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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.

anemone parviflora commonly known as the smallflowered anemone or northern anemone
Smallflowered anemone – Anemone parviflora

Anemone parviflora commonly known as the smallflowered anemone, windflower, or northern anemone is a white flowering plant very similar to the narcissus-flowered anemone. It's found in Alaska, throughout Canada, and the northwestern US.

The white flowering common alplily
Common alplily – Gagea serotina

The common alplily, Gagea serotina (formerly Lloydia serotina) and its subspecies, var. serotina is a white-flowering plant with purple veins and grass-like leaves found in alpine and subalpine areas.

Arctic yellow violet – Viola biflora
Arctic yellow violet – Viola biflora

Viola biflora, commonly known as Arctic yellow violet is a small, yellow-flowering plant with purple veins that lives in Alaska, western Canada, and Eurasia.

Ermine Hill Trail to Kesugi Ridge
Ermine Hill Trail to K’esugi Ridge

Ermine Hill trail guide with trail and weather information, trail map, and detailed information on hiking this 7.6-mile out-and-back hike that connects to the K'esugi Ridge.

Wickersham One Week Later
Wickersham One Week Later

Explore the stunning landscape of Wickersham Dome via the Summit Trail in this riveting account of a spring hike in Alaska. Experience the unpredictable weather, witness the season's first wildflowers, and see how rime ice transforms the summit. This journey...

The view from Wickersham Dome in the White Mountain National Recreation Area near Fairbanks, Alaska. Seemingly endless green hills and a bit of the Elliott Highway winding around them.
Wickersham Hike and Early Season Wildflowers

Wildflower and landscape photos from a spring hike on Wickersham Dome in the White Mountain National Recreation Area.

A bumblebee pollinating a female willow catkin in Fairbanks, Alaska
Spring’s Early Bloomers: A Close-Up Look at Willow Catkins in Alaska’s Taiga

Explore the mysterious world of Alaskan willow catkins through the lens of macro photography. Learn about their ecological significance and the joys of springtime wildlife observation. Dive into the unique journey of identifying two potential willow species, Salix alaxensis and...

Little yellow rattle –
Little yellow rattle – Rhinanthus minor

Rhinanthus minor, commonly known as Little Yellow Rattle is a yellow-flowering, hemiparasitic, plant with distribution across various habitats, and its nuanced role in our ecosystems. Common across Alaska and much of northern North America, Europe and Asia, it has potential...

Yellowstone draba – Draba incerta
Yellowstone draba – Draba incerta

Detailed information about Yellowstone draba (Draba incerta), a tufted perennial herb from North America. Learn about its unique features, historical uses, potential toxicity, and its distribution across various habitats. From its role in traditional Native American medicine to its survival...

Tall Jacob’s Ladder – Polemonium caeruleum
Tall Jacob’s Ladder – Polemonium caeruleum

Tall Jacob's ladder, also known as Polemonium caeruleum ssp. villosum, is a blue or violet flowering perennial herb notable for its ladder-like leaf arrangement. It has traditional medicinal uses and thrives in meadows and woodland areas.

Spring is Springing!
Spring is Springing!

A fox kit appears from its den in Fairbanks, Alaska, in late May | Prints The long-awaited return of spring is finally upon us, bringing warmth and renewed life to both the people and animals of Fairbanks, Alaska. After enduring...

Writing an (accurate) wildflower guide is a pain in the …

Some frustrations and insight into my work on writing an online and hopefully soon a printed field guide to Alaska Wildflowers. Sometimes, it's not as simple as it seems on the surface.

Dwarf Fireweed – <em>Chamaenerion latifolium</em>
Dwarf Fireweed – Chamaenerion latifolium

Dwarf fireweed is a pink or purple flowering perennial forb/herb that is closely related to the more familiar common fireweed. It is a widespread arctic-alpine species common in Alaska and Canada.

Aurora Borealis – February 26, 2023
Aurora Borealis – February 26, 2023

Beautiful layers of aurora dancing in the moonlight on February 26, 2023 It's safe to say the Sun has been incredibly active the last few weeks. On February 24 and 25, the Sun spit out two CMEs sequentially straight in...

Valentine’s Day Aurora – 2023
Valentine’s Day Aurora – 2023

Valentine's Day Aurora - February 14, 2023 Great show with lots of photos of the northern lights from Fairbanks, Alaska and information on potential displays over the next few days!

A little winter delight
A little winter delight

I've been out taking lots of photos of our beautiful boreal forests, snow and snowflakes, and the winter light the last few weeks. Recently I wrote about how I had gone through a photography rut last year and what I...

Nelson’s saxifrage – Micranthes nelsoniana - Alaska Wildflower Guide - White Flowers
Nelson’s saxifrage – Micranthes nelsoniana

Nelson's saxifrage (Micranthes nelsoniana), also commonly known as heartleaf saxifrage is a white-flowering plant with long stamens and pink anthers. It's found in Alaska, western Canada, and the Pacific Northwest.

Aurora Borealis – January 14, 2023
Aurora Borealis – January 14, 2023

One of the 250 photos I took of the aurora borealis on the night of January 14, 2023 On the evening of January 14, 2023, between 9:30 and 10:15 pm Alaska time, the aurora borealis put on one of the...

2022 Photo Highlights
2022 Photo Highlights

My 2022 photo highlights from Alaska - wildlife, aurora borealis, snowflakes, wild landscapes, and more!

Breaking The Block – When inspiration isn’t there
Breaking The Block – Things to do when inspiration isn’t there

Everyone involved in creative arts has suffered from "writer's block." These are some methods for breaking the block, including some that have worked for me.

Leaning Trees
Leaning Trees

Leaning trees in Fairbanks, Alaska I've come across a lot of drunken forests in Alaska, but something different is happening this winter. For those that don't know, drunken forests refer to areas of collapsed or collapsing woodlands due to permafrost...

Aurora Borealis – November 28-29, 2022
Aurora Borealis – November 28-29, 2022

Aurora Borealis - November 28-29, 2022 from Fairbanks, Alaska. Photos, stories, and potential up-coming northern lights on my aurora blog.

Chocolate Lily – Fritillaria camschatcensis - Alaska Wildflower Guide
Chocolate Lily – Fritillaria camschatcensis

The Kamchatka fritillary, also commonly known as the chocolate lily (Fritillaria camschatcensis) is a brown flowering plant living mostly in coastal areas in Alaska and northwestern North America and coastal Siberia and Japan.

The pink flowers of the liverleaf wintergreen plant
Liverleaf Wintergreen – Pyrola asarifolia

The liverleaf wintergreen is a 10-20 cm tall plant with a raceme of pink, nodding flowers. It typically lives in forests or alpine meadows in moist soil.