Survival in the equatorial cold

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is exactly on the equator (the name of the country rather gives the game away). But near where the bears live, at over 14,000 feet, it is much colder (Mt. Whitney, the highest mountain in the continental US, is 14,500 feet).

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The plant life has evolved for this unusual combination of very strong sun, but high altitude. They are often low to the ground, and many are spiky, succulent, almost plasticky cushion-plants, forming great mounds in which the growing medium for the living plant is its ancestors’ decayed foliage underneath:

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To my eyes most of them were completely new, so when there was a lull in the bear hunt I pointed my camera at the leaf patterns and the flowers instead:

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And this tiny gentian:

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At slightly lower altitude there was also a rich, still unfamiliar, but rather different flora, but more on that another time.

2 thoughts on “Survival in the equatorial cold”

  1. All wonderful, keep it up! The flora too!

    Elio, Julie, Sam and Jessica spent Thanksgiving in Center Lovell, a first. It was delightful. Sam made a wonderful braised turkey, Sabattus was predictably glorious, the drive back predictably long, but we stopped in Biddeford to spend time in an astonishing cookbook store. Among my purchases was Curnonsky on the french provinces, and a Christmas present for Pils, Northeast Foraging with great photos.

    Hope you are well, and will you be in Maine for Christmas?

    Anne >

    Like

  2. Very nice, thank you!

    Dennis Smith

    On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 4:40 AM, Eyes on the Wild wrote:

    > myip2014 posted: “Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is exactly on the equator > (the name of the country rather gives the game away). But near where the > bears live, at over 14,000 feet, it is much colder (Mt. Whitney, the > highest mountain in the continental US, is 14,500 feet).” >

    Like

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