Photo Friday: A Visit to Sajama, Bolivia

This Photo Friday, journey to Sajama, Bolivia, through photos taken by Karina Yager, a professor at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University, on her recent trip to the country.

Joining two Bolivian scientists, Rosa Isela Meneses and Humber Alberto, from the Bolivian National Herbarium and the Natural History Museum, the trio conducted a field survey at Sajama National Park, monitoring vegetation change in bofedales (high Andean peatlands). In Sajama, glacier retreat, climate change and local changes in land use and livelihoods are impacting the bofedales, which are key to sustaining pastoralism in the region. Indigenous Aymara herders, who have a centuries-long tradition of raising llamas and alpacas in the region, maintain and extend these peatlands through the careful construction of irrigation canals. In addition to supporting domesticated animals and local livelihoods, the bofedales also help regulate water resources for mountain biodiversity, including vicunas and many Andean birds.

Yager expresses her gratitude to NASA ROSES LCLUC for financial support for the project, to her Bolivian colleagues and local residents, and to Apu Tatay Sajama, who all contributed to the success of the trip.


Mount Sajama, wetlands and waterfall (Source: Karina Yager).


Llama, with Aymara herders in the background, Mount Sajama (Source: Karina Yager).


Polylepis tree on slopes of Mount Sajama (Source: Karina Yager).


Ice on stems of native grasses, Mount Sajama (Source: Karina Yager).


Sunset at Sajama, Bolivia (Source: Karina Yager).


Quinoa growing at Patacamaya (Source: Karina Yager).

Photo Friday: Soups of the Mountains

The month of January is designated National Soup Month in the United States. Here at GlacierHub we are celebrating the occasion with a soup-themed Photo Friday!

Soups are a very common part of the diets of mountain dwellers across the world. In the Peruvian Andes, for example, soup is a main dish for many meals with an estimated 2,000 varieties across the country, with ingredients ranging from potato to quinoa. Thukpa, a Tibetan word for a noodle soup, is a staple of Himalayan cuisine, with yak or mutton often mixed in. The European Alps have a rich soup tradition as well. During the winter months, a common expression is “jetzt isch wieder Suppeziit,” meaning “It’s soup time again.” Famous soups of the Alps include Bündner Gerstensuppe, a barley-based soup with vegetables and dried meat which originated in eastern Switzerland, and Basler Mehlsuppe, which translates to flour soup and is commonly eaten in the Swiss cityof Basel during Basler Fasnacht, the city’s carnival, which marks the start of Lent.

Many of these soup recipes can be found online, allowing you to celebrate national soup month with the tastes of the mountains. Here’s one from Ecuador that will warm you up and please you with its flavors.

Photo of women preparing a potato soup in Ecuador.
Women in Ecuador preparing a potato soup (Source: scottgunn/Creative Commons).


Photo of a quinoa soup in Peru.
A quinoa soup in Peru (Source: Jenny Villone/Creative Commons).


Photo of Tibetan Thukpa noodle soup
Thukpa, a Tibetan Noodle Soup (Source: neosprassus/Creative Commons).


Photo of a bowl of Bündner Gerstensuppe
Bündner Gerstensuppe (Source: Daniel Gasienica/Creative Commons).


Photo of a bowl of Basler Mehlsuppe
Basler Mehlsuppe (Source: Klaus Schoenwandt/Creative Commons).