Denali Part Two

OK, I’m back! Actually, this has been good for me. I’ve been on the fence about switching to a self-hosted blog for a while and may finally be ready to pull the trigger. Flickr might not change their new policy, despite the outcry, and I don’t want to wait around for it.

Anyhoo, here are the rest of my Denali photos….

denali_ranger_web

The ranger station for Denali National Park. A very young ranger got on the bus and gave us a brief talk.

denali_greenery_web

denali_vegetation_web

denali_stream_web

“Tundra” refers to areas where the subsoil is permafrost, or permanently frozen soil.
It’s impossible for trees to grow, because they can’t put down deep roots. So, bare and rocky land can only support low growing plants like moss, heath and lichen.

denali_triad_web

denali_moss_webdenali_swaths_web

denali_crater_web

In the summertime, the permafrost thaws just enough to let plants grow and reproduce, but because the ground below this is frozen, the water can’t sink any lower, and it forms lakes, marshes and rivulets.
It’s so strange to me that an area can have temperate climes in the summer and be pretty much frozen the rest of the year.

denali_fireweed_mtns_web

denali_denali_macro_web

One flower that grows there is fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium). It gets its name from the fact that it’s one of the first plants to show up after a fire. We saw them all over Alaska. Fireweed blooms from the bottom up, and when the last blossoms drop, the first snowfall will be in six weeks. We were in areas where there was only one blossom left and people were bemoaning it. In July.

denali_badlands_web

This shot reminds me of the Badlands, just a little.

denali_peaks_web

denali_brush_web

And the two images above remind me of the Na Pali Coast on Kauai.

denali_gravel_web

I shot this through the bus window. See that gravel on the left? That’s right under the wheels. No guardrails.

denali_dropoff_web

The gray strip on the left is the road we were traveling. I decided to just enjoy the view and trust the experienced driver.

denali_creek_web

denali_creek2_web

denali_river_bank_web

We stopped for photos near this creek. One guy filled his water bottle with creek water! I guess he didn’t realize the wildlife do all kinds of things in it.

denali_fire_weed_web

Last look at Denali.

Now, am I the only one who didn’t know that birch trees are tapped for their syrup just like maples? At our lodge in Denali, we ordered salmon with a “citrus and birch infusion.” I imagined fish with bark or sawdust, but this was a really nice restaurant. Let me tell you, it was awesome. Can’t really describe the flavor of birch syrup–the citrus and fish flavors were dominant. Evidently people drink birch juice in Russia and it has healing properties. Ever heard of birch beer? I thought it was just a name.
Here’s an iPhone shot of the salmon:

salmon_birch_web

Thanks for your patience, everyone. Hoping to straighten out the photo sharing challenge soon.

{carole}

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About pearlsandprose

Photography. With a little life thrown in.
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12 Responses to Denali Part Two

  1. joshi daniel says:

    this is so awesome 🙂

  2. anroworld says:

    Carole, what a beautiful post, I fell in love with these views, they are incredible, your pictures are very professional and made with heart, I feel them!

  3. I really appreciated your description of the permafrost. Now I understand why there are very few trees in this area. Very similar to Iceland in that way.
    Great photos as usual!

  4. How beautiful it is up there at Denali, never been there yet, but your amazing pictures make me wanting to go there. Thank you for sharing

  5. Caroline says:

    Fascinating landscape. I really would love to visit Alaska now.
    Birch juice is used over here. We have this anthroposophical brand (really good!) Weleda and you can buy birch juice – typically drunken in spring as detox – and also added to creams for detox as well. I can’t remember what it tastes like.

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