April 22, 2020

Learn, Curate, and Create

We know it is hard not to long for mountain trails during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders with the signs of spring popping up every day. However, it is best to stay safe with backyard and walkable nature outings where physical distancing practices are followed. We have some suggested activities you might enjoy from your home.

We presented a recent webinar that you can view here: https://bit.ly/Citizen-Science-Webinar-15Apr2020 where we included some initial project results at the end. We found that iNaturalist observers catch the earliest flowering times for some alpine species compared to our plot method and the spatial coverage was greatly expanded by volunteers like you! We will be sharing more of our project results soon.

If you know your Diapensia from your Greenland stitchwort consider climbing to the top of a species identifier board. By helping to identify species on iNaturalist and confirming others identifications you can help create more Research Grade data. For our project we spent a lot of time checking the identification of our target alpine species but as new observations come in more will need to be curated. Once an observation is added to our projects we also have phenology Observation Fields that follow the National Phenology Network protocol definitions. If you would like to learn more about helping us fill out these fields and want additional training you can message gmurray in iNaturalist.

You can still create data by going through photos on your mobile device or camera from years past not yet uploaded to iNaturalist. For our study we want photos of the same plant, along the same trail, every spring. So please include all your past mountain flower photos that have geolocation information to create a robust phenology picture!

Happy 50th Earth Day!

Posted on April 22, 2020 15:30 by gmurray gmurray | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 28, 2019

Tell us more about your experience on iNaturalist!

This Northeast Alpine Flower Watch project is possible because of your contributions, so thank you! Please fill out our 10 minute survey so we can learn, improve, and continue to document alpine plant activity using iNaturalist together.

Fill out the survey here: https://bit.ly/2IW43up

We already contacted many of you through email or iNaturalist messaging. Thank you if you have filled out the survey, but if you have yet to fill it out please do it soon. If you contributed just 1 or 100 alpine plant observations we want to hear from you! Heck even if you didn't contribute to our project it would be great to know why.

Still not sure what we are all about? You can check out this recent SciStarter blog post or listen to the podcast (embedded in blog) where iNaturalist and AMC's project are explained. https://blog.scistarter.com/2019/10/explore-biodiversity-with-inaturalist-and-the-appalachian-mountain-club/

Thanks again for contributing and making our first year of this project a success!

Georgia, Annie, Patrick, and Doug (AMC's iNaturalist team)

Posted on October 28, 2019 16:24 by gmurray gmurray | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 23, 2019

Islands in the Sky

Dear Northeast Alpine Flower Watch members,

Thank you for contributing photos of alpine flowers & fruits. While waiting for next year's Spring bloom, you can explore alpine flora and assist with climate research by joining our online expedition "Islands in the Sky" to uncover historic records of alpine plant biodiversity at the New York Botanical Garden!

Diapensia lapponica

To understand how alpine plants are responding and adapting to their changing climate, the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) and Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) have teamed up with citizen scientists around the world to track geographic distributions and seasonal changes in these alpine species. Using herbarium records, AMC researchers will be able to continue this investigation using historic records of alpine species collected during the past 200 years.

This is where you the citizen scientists come in! Our researchers need lots of help to collect data from recently digitized herbarium records of alpine species and other mountain plants. Specifically, we need help documenting when, where, and by whom each historic plant specimen was collected from the wild. Anyone with a computer and access to the internet can participate in this project by joining our virtual expedition on the Notes from Nature crowdsourcing platform. From there, you can view images of preserved plant specimens, interpret and transcribe key details from their collection labels, and report directly to scientists at the AMC and around the world who will use your data to understand and help protect these unique alpine plants.

Posted on September 23, 2019 20:12 by annie_evankow annie_evankow | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 14, 2019

End of Summer Shots

Thanks to so many of you we met our goal of thousands of observations in Northeast alpine areas. THANK YOU! But the summer is not over yet. Please take some end of summer photos of plants, fading flowers, and fruit on your next hike!

Not surprising that the most “favorite” plant photo from June was a Lapland Azalea (Rhododendron lapponicum) incased in ice! It is the alpine zone after all. Thank you emdavenport!

Rhododendron lapponicum

Have any photos on your GPS enabled camera or phone you have yet to upload? Please upload them soon. We plan to start crunching numbers in September and will report back to all of you!

Happy end of summer.

Posted on August 14, 2019 19:55 by gmurray gmurray | 0 comments | Leave a comment

July 09, 2019

Fave your Favorite June Flower Photos

Thanks to you we've reached 200 members! We also had 652 observations from the month of JUNE!

Vote for your favorite June photos HERE by "fave-ing" the observation with the star icon under the photo. The observation with the most likes will receive a prize!

Also, keep hiking and snapping photos of flowers and fruits. In July, you should see flowering Mountain Cranberry, Labrador Tea, Bog Bilberry, and Mountain Avens (Photo below (c) @alinam).

July Target Flowers

You may also see Three-toothed Cinquefoil, Mountain Sandwort , Bog Laurel, and Harebell.

July Flowers

My favorite July find this year has been Bog Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos):

Fruit are also important to document as the next phenological phase of the flowering plant and an important food source for all kinds of birds, insects, and small mammals.

Happy summer hiking & iNaturalizing!

