Spring in the Karakoram

Published April 20, 2011

With the advent of the higher temperatures of spring, vegetation in the valleys and meadows of the Karakoram comes to life in a frenzy of colour. Because of the distinct temperature regimes that exist due to differing altitudes, this phenomenon continues for several months with the wild flowers in the higher ablation valleys being the last to flourish en mass.

The photographs you see here are taken at and around the villages of Shayar, Askurdas and Sumayar in Nagar at altitudes ranging from 2,000 to 2,300 metres. Askurdas, translated from the Burushaski, means "plain of flowers". The white blossoms are cultivars of apricot and pear while the pinks are two distinct cultivars of cherry.

The profusion of blossoms indicates a vast quantity of fruit to the extent that livestock too feed on the produce. However, due to the lack of infrastructure it rots rather than provide an alternate avenue of resources generation.

Batholith Saltoro is a miner grateful for the opportunity to lay waste to beautiful regions of this very Earth and to pollute pristine watersheds.

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