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Calypso bulbosa fairy slipper
Calypso bulbosa
fairy slipper

Calypso bulbosa is a very showy pink or magenta orchid that grows in mossy forest or open areas in Alaska. It's "slipper" is often bearded with dark purple spots or streaks.

The view from the ridge just south of Wickersham Dome. Rain can be seen falling in the valley over the winding Elliott Highway far below while the hillside is showing signs of green-up. Bright sunlight filters in through the dark clouds, illuminating some of the surrounding landscape.
Some photos from home and from Wickersham Dome

Yesterday was a fantastic day of hiking and photography in Alaska. I updated a wildflower guide, captured a black-capped chickadee collecting nest material, and hiked Wickersham Dome, unexpectedly meeting an old friend.

Small Things, Spring Things, and Broken Things
Small Things, Spring Things, and Broken Things

Appreciating small things through macro photography with lots of images from spring in Fairbanks, Alaska, and some comparison from DSLR and smartphone photos.

Spring Bouldering and Other Climbing Stuff

I climb a thing while my spotters laugh at me, and Cat takes a picture Last weekend, I enjoyed some quality time climbing and bouldering with friends at Tr'at'egheth No' (Lower Tanana for 'From Cottonwood Creek,' commonly known as the...

Website and Newsletter Updates

I have some exciting news to share regarding my newsletter and paid content. After careful consideration, I’ve decided to transition away from platforms like Substack, Ko-fi, and Patreon. Here’s what this means and how it will benefit you: What’s Changing?...

The single flowering head of antennaria monocephala, commonly known as "pygmy pussytoes."
Antennaria monocephala
pygmy pussytoes

Antennaria monocephala, known as pygmy pussytoes, is a small perennial notable for its solitary, radially symmetric, white flower heads. It thrives in northern North America and eastern Siberia.

Close-up of the tiny flowers of Hornemann's willowerb, latin name Epilobium hornemannii
Epilobium hornemannii
Hornemann’s willowherb

Epilobium hornemannii, known as Hornemann's willowherb, is a perennial herb from the Onagraceae family, found in North America and parts of Eurasia. It produces pink or sometimes white flowers and disperses seeds by wind.

The inflorescence and leaves in whorls of 4 of Galium boreale, or northern bedstraw.
Galium boreale
Northern bedstraw

Alaska Wildflowers | White Common Names gaillet boréalboreal bedstrawnorthern bedstraw Synonyms Galium boreale var. borealeGalium boreale var. hyssopifioliumGalium boreale var. intermediumGalium boreale var. linearifoliumGalium boreale var. scabrumGalium septentrionaleGalium strictum Subspecies none Genus: GaliumFamily: RubiaceaeOrder: Gentianalestaxonomic heirarchy Duration - Growth Habit...

Willow Macros – Getting Closer
Willow Macros – Getting Closer

A male willow catkins with red anthers on white filaments, starting to open to reveal pollen | Prints and Wall Art Last May, I devoted considerable time to photographing the willow catkins blooming along our road in Fairbanks, Alaska. As...

Open blossom of Spergularia rubra, commonly known as purple sandspurry
Spergularia rubra
purple sandspurry

Alaska Wildflowers | White Introduced species in North America Common Names spergulaire rougered sand-spurreyred sandspurrypurple sand-spurreypurple sandspurryruby sand-spurrey Synonyms Arenaria rubraSpergularia rubra var. perennansTissa rubra Subspecies none Genus: SpergulariaFamily: CaryophyllaceaeOrder: Caryophyllalestaxonomic heirarchy Duration - Growth Habit Annual or short-lived perennial...

A terminal cluster of blossoms of Silene repens, commonly known as pink campion.
Silene repens
Pink campion

Silene repens, known as pink campion, is a perennial forb/herb with creeping stems and erect flowering shoots. It features linear leaves and a cyme of bisexual flowers, typically white but may appear pink. Distributed across northwestern North America and northern...

