Forum: Geography and Maps

Discussing: Regional climates and stuff

Regional climates and stuff

City girl here, knows nothing about plants or rocks save that they exist. Tolkien gave us many different regional landscapes. I haven't got a clue what's in them half the time, and if oyu told me a hibiscus was growing somewhere, I'd not make any assumptions about what else might be in the area. So I was wondering: does anyone know of a good resource for regional climates? I don't necessarily mean stats on rainfall and stuff, but if you found [flips a coin] shale in a region, what sorts of plants might one expect to find? If one found [flips other coin] mustard grass/bush/weed type thing (city girl, remember?) in an area, what sort of other plants might be around it and what sort of environment might it be? It's a question of getting a basic set of relations in place, and I have a horrid time with plants and stuff. I'm thinking in terms of a little guide that would tell you things like "In this sort of area, you could expect to find XYZ rocks and landscape, and ABC kinds of plants, and DEF sorts of fauna." If it were specific to Tolkien's world's different regions, so much the better. Anyone want to help the city slicker out by providing a good reference to such? Thanks, Dwim

 

 

Re: Regional climates and stuff

Dwim, Research Geek at your service! Here is a wonderful site with description of Biomes including soil type and representative plant life: Biomes Otherwise you may just want to Google the words "Biome" and "Plant life" Iris

 

 

Re: Regional climates and stuff

Dwim, I may be able to dig out a few useful plant sites for you when I have a moment - and when I've stopped laughing hysterically at the fact a founder member of the Cult of Aragorn Adorers is so apparently clueless about the kind of information any good ranger should know. Thanks for brightening my evening Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Regional climates and stuff: more links

More Biomes Yet More Biomes These may be even more helpful....

 

 

Re: Regional climates and stuff

I don't know if this would have the specific, extensive information you would find on a web search, but the Atlas of Middle-earth has pretty good information on each area. Geological and information about the plants. here is a snip. ...The Entwash had one unusual feature, the large inland delta. Such a formation might give the impression that the river was quite muddy, yet an inland delta is not indicative that a river carries large amounts of sediment. Instead, this pattern develops where there is a sudden decrease in slope from the extremely high mountains down ... etc.. and goes on with this kind of detail for 200 pages ... it is a wonderful resource.

 

 

Re: Regional climates and stuff

and when I've stopped laughing hysterically at the fact a founder member of the Cult of Aragorn Adorers is so apparently clueless about the kind of information any good ranger should know If you read one of my fics, notice the careful omission of detailed landscape descriptions... Almost every plant reference that's more extensive than "there's grass" or "trees" or "rock" has some sort of note of groveling gratitude to Forodwaith for her research article, and I have to look up just about every plant to know what it looks like. This is a good example of what you can get away with if you know your weakness. Thanks, Iris! I'll check those. And the Atlas. Must really get copy of the Atlas...

 

 

Re: Regional climates and stuff

Hi Dwim If you read one of my fics, notice the careful omission of detailed landscape descriptions... Aha, I think I've only read fics of yours in which the landscape and flora don't play a significant role - although now I realise why that was the case! To add to the excellent biome sites Blue Iris listed, I've tried to gather some sites which will give you good descriptions and pictures of particular plants if you need them. There are quite a few good links in the resources section - but these tend to rely on you already knowing the name of the plant you're looking for! One which will given you a handle on the kind of medicinal plants a ranger might need to find and use: A modern herbal at Botanical.com. British Trees British Wildflowers. This is slightly more useful if you use the "identify a plant" feature and select an option for "What habitat does the plant grow in?" and also another defining factor such as "What month does the plant flower in?" (you can choose a different month to the one when your story is set if you don't want it to be flowering) or "What colour is the flower?" to narrow the search enough to return a list of plants. My impression from the books is that Arnor almost certainly has a British/North European climate (similar to the Pacific North West, I think) so British plant sites are probably your best bet. Gondor seems more mediterranean. (There's a great list of plants in Ithilien, by the way, in "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit" in Book IV. If I can recall whether Sam the gardener goes on about plants anywhere in the other books, I'll let you know!) Here are a couple of other sites I dug out when I was researching "What grows in shade" for one of my beta group. A slightly odd but useful site with some very nice plant descriptions is Paghat's garden. I also found this UK garden nursery site Anglian Gardener has pages listing plants for particular conditions eg shady or dry. There's a US version which has similar lists that may be useful as well. Hope that helps. Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Regional climates and stuff

Dwim - a further refinement that occurred to me is that you may need to be aware of what the underlying geology is (I have no idea if the Atlas of Middle Earth has any information on that - or if Tolkien considered it at all!) since some plants hate certain types of soil. For instance, if your characters are wandering about on a landscape with chalk or limestone outcrops, they're not going encounter things that prefer peaty or sandy soils, such as heathers or rhodedenrons. Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Regional climates and stuff

Liz: Yes the Atlas does in fact have information on possible geological conditions for most areas, the most detailed of which are for the Third Age. Mrs Fonstad almost always uses the Primary word as a comparison, so you can usually look up detailed info based on this example. Hope this helps ;) Dwim: *surpresses a giggle at the irony* Well, I am as much of a city girl as you are, but my mum insists I learn the basics of botany, so I can sympathize with you. You should really get the Atlas, though, it is a wonderful resource in so many ways. As long as you do not have it, however, I humbly offer my services in exchange for your´feeding of my Aragorn addiction. (And Halbarad. Let us not forget him!) What do you need? Maka

 

 

Re: Regional climates and stuff

Yes the Atlas does in fact have information on possible geological conditions for most areas, the most detailed of which are for the Third Age. Mrs Fonstad almost always uses the Primary word as a comparison, so you can usually look up detailed info based on this example. Hope this helps ;) Thanks for confirming that Maka - I thought it unlikely that Tolkien produced a nice geological survey map for M-e but reckoned it would be possible for someone to analyse the landscape descriptions and work out what the geology was likely to be. Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Regional climates and stuff

Liz, thanks again for the refs. That's the sort of thing I'd like to know (although of course rhendodecadhedrons (whatever) would also be something to look up, since the word brings nothing to mind other than Greek). You must understand, my family can kill cacti, which are supposed to be virtually indesctructable. We are the anti-"Home and Gardens" people. Makamu said: As long as you do not have it, however, I humbly offer my services in exchange for your´feeding of my Aragorn addiction. (And Halbarad. Let us not forget him!) What do you need? At the moment, nothing specific. It's just one of those things that I've gotten tired of doing piecemeal. However, should you be offering... if you can work Faramir, Bergil, and the new and strange (to Bergil) land of Ithilien (see the connection to thread! Set me a good example!) into a drabble, I'll work on feeding the Aragorn addiction some more... Wow. That must be a new and shameless low for me: hijacking a thread not just to bribe someone to write, not just to foist a nuzgûl off on someone, but to foist my own birthdy nuzgûl off on someone, is pretty... fun. Seriously, though, I will send you a little note should I find myself in need of landscape help. At the moment, S&S is stalled where it usually stalls: at a dinner table conversation. Dwim

 

 

Re: Regional climates and stuff

*eyes highlight on "Faramir", "Bergil" and Ithilien* I am hooked and I have noted the bite. Would a proper scene do it also, say 150-300 words ? I cannot write drabbles, my muse is too much of a babbler for that Goes off, muttering:" The Rohirrim were right about Dwimordene, they were!" Maka

 

 

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