Sunday was our day off. We had an excellent walk up one of the nearby mountain tops, Grjotfjellet - giving us a view both inland towards the gradualy rising polar plateau, and northward towards the sea ice shelf. The air is exceptionally dry, we're in a polar desert here, so the view was magnificent!
Significant discoveries on the way up:
1)Three different types of lichen. (2 in picture) Lichen are symbiotic lifeforms, a fungus cooperating with single-celled plant cells (green algae). The algae contributes with photosynteshis, and the fungus provides sustenance and nutrients to the algae, drawn directly from the rock. The lichen seem to enjoy small hollows and areas where the sun melts the ice during the hottest part of the day.
2)Another snow petrel colony, nests scattered throughout the moraine-covered hillside.
Significant discoveries on the way down:
Two freshly killed snow petrels, and a guilty-looking south polar skua further out on the blue ice.