Thursday, October 4, 2007

Wildflowers of Alaska - Mysotis alpestris

Forget-Me-Nots (Mysotis palustris)
The native version of the Forget-Me-Not,
Mysotis alpestris, is the Alaska state flower
and is found north of Southeast Alaska.
Arctic Daisy (Chrysanthemum arcticum)
Of the Aster family, these white daisies bloom in Southern and Western Alaska
during the month of July.

Fireweed at Refuge Cove(Epilobium angustifolium)
Fireweed is found throughout most of Alaska.
Its lovely pink blossoms grow from a stock 3-10 feet tall, blossoming from July through August.
As the blossoming season ends, white feathery seed casings replace blooms along the stock.
Spring shoots are edible and its nectar makes delightful honey.

unknown butterfly ..
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Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast - The Temperate Rain Forest- Totem Poles

Saxman Village Ketchikan, Alaska

Giant Rock Oyster Boy Pole Located in Saxman Totem Park,
this totem depicts a story of an unwise boy and a giant rock oyster.

Man Wearing a Bear Hat

A man of the Bear Clan is wearing a hat at a potlatch or other gathering where stories are recounted.

The totem replica was carved by master carver, Israel Shotridge.

Arched tree limb with mosses and ferns in the background.
Old-growth forests are forests that have developed over long periods without catastrophic disturbances of either natural or human origin.
Often referred to as "virgin forests."

Ketchikan totem pole, Saxman village

A trip to the temperate rain forests of the Pacific Northwest fills the visitor with awe at the enormity of the plant life and with a respect for nature that Native Americans of the area have held for centuries.

This land, that owes its very existence to the Pacific Ocean and the moisture it provides, appears unchanged since the dawn of time.
It should remain so for generations to come.

The temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest developed where moisture-rich air masses from the Pacific Ocean rise and become trapped by the coastal mountain ranges in Oregon and Washington state. The moisture then condenses and returns to earth in the form of heavy rainfall and, at higher elevations, snow.

These forests stretch in a narrow band from the redwood forests of extreme northern California, western Oregon and Washington and continue north through Canada to Sitka in coastal Alaska.

Small pockets of temperate rainforests are also found in the Rocky Mountain areas of northwestern Montana at its border with Canada.
However, the largest remaining portion of the North American temperate rainforest is found in Olympic National Park in northwestern Washington state.

I found this best-selling, easy-to-use field guide in one of our book stores.
The book features 794 species of plants commonly found along the Pacific coast from Oregon to
Alaska, including trees, shrubs, wildflowers, aquatic plants, grasses, ferns, mosses, mushrooms and lichens.
The book includes 1,100 color photographs, more than 1,000 line drawings and silhouettes, clear species descriptions and keys to groups, descriptions of each plant's habitat and range, and 794 color range maps.
Rich and engaging notes on each species describe aboriginal and other local uses of plants for food, medicine and implements, along with unique characteristics of the plants and the origins of their names.
For both amateurs and professionals, this is the best, most accessible, most up-to-date guide of its kind.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

flowers, mushrooms and lichens from Alaska

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pictures from Alaska

Even in the mist that often drape around the towering, snow-covered mountains, Alaska is a place of dramatic and awesome beauty. People take Alaska cruises to see the magnificent scenery and wildlife. Birdlife is plentiful and you can watch the majestic American bald eagle.
Skagway is located in a narrow glaciated valley at the head of the Taiya Inlet, the north end of the Lynn Canal, which is the most northern fjord on the Inside Passage on the south coast of Alaska. It is in the Alaska panhandle 90 miles northwest of Juneau, Alaska's capital city.
The area around present-day Skagway was inhabited by Tlingit people from prehistoric times. They fished and hunted in the waters and forests of the area and had become prosperous by trading with other groups of people on the coast and in the interior.
One prominent resident of early Skagway was William "Buddy" Moore, a former steamboat captain.
As a member of an 1887 boundary survey expedition, he had made the first recorded investigation of the pass over the Coast Mountains, which later became known as White Pass. He believed that gold lay in the Klondike because it had been found in similar mountain ranges in South America, Mexico, California, and British Columbia. In 1887, he and his son Ben claimed a 160 acre (650,000 m²) homestead at the mouth of the Skagway River in Alaska.
Moore settled in this area because he believed it provided the most direct route to the potential gold fields. They built a log cabin, a sawmill, and a wharf in anticipation of future gold prospectors passing through.
In 1896, gold was found in the Klondike region of Canada's Yukon Territory. Beginning in the summer of 1897, thousands of hopeful miners poured into the new town and prepared for the 500-mile journey to the gold fields in Canada.
This journey began for many when they climbed the mountains over the White Pass above Skagway and onward across the Canadian border to Lake Bennett, or one of its neighboring lakes, where they built barges and floated down the Yukon River to the gold fields around Dawson City. Others disembarked at nearby Dyea, northwest of Skagway, and crossed northward on the Chilkoot Pass, an existing Tlingit trade route to reach the lakes.
In 1898, Skagway was a lawless town, described by one Canadian Mountie as
"little better than a hell on earth".
Fights, prostitutes and liquor were ever-present on Skagway's streets. The most colorful resident of this period was outlaw Jefferson Randolph "Soapy" Smith. He was a sophisticated swindler who liked to think of himself as a kind and generous benefactor to the needy. He had gracious manners and he gave money to widows and stopped lynchings, while at the same time operating a ring of thieves who swindled prospectors with cards, dice, and the shell game.
His telegraph office charged five dollars to send a message anywhere in the world. Prospectors sent news to their folks back home without bothering to look behind the telegraph shack where the telegraph wires ended in the brush.
Soapy also controlled a comprehensive spy network, a private militia called the Skagway Military Company, the newspaper, the Deputy U.S. Marshall and an array of thieves and con men who roamed about the town. Soapy was shot by Frank Reid on July 8, 1898.
It is agreed by several historians, and the descendants of Soapy Smith, that there was another man who also shot Soapy.
Skagway ist eine ehemalige Goldgräberstadt in Alaska (USA).
Sie wurde 1897 vom Dampfschiffkapitän William Moore gegründet.
Skagway, am Taiya Inlet (einem Seitenarm des Lynn Canal) gelegen, ist der Endpunkt der Alaska Inside Passage sowie der White Pass and Yukon Railway von Whitehorse über den White Pass. Skagway ist neben Haines der einzige auf dem Landweg erreichbare Ort des Alaska Panhandle und größte Stadt des Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon Census Area.
Skagway war für die Goldgräber beim großen Goldrausch von Alaska im Jahre 1898 ein wichtiger Stützpunkt und Ausgangspunkt für die Routen über White und Chilkoot Pass. Heute hat der Ort etwa 850 Einwohner. Im Ort ist die Legende von Soapy Smith noch immer lebendig.
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