Just as spring erupts in the North with the onset of warm sunshine and long daylight hours, signs of fall now envelop the landscape, at first subtly but then undeniably; abundant glimpses of red are indicating the changing of the seasons.
As dwarf birch casts a crimson glow on the hillsides and bright red mushrooms are fruiting, vivid, plump rosehips, bold, glossy dogwood berries (or bunchberries) and deep crimson-coloured lingonberries can be found everywhere. The large population of black bears found in Nahanni National Park are happy indeed.
The lingonberry—more commonly known as mountain cranberry—is best after the first frost, but the berries remain on the plant throughout the winter. Traditional uses were for desserts, or added to pemmican (a concentrated mixture of nutritious foods); medicinally it can be used in a drink to treat bladder problems, fever or to clean out the stomach as was historically done*.
*Note: I’ve always been keenly interested in the plant life of the North and find resources such as Alpine Plants of British Columbia, Alberta and Northwest North America by Pojar and McKinnon to be of great value in learning about them. We bring a “library” on each of our expeditions, including this book for plant identification. Just ask!
From summer solstice to Labour Day, all our journeys offer something unique. With our last two Nahanni trips out on the river, guests are being treated to the rosy hues along with crisp morning air, clear blue skies and the opportunity to see the northern lights during the few hours of darkness in the wee hours of the morning.