Autumn is fast approaching in Salluit and just as the geese start their long journey south, we are about to board our flight to Québec City, which will be stopping in each of the remote communities that dot the Ungava coastline : Kangiqsujuaq, Quaqtaq, Kangirsuk, Kuujjuaq and Schefferville, for a total journey time of 9 hours.
I arrived in Salluit ten days ago to sample my very last study sites. There I met up with my good friend and former field assistant Clara and just like in good ol’ times we set out exploring the hills, trying to cram a whole year’s worth of news in a day (it actually took two before we could stay silent for longer than five minutes).
We spent a great deal of our time playing hide and seek with the shrubs around Salluit, and at first it seemed the shrubs would defeat us. Looks like they have not yet come to rule the whole tundra after all! After a few days of hopeful searching for Shrub Eden (“Maybe beyond that hill? Or surely that next one?”), fortune smiled upon us and we finally set down to work extracting root collars.
One highlight of our stay was to talk on the Inuit radio to introduce ourselves and our research to the community – and especially to hear it translated to Inuktitut seconds after by the man in charge of the radio!
It is now time to pack up samples and bags and breathe in the cold, crisp air one last time before returning to the hot and busy South. The rest of Team Shrub, I gather, is doing much the same thing on the other side of Canada. The summer has flown by so quickly and I will be returning to Edinburgh full of happy Arctic memories to keep me company during the long hours of sample processing. Thanks for letting me share some of them over the blog this summer.