Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rough weather and a Twinflower - Lake Winnipeg, August 1827

Wednesday 15th, August, 1827

Weather same throughout the night; still unable to proceed. Found and laid in specimens of Linnaea borealis (in fruit). This is the first time I have ever seen this plant in this state.

Linnaea borealis (aka Twinflower)
General - a creeping broadleaf evergreen shrublet, up to 10 cm tall; stems creeping or trailing, with numerous short aerial stems rising from the stolon.
Flowers - pink, with 5 petals, bell-like in pairs; very fragrant, on Y-shaped stalks. Blooms June through September over most of its range; flowers last about 7 days.
Fruit - small, dry, one-seeded capsule, maturing approximately 36 days after flowering; appearing in August and September.
Common throughout NW Ontario's boreal forests; in open shade, dry or moist sites, often associated with moss-covered surfaces
Used by Native North Americans to brew medicinal tea.

Employed all the forepart of the day drying papers and shifting plants; no place that I can walk, being all swamp.

More moderate at noon; started and gained seven miles at three, when the wind sprang up from the same quarter, which obliged us to put to shore on a sandy beach exposed to the weather. Afternoon & evening the same.

Thursday 16th

Weather stormy until eleven a.m. when the boat was launched and pulled off. Called at Banning’s River where we made a stay of a few minutes. Learned that the other boat from Red River had passed the preceding night.

On leaving this place at four p.m. a favourable breeze sprang up and, being anxious to lose no time, did not put ashore to sup but went on along the shore under easy sail until daylight.

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