Ian McLaren: Finding and photographing flowering plants in Nunavut, 1951-1964

Ian gave this presentation to the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society on November 26, 2007. He kindly agreed to our posting his wild flower photographs on the Society's web site. - David Patriquin

"In the summer of 1951, through a series of lucky circumstances, I found myself aboard the motor-ketch "Calanus" exploring the marine biota of Ungava and Frobisher Bay - my first of 12 wonderful seasons in that marvelous part of Canada. Although I was mostly a committed birder, Lewis McIver Terrill, well-known Montreal naturalist, had urged me to collect a representative series of flowering plants for his private collection, which I did. Subsequently I collected some for the McGill University and national herbaria, but did not really become "hooked" until I spent four months with my wife Bernice at a remote campsite on Frobisher Bay. Bernice paid much more attention to the local plants, and collected many more. That year, Erling Porsild published the first edition of his Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and this abetted my primary leisure-time obsession during subsequent arctic seasons from James Bay to Ellesmere Island collecting plants and photographing many striking and some more obscure ones."

Ogac Lake, Baffin Island

Ogac Lake

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Photos by Ian McLaren

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Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society (nswildflora.ca)