The last snow is melting – the swift northern summer will warm the Norilsk residents soon. And even if it is not the hottest one, the revived nature will still lure us to the tundra for the fruit-rich berries that ripen in the middle of summer and closer to autumn even in harsh climates. The Environmental Education Department of the Taimyr Reserves Directory told where it is better to harvest the crop and which places should be avoided.
21 species of berry plants are found in Taimyr. Amber-yellow cloudberries ripen earlier than others: in late July – early August. Other berries appear later: lingonberry, blueberry, huckleberry, crowberry, red currant. But carried away by “hunting”, do not forget that the berry plants of the North are an important component of the plant communities of our fragile ecosystem.
Experts remind: being in the Taimyr nature reserves and protected areas, we only admire the berries! These sites should keep intact the unique biocenoses of the territory (community of living organisms), the quantitative indicator of which is biological diversity (the total number of species in it).
You are free to harvest in other territories, but stay away from the industrial zone. According to scientists, many plants accumulate harmful substances.
Reindeer moss, a bushy lichen of the cladonia alpine, resembling a miniature bush or lace, will help in choosing the cleanest lands. This sensitive indicator signals a clean environment. So the best place for a berry “hunt” is where there is a lot of this moss. And do not forget the main commandment of any guest of the tundra: “Do no harm”.
For several years, the Norilsk Northern Berry Festival has been dedicated to the sweet and healthy gifts of the tundra. Its final event is the Berry Season photo contest.
Text: Maria Vinnichenko, Photo: Dmitry Pavlov, Sergey Vagaev