All Posts

Arctic Lightning Air Show
Arctic Lightning Air Show

The Blue Angels performing over Eielson Air Force Base near North Pole, Alaska | Purchase Print This weekend, the Arctic Lightning Air Show at Eielson Air Force Base is going on. Cat and I spent the day there on Friday...

Snow cinquefoil flowering in the Alaska interior
Snow Cinquefoil – Potentilla nivea

Snow cinquefoil is a yellow-flowering plant that grows in rocky soils. It has deeply toothed leaves ternately divided (three leaflets) and 5 yellow petals.

Ice towers on the Gabriel Icefall
Exploring the Gabriel Icefall – Round 2 (Good Weather)

Lots of photos of the Gabriel Icefall and Gulkana Glacier. I made a second trip to the area after getting caught in a snowstorm the week before. Had much better weather this time around!

Purple bittercress – Cardamine purpurea
Purple bittercress – Cardamine purpurea

Purple bittercress (or purple cress) is a small perennial herb with densely packed, 4-petaled purple flowers, mostly found in Alaska and the Yukon Territory.

Exploring the Gabriel Icefall on the Gulkana Glacier
Exploring the Gabriel Icefall

Photos and story from a rainy and snowy summer day spent hiking and exploring the Gabriel Icefall on the Gulkana Glacier in the Eastern Alaska Range.

Oeder’s Lousewort – Pedicularis oederi
Oeder’s Lousewort – Pedicularis oederi

Oeder's lousewort (Pedicularis oederi) is a yellow-flowering plant, often with a crimson-tipped hood on the top petal. It grows in taiga and open meadows.

Fewflower fumewort – Corydalis pauciflora
Fewflower fumewort – Corydalis pauciflora

The fewflower fumewort is a blue or purple flowering plant with a cluster of showy, tubular flowers. It's found across Asia, Alaska, and northwestern Canada.

Alaska boykinia flower in the Alaska Range
Alaska boykinia – Boykinia richardsonii

Alaska boykinia (Boykinia richardsonii), also known as Richardson's brookfoam is a showy, white flowering plant with large basal leaves, often found in wet soils.

Getting My Legs Back – Day Hike on the Canwell Glacier
Getting My Legs Back – Day Hike on the Canwell Glacier

After nearly 1.5 years of dealing with a plethora of health problems, I set out on a 15-mile hike up the Canwell Glacier in the Alaska Range. Photos and story . . .

Alpine forget-me-not – Myosotis asiatica
Alpine forget-me-not – Myosotis asiatica

The alpine forget-me-not is a tiny, true-blue flowering plant found in alpine environments. It has five fused petals with a bulging yellow center.

view from Mastodon Dome
Mastodon Dome Hike

The approximately 12-mile round-trip Mastodon Dome hike in the White Mountains of Alaska is located on the south side of the Steese Highway at the Eagle Summit Wayside.

Elegant Indian paintbrush – Castilleja elegans
Elegant Indian paintbrush – Castilleja elegans

Elegant Indian paintbrush (Castilleja elegans) is a whorled, often pink flowering plant that can be found in Alaska and parts of Canada.

Little weaselsnout flower in Alaska
Little weaselsnout – Lagotis glauca

Little weaselsnout is a purple-flowering perennial herb that grows from a rhizome. The inflorescence is a terminal spike with purple or dark purple flowers with upper and lower lips.

sweetflower rockjasmine flowers in Denali National Park
Sweetflower rockjasmine – Androsace chamaejasme

Lehmann's rockjasmine, more commonly known as sweetflower rockjasmine, is a small, white or pink flowering plant with fused petals and a white ring around the center.

The view to the east from Mt. Margaret in Denali National Park
Savage River to Mt. Margaret loop

Photos and description of a hike in Denali National Park from the Savage River, over Mt. Margaret and back down to the Park Road at the Primrose rest area.

the cuckoo flower
Cuckoo flower – Cardamine nymanii

The cuckoo flower is a pink flowering plant, often found in wet soils near ponds or streams.

View up the the Nome Creek Valley in the White Mountain National Recreation Area, Alaska
Walk up Nome Creek

Late afternoon hike/walk up the Nome Creek trail in the White Mountain National Recreation Area. Great scenery and tons of June wildflowers!

Largeleaf Avens – Geum macrophyllum var. perincisum
Largeleaf Avens – Geum macrophyllum var. perincisum

The largeleaf avens (Geum macrophyllum var. perincisum) is a yellow-flowering plant that can grow to be about 0.75 meters (2.5 feet) tall.

