Denali: day hikes and wildflowers

I guess I’d read one too many you-could-be-mauled-by-a-bear-so-please-don’t-be-stupid signs, which left me considerably anxious about bear encounters while I was out hiking alone in Denali’s vast wilderness, so most of my on-foot adventures were in well-traveled paths (such as Horseshoe Lake, where I saw a beaver dam and one of its water-loving engineers) or along wide, dry river beds (like the Toklat and Teklanika riverbeds, where I could see for a long, long way in all directions and felt much safer than I did hiking in thick brush). What I did not expect to be so fascinated by–in a park that is so vast and that is known for its large wildlife–were the tiny flowers and plants that were everywhere in the forests, taiga and alpine areas. I found myself constantly crouching over colorful tiny gems, from fireweed and eskimo potato to tiny lichen on the forest floor. (For the record, if a bear had wanted to maul me, I was sure making myself an easy target, completely oblivious to big things while I was so obsessed with photographing little ones.)

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One Response to Denali: day hikes and wildflowers

  1. Jathan says:

    I’ve never really thought of Alaska as having such pretty flowers. And yet there they are, popping up and infusing the landscape with life like a technicolor dream. Do you press flowers in the pages of books? Some of those might be nice to keep if you do. I love the little yellow ones. The fact that you got to see a beaver that up-close-and-personal just makes me sick! 🙂 I’ve always loved watching them at the zoo, because you can almost see them thinking as they go about their activities. It’s pretty awesome that you got to see it in its natural habitat.

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