After a long journey (walk, tram, train to the airport, flight to Helsinki, overnight in Helsinki, another flight then a bus to Ivalo and a last bus to Kevo), I arrived just before midnight at Kevo research station.
The next day, I found two populations of Pinguicula, one very close to the research station on the shores of the lake and another a short boat ride away. After looking at the leaves to see what insects they had been catching (mostly small flies), I collected a small sample of leaves from some of them. I also took some soil from around each of the plants and then I put out my yellow sticky traps to collect the insects that might be caught by the leaves of the plant. All the samples need to be taken back to the lab at the research station to be dried (this is the easiest way to preserve them) and then I can take all these back to Manchester for analysis. I also did some soil chemistry (to explain it simply), using half the jam jars that I brought with me, to look at the nitrogen isotope values in the soil in more detail.
My clearest first impression is that there’s lots of forest. It was a lovely bus ride through spruce, pine and birch forest slowly grading into the mountain birch forest found further north and driving past innumerable lakes and rivers. It’s also great to be able to walk through the birch forest and see all the mushrooms coming up – many of which are really quite big.
After four days at Kevo, I left Tommi to look after the jam jars and continued on my travels to Oulanka…