Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
The shadows of Ez and I pose for a self-portrait in front of the alpine and subalpine vegetation on Mount Wellington. May 2010.
Mount Wellington is a lovely place. At the top, anyone there is subject to ice-laden storm winds, high rainfall and low winter temperatures, even if snow seldom lies for more than a few days.
Thus, it isn't surprising that such an environment supports many species not found much in the world. Many of the species that you'll find up there belong to the Antarctic Gondwanan association. I’m not sure if there is a fee for membership, but that association is one in which our plants share a common ancestry with plants from New Zealand and South America from their time together in the ancient supercontinent of Gondwana.
As you can see from the picture, the topography does provide some shelter, drainage is good and soil can accumulate, alpine vegetation is dominated by heath and shrubberies in which woody plants prevail. Many of these, such as scoparia, provide some rather fabulous displays of colour.