!

[attachimg=3]

[attachimg=4]


Another late bloomer is the field gentian (Gentianella campestris). It is a biennial and some individuals start flowering in late July but other wait till September and continue into winter.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on October 09, 2015, 04:31:56 PM
Trond,

The photographs with the new snow are magical. How beautiful!

Vaccinium uliginosum grows here in the Sierra Nevada at high elevations. I do not see it very often. Much more common is V. caespitosum. This species has brilliant orange-red fall foliage too. In is native habitat it is often seen growing right next to Phyllodoce breweri. When the Vacciniums turn color in the autumn, the color contrast between the Phyllodoce and Vaccinium is spectacular.

I have tried to repeat this combination here at the farm. I am able to grow both the Phyllodoce and Vaccinium caespitosum, however so far the Vaccinium has never colored well for me.....yet. Maybe it is too young. The Vaccinium grows very slowly.

Another native Vaccinium I grow is V. parvifolium. It needs extremely acid soil to grow well. The fruit is bright red and very attractive. My plants are too small to produce fruit, but maybe I will be able to photograph some wild plants.

Gentianella campestris is the sort of species I like to grow. Maybe someday I will be able to give it a try. Our native Gentianellas are biennial-annual and quite nice. I looked all over for them this season and did not find any. Maybe drought, maybe I did not have enough time to look. I was certainly looked in the right location.

I enjoyed your photographs tremendously. I am looking forward to some sites with snow cover. This can be very beautiful too. For me, it will also be very interesting to see what wintertime is like around your coastal climate home.

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on October 12, 2015, 09:07:53 PM
Robert,

Glad you like the pictures but I am not always on friendly terms with my camera :-X

Vaccinium uliginosum is very variable in fall colour while V. myrtillus usually is plain yellow. It is however, Arctostaphylus alpinus that has the best autumn colour. We saw some from the car but didn't stop to take pictures.

Here is a picture from a previous year:

[attachimg=1]

You need sunny days and cold nights to get the best colours. I think it is to hot at your place ;D

V. parvifolium looks nice!


I hope it still is at least 2 months till we get snow down here!

In 2011 we got the first snowfall December 17:

[attachimg=2]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on October 12, 2015, 09:36:14 PM
The winter seems still to be far away although some plants have started to dress in the fall clothing.

Part of my woodland - not much colour yet. But it is obvious that I need to remove a couple of trees :'(

[attachimg=1]


Some rhododendrons have started blooming again:
a repens hybrid

[attachimg=2]


r. hippophaeoides 'Haba Shan' - very nice blue!

[attachimg=4]


And some haven't finished - R. auriculatum. Although very pristine when just opened the flowers soon get brown spots. But the fragrance is excellent :)

[attachimg=3]


Forgot the name of this one - the big leaves are often damaged by strong wind in winter. Last winter it lost all the new leaves except a few although it is planted in shelter.

[attachimg=5]







Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on October 12, 2015, 09:56:53 PM
A self sowing annual weed, Impatiens something.

[attachimg=1]


An Oxalis.I think it is a perennial but have forgotten the name ???

[attachimg=2]


Late flowering Clematis heracleifolia hybrid.

[attachimg=3]


Phygelius capensis flower all summer and much of the fall also.

[attachimg=4]


Chelonopsis moscata.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on October 12, 2015, 10:23:01 PM
The shrubs are loaded with berries, like this Ilex cornuta pernyi.

[attachimg=1]


Also Cotoneaster bullatus has many berries - but it always have. Here together with an Impatiens.

[attachimg=2]


Cyclamen hederifolium in the wood.

[attachimg=3]


The Asplenium scolopendrium has grown a lot this summer. The fronds are up to 80cm.

[attachimg=4]


3 different Saxifrages on the roof.

[attachimg=5]
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: johnw on October 12, 2015, 11:25:43 PM
Trond - I think your Ilex cornuta is either I. pernyi or Ilex 'Aquipernyi'.  I've heard I. cornuta doesn't ripen its berries in the higher latitudes and that was certainly the case here, not enough heat or light.  Lost them all over time but they were certainly beauties.

john
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: johnw on October 12, 2015, 11:30:28 PM
Trond - Jens Birck's selection of R. trichostomum is in full flower here for the third time this year.  Also as with you R. hippophaeoides 'Haba Shan'.  I blame the dry periods.

john  - +19c here today the same for the next few days.  The autumn colour in the city is non-existent for the most part.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: johnw on October 12, 2015, 11:32:23 PM
Wow that Arctostaphylus alpinus!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Robert on October 13, 2015, 01:22:17 AM
Trond,

Acrtostphylos alpinus caught my eye last year when I saw photographs. It would be fun to give it a try around here and see what happens.