Posted on July 09, 2019 20:15 by annie_evankow annie_evankow | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 28, 2019

Arctic Tundra Blooms

Here in the Adirondack High Peaks, some of our alpine plants are just finishing blooming. Lapland rosebay, Diapensia and alpine azalea are finally in their fruiting stages, after a long winter and delayed bloom. These species (mixed with sedges and dwarf shrubs) survive on the harsh windward side of the mountain where the snow is swept clean in the winter and vegetation is left mostly exposed. Bigelow's sedge is also currently transitioning to it's fruiting phenophase.

Labrador tea's buds are swelling and Adirondack High Peaks Summit Stewards have just begun to see their tiny flowers bloom. Bog bilberry, related to the blueberry, is almost in full bloom! In tandem with beautiful alpine flowers and sunny days, hikers have started visiting our alpine summits. Be sure to say hello to a Summit Steward on Mt. Marcy, Algonquin Peak, Wright Peak or Cascade Mountain. Furthermore, please do the rock walk above treeline, avoiding alpine plants, soil or gravel. Hope to see you on the Adirondack alpine summits taking photos!

Kayla White
ADK's Summit Steward Coordinator
Adirondack Mountain Club

Posted on June 28, 2019 17:52 by chiefsteward chiefsteward | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 20, 2019

Spring is finally here at Baxter State Park

After a long winter and slow snowmelt this spring, the Information and Education department at Baxter State Park finally made it up Katahdin for our first alpine hike. We went up Cathedral to the summit, down the Hunt trail, across Baxter peak cut-off, and then up and down Hamlin to the Roaring Brook parking lot. If you've ever hiked Katahdin than you know how strenuous that day was. We had perfect weather and enjoyed looking at all the blooming alpine plants. For the most part, the alpine plants that we monitor are just on the brink of blooming. Diapensia is the furthest along with flowers speckled everywhere across the alpine zone. Bog bilberry looks like the furthest behind, in some places, barely hinting that Spring has finally come. There are a few flowers on the Bigelow Sedge and the Labrador Tea will have flowers soon as well. Plenty of beautiful alpine azalea flowers on the tablelands. Next week our Summit Stewards will start their regular mountain patrols and they will be on the lookout for new flowers popping out!
Happy Hiking!
BSP Interpretive Specialist

Posted on June 20, 2019 17:52 by baxterelise baxterelise | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 19, 2019

White Mountain Alpine Update

First of all, we've reached 100 contributors. Thank you for sharing your alpine bud, flower, and fruit photos!

In the "Alpine Garden" of Mount Washington, Diapensia (D. lapponica) is nearly finished flowering. It continues to bud and flower in other sections of the alpine zone, such as the "cow pasture" along the Mt. Washington Auto Road.

If you have not been able to visit the alpine zone yet this season, fear not. Labrador Tea, Mountain Aven, and Mountain Cranberry have not yet started blooming in the alpine zone. Two of these species, Labrador Tea and Ligonberry (another name for Mountain Cranberry), can be seen flowering below treeline.

Vaccinium uliginosum
Bigelow's Sedge (Carex bigelowii) has started to bloom. This arctic species is known in the White Mountains for its role as host plant to the endemic White Mountain Arctic butterfly. The adult butterflies lay their eggs on or near the base of the Bigelow's Sedge. The larva feed on the sedge when they hatch. The photo above was taken by @mtncranberg near Madison Springs Hut.

Happy iNaturalizing! And if you take neat photos of lower elevation species, be sure to share them to our White Mountain or Appalachian Trail projects!

Posted on June 19, 2019 19:12 by annie_evankow annie_evankow | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 03, 2019

It's Flower Watch Month!

Happy June!

Thank you for joining the Northeast Alpine Flower Watch. This is the most important month for alpine observations.

Diapensia has started to bloom in NY and NH. Thanks to @kwilson271 and @govatski for capturing these images!
Diapensia (Diapensia lapponica) flowering in the Adirondacks and in the White Mountains

While you are out in the alpine zone, you may also see blooming Lapland Azalea, Alpine Azalea, and Bearberry Willow. Please keep a lookout for budding and blooming Mountain Cranberry, Bog Bilberry, Labrador Tea, and Bigelow's Sedge.

Stay on the trail and enjoy your hike!

Posted on June 03, 2019 17:05 by annie_evankow annie_evankow | 1 comment | Leave a comment

May 19, 2019

Alpine Snow Melt

Greetings Northeast Alpine Flower Watchers!

The alpine zone of Mount Washington is starting to lose its blanket of snow. In the following three photos, you can see the snow melting and the trees in the valley beginning to leaf out. I've heard from a reliable source that Diapensia is starting to bud on the Bonds of the Pemigewasset Wilderness in the White Mountains. The alpine flower season is nearly here!

With the changing seasons, please hike safe and check local weather and trail conditions before venturing out into your respective alpine zones. Although snow may have melted above treeline, many trails may still have snow and require winter travel gear.

Mount Washington - April 17, 2019 (Photo credit: origin.hazecam.net)

Mount Washington - May 01, 2019 (Photo credit: origin.hazecam.net)

Mount Washington - May 08, 2019 (Photo credit: origin.hazecam.net)

White Mountain Webcams:

Baxter State Park Webcams:

Green Mountain Webcams:

Adirondack Webcams:

Thanks for joining the Northeast Alpine Flower Watch!

Posted on May 19, 2019 17:41 by annie_evankow annie_evankow | 0 comments | Leave a comment