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Meeting February 20 2014

Cliff Booker "Alpines of the Dolomites"
The Chairman, Frank Hoyle, welcomed Cliff Booker to present the February lecture to the North Lancashire Group. Cliff has been an alpine enthusiast for over 30 years as a grower and exhibitor. In recent years he has become a tour leader guiding groups in the Italian Dolomites.

Usually based in the mountain village of Covara, a good base with its cable cars and chair lifts to allow walkers and flower lovers easy access to the best areas of these magnificent limestone mountains.

The lecture was entitled ‘The Definitive Dolomites’ and presented digitally.  Over the years, Cliff has visited from late May through to the end of July and was able to illustrate the talk with excellent images of the flora growing in coniferous and deciduous woodland for the sub-alpine to the high mountain meadows for true alpines.

It is often best to start at a higher altitude and walk down well marked paths and eventually arrive in the valley meadows which have an abundance of alpines including Primulas, Lilies, Orchids, Gentians and Ranunculus species. Cliff also showed stunning photographs of butterflies and moths that serve as pollinators for the flowers. The diversity of the Dolomitic limestone together with climate gives the walker and flower enthusiast an endless list of flowers to be admired and photographed. Anyone contemplating a holiday in the area should see most of the flora in mid July, depending on whether the mountains have had a harsh and cold winter when plant growth can be delayed.

The vote of thanks for a superb evening was proposed by Frank Hoyle.

JF and Syd Cumbus
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