As tiny as the sub-Arctic region of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada is, it nevertheless contains a multitude of separate ecosystems that merge together to create a perfect environment for a wide diversity of forests, plains, freshwater and marine animals. Since it was summer, albeit briefly when I visited, I was able to capture these “biomes” ( a large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat) in photos and I hope you will agree that the vistas are stunning. First, a short ecological dissertation.
LOWLANDS – The coast of Hudson Bay, from the shore to the taiga forest inland, is an area thriving with wildlife that borders the taiga, the northern coniferous boreal forest, and the expansive treeless tundra further north.
TAIGA/BOREAL FOREST – Taiga is a Turkish word meaning “coniferous forests.” It is also known as “boreal” (of the north or northern regions) forest and it is the largest terrestrial biome on earth. It’s broad band extends across North America, Europe, and Asia to the southern border of the arctic tundra. Much of the taiga was once under glaciers, and as the glaciers receded, swathes of depressions were left in the landscape that with rainfall became lakes and bogs.
TUNDRA – is a wide open area and it is the coldest of the biomes. The word tundra comes fromthe Finnish word tunturia, meaning “treeless plain.” The tundra receives low amounts of precipitation, making it similar to a desert in many ways. Vegetation on the tundra has adapted to the cold and the short 0 to 60 day growing season. Mosses, sedges and lichens are common, while trees are few and concentrated near waterways. The trees that do manage to grow on the tundra stay close to the ground and are insulated by snow during the cold and windy winters. And, due to the strong directional winds, they often branches only on the leeward side, due to the fierce freezing wind across the open land. This effect is known as Krumholz:
Churchill also has massive rock formations, many with colorful lichen adornment:
Unique eye candy seems to come easily to this most fascinating town.