Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Denali Tundra

I've been playing hooky, off to my mountain hide-a-way where I am off the grid.  I'll try to finish with the Alaska photos before I return to my hermit life.  It's amazing how long it is taking me to finish a one week trip!
Our scheduled full day at Denali was another gray day.  Since there was no chance of seeing "The Mountain", we elected to go on a Tundra walk.
This is an amazing ecosystem, very different from anything I see in California although it does remind me of bogs I have visited in Maine.  There is a great variety of low growing plants.  We saw a variety of fungi.

There were mosses and lichen which provide sustenance for the caribou in the winter.
The tundra has a springy feel when you walk on it, rather like walking on a mattress.
There is a great variety of berries, these low cranberries were not yet ripe but blueberries were abundant and we picked and ate them as we walked along.
The miniature dogwood I have seen in Washington  but not in California.
This shot may not look like much but I find it quite interesting.  This beaver pond has been drained and you can see a feature that you would not see if it was full of water.   Do you see the pile of sticks at the left side?  enlarge and you can see it better.  I have drawn a yellow line where the beaver had his entrance to the lodge.

You can see more images of our outdoor world at
OutdoorWednesday hosted by Susan at a Southern Daydreamer.


Gaelyn said...

Such a marvelous miniature world. Too bad no mountain that day, but....
The beaver pond is very interesting, not a usual view.
Enjoy your mountain retreat.

Paulie said...

Very interesting! I like how you made lemonade when life gave you lemons, so to speak!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Very interesting about the beaver lodge and very observant on your part.

Diane AZ said...

Hi, I'll bet you had a lot of pictures to sort through from your Alaska trip! All the different colors, shapes and textures from the Tundra walk are delightful. And I enjoyed the peek at the beaver lodge.

clairz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
clairz said...

(Maybe I can spell my words right in this second try!)

It's funny how a single week full of new experiences can expand in time. The very dampness in these photos is so beautiful to these desert eyes. Thank you for that last photo with the explanation--I would never have known what I was looking at.

Anonymous said...

I liked seeing the miniature world beneath your feet. That beaver pond was interesting too. Good catch on your part seeing where the beaver entered the lodge.

Linda said...

Your pictures are all so wonderful. Alaska is a place I would love to visit.

Barb said...

I've been playing hooky, too, Martha - glorious end of summer here so I am hiking as much as I can. Beside your miniature Dogwood is a Twin Pyrolia. I love the cushiony tundra and the growth you found there. Have fun at the cabin - what are your lows at night?

katney said...

Our Mt. Rainier tundra is a dry tundra--very different plants.

I wondered where you had disappeared to, I guess I should have guessed. I am coming to the end of our week in Scotland over the weekend. I started with ABC Wed on August 10.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I love these tiny brave beautiful little plants. Such an unexpected pleasure!

Take all the time you want to finish blogging about that amazing trip. I'm loving every post.

PS : It sounds kind of exotic and romantic to be "off the grid" in your lovely cabin! Isn't it funny the phrases we use casually now that we'd never even heard of just a few years ago?