Fairbanks Birding Spring 2021
Fairbanks Birding Spring 2021

Fairbanks Birding Spring 2021 - Every year in April, we welcome our winged friends back to the Alaska interior. After our long, cold, dark winters, they are a sure sign that change is here.

2022 Wall Calendar

2022 Wall Calendar by Lee Petersen. Alaska natural scenery including aurora borealis, glaciers, landscapes, and wildlife!

Flowering yellow thimbleweed
Yellow Thimbleweed – Anemone richardsonii

Yellow thimbleweed, also known as yellow anemone is a yellow flowering plant that grows from horizontal rhizomes. The plant is poisonous and should not be ingested.

dwarf marsh violet flower
Dwarf marsh violet – Viola epipsila

The dwarf marsh violet is a small, purple flowering, hermaphroditic plant that grows to be about 10 cm (4 inches) in height.

Looking across the Black Rapids Glacier
Black Rapids Glacier

The Black Rapids Glacier is a 40 km long surge-type glacier in the Eastern Alaska Range.

arctic blackberry, also known as arctic rasberry or nagoonberry
Arctic Blackberry – Rubus arcticus

Arctic blackberry, commonly called nagoonberry or arctic rasberry produces an edible fruit that can be eaten raw or cooked. It's flower has pink petals and narrow sepals.

Cloudberry flowers in Alaska
Cloudberry – Rubus chameamorus

The fruit from the cloudberry plant has numerous uses as a food. It has a circumboreal distribution across Canada, Alaska, and Eurasia. Each white flower arises from a single stem.

Review: Nikon D780

Review: Nikon D780 - The Nikon D780 is perhaps the best DSLR I have ever shot with. Its low-light capability is phenomenal for a camera in this class. The autofocus is accurate and incredibly fast. After shooting with it for...

Try it – Don’t just buy it
Try it – Don’t just buy it

Photography equipment is expensive. In case you didn't know. Like, really expensive. I don't personally own top-of-the-line gear, at least not much. When I do buy good gear, it's almost never new.

April 25, 2021 – Aurora Borealis
April 25, 2021 – Aurora Borealis

On April 25, 2021 I hiked out to watch the northern lights from Angel Rocks. It turned out to be one of the best displays I've seen in ten years!

Grass of Parnassus – Parnassia palustris
Grass of Parnassus – Parnassia palustris

Grass of Parnassus is a white-flowering, single stem plant often growing in marshy or boggy areas (often called bog star). It has 5 white petals and a long stem.

Aurora borealis in the twilight. April 22, 2021 - Fairbanks, Alaska
April 22, 2021 – Aurora Borealis

Midnight view through the forest on April 22, 2021 There are only two more days before the darkest it gets in Fairbanks is nautical twilight, when only the brightest stars are visible and the Sun dips no more the 12...

April 18, 2021 - Aurora Borealis over Fairbanks, Alaska
April 17-18, 2021 – Aurora Borealis

Last night may have been the best aurora displays I've seen in years. And it was persistent. When I first walked out there was a bright band in the southern sky. About 10 minutes later the sky erupted in low-altitude...

April 16-17 – Aurora Borealis
April 16-17 – Aurora Borealis

April 16, 2021. In Fairbanks, we have to say goodbye to the aurora in April. We’ve already begun the time when the Sun dips no more than 18 degrees below the horizon at night (astronomical twilight). In a week, it...

Wild and Trailless – Denali National Park
Wild and Trailless – Denali National Park

It wasn't easy to decide to post some route info and GPS data from my backcountry trips in Denali National Park. The National Park Service asks specifically not to share GPS tracks socially. It's probably the only rule I've broken...

Alpine azalea (Kalmia procumbens) a wildflower in Alaska
Alpine Azalea – Kalmia procumbens

The alpine azalea is a mat-forming evergreen shrub found in subarctic, circumpolar regions in North America. Flowers are 5-petaled, pink, with 5 stamen. The plant is very toxic.

Snow arnica, arnica griscomii
Snow Arnica – Arnica griscomii

Snow arnica, also commonly known as frigid arnica is a yellow flowering plant common in open and alpine areas in Alaska and northwestern Canada.

Water arum – Calla palustris
Water arum – Calla palustris

The water arum, or wild calla, is semi-aquatic plant typically with a large white bract and large leaves. It is mostly poisonous and can be dangerous to pets when planted ornamentally.