Terminal spikes and pinnate leaflets of Sitka burnet (Sanguisorba stipulata)
Sanguisorba stipulata
Sitka burnet

Alaska Wildflowers | White Common Names Canadian burnet* (See note in ID and Info section below)Sitka burnet Synonyms Sanguisorba sitchensisSanguisorba canadensis ssp. latifoliaSanguisorba canadensis var. latifoliaSanguisorba canadensis var. sitchensis Subspecies none Genus: SanguisorbaFamily: RosaceaeOrder: Rosalestaxonomic heirarchy Duration - Growth Habit...

More Wildflowers and Online Guide Updates
More Wildflowers and Online Guide Updates

As spring approaches, I'm focusing on enhancing my Alaska Wildflower Guide with updates and new articles. This post details my upcoming plans to refine guide articles for better identification and user experience, including adopting a consistent format across all entries....

Red inflorescence spike (red fruit and black seeds) and leaves of Blitum capitatum, commonly known as strawberry-blite. (Synonym: Chenopodium capitatum)
Blitum capitatum

Blitum capitatum, common names include strawberry-blite and Indian paint, is an annual herb with a stout taproot and arrowhead-shaped leaves. It displays dense spike-like clusters of flowers, which lack petals. Variously used by indigenous peoples for food, medicine, and dyes,...

Persisting flowers late in the season and mature follicles of Red-stemmed saxifrage (Micranthes lyallii)
Micranthes lyallii
Redstem saxifrage

Micranthes lyallii, also known as red-stemmed saxifrage, is a perennial herb found in northwestern North America. It features basal leaves with red margins, flowers with reflexed sepals and white petals marked with yellow spots, and red follicle fruit. Though it’s...

The yellow-flowering heads of rocky mountain goldenrod (Solidago multiradiata)
Rocky Mountain goldenrod
Solidago multiradiata

Rocky Mountain goldenrod, Solidago multiradiata is a resilient perennial herb that thrives in Alaska and Western North America. Its vivid yellow flowering heads arranged in dome-shaped arrays and versatile uses from tonics to herbal remedies, its found from rocky soils...

Side view of Bupleurum americanum, commonly known as American thorow wax with numerous umbelleles of small yellow flowers and grasslike leaves
American thorow wax
Bupleurum americanum

Bupleurum americanum, commonly known as American thorow wax is a plant numerous umbelleles of small yellow flowers and grasslike leaves, frequently living in mountainous environments.

An open flower, bud, stem, and leaves of Moehringia lateriflora, commonly known as bluntleaf sandwort or grove sandwort.
Grove sandwort – Moehringia lateriflora

Moehringia lateriflora, commonly known as bluntleaf sandwort or grove sandwort is a small, white-flowering perennial herb that lives in open forests or meadows, spreading from a thin rhizome.

The white corymbiform flowers of Spiraea stevenii, commonly known as Beauverd spirea or Alaska spirea.
Beauverd spirea – Spiraea stevenii

Spiraea stevenii, commonly known as Beauverd spirea or Alaska spirea, is a small shrub featuring inflorescences of numerous white flowers. Its leaves have traditionally been used to make tea.

March 24, 2024 – Keeping a Watchful Eye on the Aurora

The next couple of nights might be good times to watch the sky. On March 23, a strong X1.1 flare from 2 sunspots released an associated coronal mass ejection (CME) directed toward Earth. As of 1437 UTC (6:37 am Alaska...

The nodding yellow flowers of Arnica lessingii, commonly known as nodding arnica or Lessing's arnica.
Nodding arnica – Arnica lessingii

Nodding arnica (Arnica lessingii) thrives in Alaska's moist habitats, notable for its yellow, nodding flower heads from June to September. This perennial herb is widespread in Alaska, the Yukon, and British Columbia, favoring streambanks and alpine meadows.

Common cowparsnip (Heracleum maximum)
Common cowparsnip (Heracleum maximum)

Heracleum maximum is a towering perennial herb with large leaves and white flower clusters and numerous traditional uses. It's prevalent in most of North America's open and wet environments.

The flowers and leaves of Arctic alpine fleabane (Erigeron humilis) in the Alaska Range
Arctic alpine fleabane – Erigeron humilis

Arctic alpine fleabane, Erigeron humilis, is a perennial herb with a solitary white to purplish inflorescence atop hairy stems, thriving in Canada, Alaska, and select alpine regions. It favors arctic and alpine tundras, alongside moist meadows and water bodies.

