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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...

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...

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.

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.

Trip Report for July 20, 2023 – Summit Trail to Wickersham Dome
Trip Report for July 20, 2023 – Summit Trail to Wickersham Dome

Quick day hike on the Summit Trail to Wickersham Dome on July 20, 2023. Great trail conditions, relatively dry trail despite recent rain. Info on the hike with photos and a link to the trail guide.

Field locoweed – Oxytropis campestris
Field locoweed – Oxytropis campestris

Field locoweed (Oxytropis campestris) also frequently known as yellow oxytrope, is a white-to-yellow flowering plant frequently growing in gravelly or rocky terrain like in river bars or roadsides. It is a poisonous plant, containing swainsonine, which can cause locoism in...

Hikers resting on the top of a cliff overlooking the Gabriel Icefall on the Gulkana Glacier in the Eastern Alaska Range with some fog in the air.
Trip Report for July 14, 2023 – Gulkana Glacier to Gabriel Icefall

Trip report for a hike to the Gulkana Glacier on July 14, 2023, to the cliffs above the Gabriel Icefall. The snowline was at approximately 5,300 feet, a bit low still for this time of the year in the recent...

A hiker on the Sugarloaf Ridge Trail outside of Denali National Park in Alaska
Sugarloaf Ridge Trail

Sugarloaf Ridge Trail is a very steep, 4.5-mile round-trip hike up Sugarloaf Mountain, beginning at the Grand Denali Lodge outside of Denali National Park. Photos, map, weather, and trail info.

Lost in the Midnight Sun: Misreporting The Aurora and Science (Il)Literacy in Journalism

You may have seen some sensational reporting about the possibility of seeing the aurora in Alaska and other parts of the US last night and tonight. You're probably not going to; here's why.

Looking out a glacier cave under the Canwell Moraine. Blue glowing ice.
Trip Report for July 6, 2023 – Canwell Glacier Caves

July 6, 2023 trip report from a 5-mile hike to the Canwell Glacier caves with families from Team Ascension (Fairbanks youth climbing team). Lots of photos and info from the hike.

Pink flower of the Rosa acicularis ssp. sayi, or prickly rose
Prickly rose
Rosa acicularis

The prickly rose (Rosa acicularis) is a showy, pink flowering plant ubiquitous through much of the northern hemisphere including Alaska. Rose hips are frequently used to make jelly and the plant has numerous other uses.

Trip Report for July 2, 2023 – Gulkana Glacier
Trip Report for July 2, 2023 – Gulkana Glacier

Trip report on trail and route conditions with photos for the Gulkana Glacier to near the Gabriel Icefall on July 2, 2023.

Hoary primrose – Primula incana
Hoary primrose – Primula incana

Commonly known as the hoary primrose, silvery primrose, or mealy primrose, Primula incana is a perennial herb characterized by its small lavender-colored flowers with yellow throat and a powdery coating on the leaves and stems.

Physics of Photography References (Books)

Books references used in my Physics of Photography Series. From beginning photography and introductory physics to much more complex content on the topics.

Physics & Photography Entwined

Unravel the intricate science behind the art of photography in this introductory piece, 'Physics & Photography Entwined.' Discover the basic principles that govern light capture and exposure, setting the stage for a deeper exploration into the fascinating interplay between physics...

The Physics of Photography: An Integrated Approach

The Physics of Photography: An Integrated Approach is an introduction to the series and my philosophy behind it, how physics and photography inform each other.