I am norwegian doctor who worked as expedition doc on the Antarctic research station Troll for the summer season 2007-2008. NB: This blog is intended as a personal and ecological account from The Ice Planet - fully independent of the Norwegian Polar Institute, their official web page being: npweb.npolar.no
25 Feb 2008
A nice but completely miteless walk
Heading up the sunny slope of Grjotlia, feeling very optimistic about finding some neat terrestrial invertebrate lifeforms to sample.
I know from earlier walks that this particular slope has a rich lichen vegetation, amongst them the black kind that the mites supposedly like best. It's also a sunny day - warm mites move quicker and should be easier to spot.
Apparently not my lucky day: no movement what so ever - in, under, or anywhere within 2 meters of the lichen.
The dominant lichen on this hill is the orange crustose type. It seems to prefer cracks on top of big, flat boulders. Absolutely no sign of mites, though. Getting slightly frustrated now.
This snow petrel chick cheers me up, and I start digging around the guano and algae piling up underneath the nest, but to no avail- absolutely nothing that even resembles a small creep.
One of many empty-handed returns to the snowmobile.