“Oh, the summer time is coming”…

Springs moves into summer with alarming pace and we’re ready to welcome our first INTERACT TA researchers of the year (Martha Apple and Alba Gutiérrez-Girón) to the Cairngorms on Tuesday (2 July).  The midges and mosquitoes which have appeared in appalling numbers in the last couple of weeks are particularly delighted to welcome fresh victims!  Luckily the project aims to work higher up the slopes where the usually Cairngorm ‘breeze’ should hopefully protect us enough to concentrate on some good science.

Martha and Alba will work alongside staff from ECN Cairngorm to determine the functional traits of alpine plants within the catchment, as a means of evaluating and predicting the responses of particular plant species to climate change.  This study is a follow on to vegetation mapping completed as part of the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (GLORIA) of which our Cairngorms research site is a part, and will have us all out on the hills surveying for the next couple of weeks.  Normally this would be a delightful prospect, but weather forecasts for the first few days suggest we may all be dreaming about the comforts of our offices!

I will provide an update later in the week to report how we are all fairing (hopefully with a few pictures!).

Finally regarding the title to this blog.  ‘Oh, the summer time is coming’ is the opening line to my favourite folk song called ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’.  This song bounces endlessly round my head at this time of year and plays as a very fitting background tune to the hours spent on the hill.  Well worth looking up if you haven’t heard it before!  I suspect I’ll be humming it non stop to keep the rain at bay this week!

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