Dwarf alpine hawksbeard – Crepis nana
Dwarf alpine hawksbeard – Crepis nana

Crepis nana, the dwarf alpine hawksbeard, is a perennial herb found in Western North America, including Alaska, Northern Canada, Siberia, and parts of China. This small, low-growing plant blooms bright yellow flowers close to its leaf rosette, adapting to maintain...

Back to Ice Alaska
Back to Ice Alaska

A bit of info on the 2024 Ice Alaska and World Ice Art Championship in Fairbanks, Alaska. This post provides insights into the event's venue changes over the years and my experiences at the new location, which includes challenges with...

The blue flowers of pale gentian (Gentiana glauca) in the White Mountain National Recreation Area, Alaska.
Pale gentian (Gentiana glauca)

Pale gentian (Gentiana glauca), sometimes known as glaucus gentian, is a small blue flower growing from a short rhizome and erect stem. It typically lives in moist soils and in alpine environments.

The flower of yellow marsh saxifrage (Saxifraga hirculus) with 5 yellow petals and orange proximal spots.
Yellow Marsh Saxifrage – Saxifraga hirculus

Yellow marsh saxifrage (Saxifraga hirculus) is a yellow flowering perennial forb/herb that lives in wet soils in arctic-alpine habitats. It's often identified by the numerous orange spots proximally located on the petals.

2023 Photo Highlights
2023 Photo Highlights

Explore the stunning '2023 Photo Highlights' from Alaska's captivating landscapes. This blog post presents a curated selection of breathtaking photography, offering glimpses into the diverse and awe-inspiring natural world of Alaska. From the vibrant auroras dancing in the night skies...

Roundleaf sundew – Drosera rotundifolia
Roundleaf sundew – Drosera rotundifolia

Drosera rotundifolia, or roundleaf sundew, is a carnivorous perennial herb. Often found in cooler climates across Alaska, Canada, Europe, and Asia, it thrives in sphagnum swamps and bogs. Learn more about its traditional and potential modern medicinal uses.

white flowers and large calyx tubes of the bladder campion (silene latifolia)
Bladder campion – Silene latifolia (invasive)

Silene latifolia, or Bladder Campion - a white-flowering herbaceous plant native to Europe and now widespread in North America. More about identifiaction, distribution and habitat, and scientific classification.

Frosty Fairbanks
Frosty Fairbanks

Explore frost and ice crystals captured through macro photography in Fairbanks, Alaska. This post discusses the conditions leading to unique frost formations and details my photographic process using a Nikon D850 with a Laowa 25 mm f/2.8 Ultra Macro lens....

The yellow-petaled flowers of the snow buttercup (Ranunculus nivalis) in Denali National Park in Alaska.
Snow Buttercup – Ranunculus nivalis

Ranunculus nivalis, known as the Snow Buttercup, flourishes in cold, alpine regions from Canada to Siberia. Its vibrant yellow petals brighten scree slopes and snowbed edges.

Drummond’s mountain avens – Dryas drummondii
Drummond’s mountain avens – Dryas drummondii

Drummond's Mountain Avens, or Dryas drummondii, is a small yellow-flowering shrub and herb that grows from a wooden base. It is a pioneer species often found in areas recently exposed from glacial retreat, playing a crucial role in early ecological...

Gakona Glacier – Hike Info and August 2023 Trip Report

Trip report from my 3-day backpacking trip to the Gakona Glacier in the Alaska Range. Lots of photos, including some historical, a bit of route information, and a very interesting glacial feature.

Trip Report for July 23, 2023 – Angel Rocks Plus Some
Trip Report for July 23, 2023 – Angel Rocks Plus Some

A hot day hike on the Angel Rocks loop trail and out-and back along part of the Angel Rocks to Chena Hot Springs Trail. An evening thunderstorm cut the trip a little short.

Trip Report for July 21, 2023 – Table Top Mountain Trail
Trip Report for July 21, 2023 – Table Top Mountain Trail

Trip report from the Table Top Mountain Trail day hike on July 21, 2023 in the White Mountain National Recreation Area, Alaska. Lots of photos, trail conditions, flora, and links to my hiking guide and maps.