The large 30 year old Rhododendron auriculatum in our garden has survived the drought! The flower spot here too.  :(  I thought that it was the heat, as it generally blooms in early July. I like its structure and the fragrant flowers - I think I will keep it.  :) It does put up with the heat, .......maybe reluctantly.

With your climatic conditions your garden looks so lush and green. Here, it was 33 C today. Everything looks so tired from the heat and drought. Even the native vegetation is highly stressed (at least in some places). I was finally able to get away to Rock Creek for a few hours today and will report on what I saw in a few days. Very mixed observations.

Great plants! Everything looks so good.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Gabriela on October 13, 2015, 02:25:29 PM
Your Arctostaphylos is quite stunning Trond and so are the Rhododendrons - Haba Shan is a blue dream! One can tell you garden on a rainy location  :)
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on October 13, 2015, 06:17:30 PM
Trond - I think your Ilex cornuta is either I. pernyi or Ilex 'Aquipernyi'.  I've heard I. cornuta doesn't ripen its berries in the higher latitudes and that was certainly the case here, not enough heat or light.  Lost them all over time but they were certainly beauties.

john

Thanks John! You are right of course. It is pernyi
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on October 13, 2015, 06:22:33 PM
Trond - Jens Birck's selection of R. trichostomum is in full flower here for the third time this year.  Also as with you R. hippophaeoides 'Haba Shan'.  I blame the dry periods.

john  - +19c here today the same for the next few days.  The autumn colour in the city is non-existent for the most part.

We often have rhododendrons in flower during the fall here regardless how the weather has been. Though it is rather dry for the season now but the temperature is only 10-14C during daytime.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on October 13, 2015, 06:33:29 PM
Robert,

I have read that Rh. auriculatum is rather heat and drought tolerant, in fact I am a bit surprised it don't suffer more during the winters here as it is very late growing.

I will look out for berries of A. alpinus!

Some unripe ones from 2013:

[attachimg=1]

Looking forward to your Rock Creek report!
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on October 13, 2015, 06:37:30 PM
Your Arctostaphylos is quite stunning Trond and so are the Rhododendrons - Haba Shan is a blue dream! One can tell you garden on a rainy location  :)

Thanks, Gabriela ;)

Sometimes it is to much rain - sometimes it is to little  :-\
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: johnw on October 13, 2015, 08:21:45 PM
We often have rhododendrons in flower during the fall here regardless how the weather has been.

I guess our growing seasons are just too long for these high alpine species.  Having said that I saw a 'Cunningham's White' in flower today, I think we can safely blame the dry summer and now wet autumn     for that; it's more unusual for it not to be in flower in the autumn.

john - +19c and heavy rain.
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Dave M on February 01, 2016, 08:47:53 AM
I might have the opportunity to get over to Norway later this year on a work related matter. If I get across, I'm keen to see some really great examples of Norwegian upland alpine habitats and species in a landscape free of land uses issues that blight our upland ecosystems here in the UK. Id like to see some good alpine plants and birds but also natural (ideally mountainous) landscapes that also include woodland and scrub in the mix and natural river systems. Do you have any recommendations of where to head for and when?
Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Hoy on February 01, 2016, 06:13:18 PM
Dave

It is much to see but how do you get around? Car or train? The alpine zone is best visited in summer, maybe July, but depending on the amount of snow.

A lot of questions ;)

Here are two options:

One option is walking the Aurlandsdalen (Aurland Valley). It is easily done in one day (or a couple more if you wish). You need a car to get there but the walk is not difficult but steep and narrow at some places. Very rich flora and a lot of birds also.

http://www.ut.no/tur/2.2886/ (http://www.ut.no/tur/2.2886/)

Another is the Finse area. You have to take the train from Bergen or Oslo (or use a bike) to get there. Here you can use a day or a week also. You can stay at Finse and take one day outings in different directions or you can walk for several days and use the mountain cabins in the area. Very rich flora here also, especially around Finse.

http://www.ut.no/hytte/3.2372/ (http://www.ut.no/hytte/3.2372/)
http://www.ut.no/tur/2.7150/ (http://www.ut.no/tur/2.7150/)

Title: Re: Notes from Norway
Post by: Dave M on February 01, 2016, 07:49:19 PM
Many thanks really useful stuff. Will probably have a car and a week at my disposal so should be able to cover some ground and was looking towards July. Im keen to see some good plants but also get a look at the land management by way of comparison to what we have in the UK and what some of our sites could look like if re-naturalised.
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