The Sun has set for the first time in around 2 months. It wasn’t a long sunset, lasting a total of 38 minutes. Longer if you put a hill between you and the sun! 😄 It’s been hell to sleep with the sun up all the time.

Time becomes arbitrary. There’s no rushing to “beat the darkness” when doing a task. Anything can be done as easily at 3 pm as it can at 3 am. It got me. My sleep pattern now is a 2 hour nap here, 4 hour nap there with the time of day being completely irrelevant. It is going to suck when I have to go back to a 9-5 schedule for work. But I am also a schedule fiend who does the best with a set schedule. So I will be happier once I’m back into the swing of things.

When I was out seeking the first Sunset of July I came across this crashed rocket. I assume it’s a large amateur rocket. Possibly a science rocket. There were no markings whatsoever on it so I am leaning amateur. It made for a wonderful frame for this spectacular sunset.

American Golden Plovers are known as Tuulliq in some dialects of the Inuit language, Inuktitut. They can also be known as tuulligaarjuk and ungalitte. They are a dimorphic common shorebird that can have a wingspan of 70 centimeters. On the tundra of northern Nunavut, these birds are amongst the largest of the spring shorebirds.

The male plover chooses several well-drained areas on the soggy tundra to make nest scrapes during courtship within his territory. But his female partner will only select one, lining the small cup-shaped depression with lichens. (did you know this, Lichton Expert @r0nd0n?) Whereupon she will deposit four creamy coloured eggs speckled with dark brown splotches. Both male and female will keep the nest warm on the chilly arctic tundra.

Golden Plovers are extremely territorial, defending their small feeding areas from other shore birds. But their defenses truly shine when it comes to their nests. They will attempt to lure off predators by feigning injury, acting like their wing is broken and they are fluttering on the ground. All the while sprinting in the opposite direction of thier nest. They will also make loud calls and puff up while running at an animal in an attempt to scare them off.

I admire the bravery of this bird. Wolverines, Arctic foxes, Wolves and Lynx will all go after the eggs or the bird itself, so it takes some courage for your defensive tactic to include putting yourself at a disadvantage by not being primed to escape at a moments notice. But maybe the heightened alert they are under means they are at the ready. They sure didn’t take their eyes off us.

The Inuit name for the Arctic poppy is igutsat niqingit. Igutsat translates to “bumblebee”, as the yellow flowers are much appreciated by bumblebees. Igutsat niqingit means “bumblebee food”

The flower of the poppy turns to face the sun, which makes it a heliotrope. It does this to attract insects to help it pollinate as well as to gather heat to help the sex organs of the flower develop as fast as possible in the short climate.

The plants are also covered in coarse black hairs. Most plants in Nunavut seem to be a little bit “furrier” than their southern counterparts.

Lapland Longspurs are one of the most abundant birds that nest in the Arctic. And are the most abundant bird in Nunavut. They are a small songbird that weighs roughly 27 grams and has a wingspan around 30 centimeters. Lapland Longspurs are a sexually dimorphic species with the females not displaying the dramatic facial markings that the males possess.

Lapland Longspurs are found all across Nunavut except for the northwest of Ellesmere Island. During the winter, the small birds fly south to central and southern United States where they feast upon seeds while they wait for spring to fly north to their breeding grounds.

Scientists estimate that the population of the Lapland Longspur is over 40 million in the North American Arctic. They are abundant in the wet tundra, rarely venturing into the rocky terrain where the Buntings call home.

 

The Capitate Lousewort is called Kukiujait by the Inuit. They are referred to as “banana flowers” since they resemble a bunch of bananas held upside down. The Lousewort is a perennial herb and will die back to the ground in winter only to spring forth again with life come spring.

Capitate Lousewort have tall thick septals, which are the leaves just below the petals, that are fused to the bottom half forming a bell shaped calyx. Each flower consists of five petals. The two on top fuse together and grow extremely long compared to the bottom three as a way of protecting the flower. At the end of the “helmet” are two small “fangs.”

Hairy Lousewort are a perennial herb that grows to around 10 centimeters in height. It is a bit unique with the hairs that how around the flower. They are an adaption to trap air and keep it still in windy conditions so that the air my be warmed by the sun to help encourage growth. This plant grows its own greenhouse! At least, if you think about it sideways.

The Hairy Lousewort is known to the Inuit as Ugjunngnaq and it is traditionally used as a herb in soups and stews.

And I happened to spot a small wolf spider with her egg sac held below her belly. It was amusing to watch her run. The sac would jiggle every time she stopped giving it the appearance that the spider was overweight and had a lot of… momentum… stored up. xD