A Fat Old Lady Takes Up Climbing
The Continuing Adventures
Spring 2007

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May 6, 2007
It's always exciting to make that first climb up Flattop each year. We had difficult weather this winter, so that initial summit had to wait until now, and there was still plenty of snow along the way. Many of the evergreens at the lower elevations seemed to be damaged by winterkill, or perhaps parasites of some sort. You can see the unhealthy, rusty color of the vegetation in the upper left photo. After climbing to the top, some people chose to slide down a snow-filled chute. It looks like fun, but can be dangerous. A young man had to be airlifted off the mountain just a few days after I was up there, injured in the snow chute. I didn't slide down, but picked my way back down the slow way. It was cold and windy at the summit, but exhilarating.

More photos from May 2007:

View from a little ways up the Falls Creek Trail
Another early one, a Yellow Anemone, May 20th
Birds have returned to Potter Marsh
An Arctic Tern sitting on a nest
These are the eggs in the nest
Two views of a leucistic Lesser Canada Goose: View 1 / View 2
An Orange-crowned Warbler by Campbell Creek
An American Robin enjoying Cheney Lake, in Anchorage
A Lesser Yellowlegs, also at Cheney Lake, May 20th
The two birds cross paths

 

May 30, 2007
Although I thought it might be too late, I was hoping to see the very early blooming "Wild Spring Crocus", AKA "Pasque Flower", along the Liberty Falls Trail. So I drove down on Tuesday and was able to spend a little time with my daughter and her fiancé as I passed through the Glennallen area. Later that night I went south to Wrangell-St. Elias Park and camped there overnight. The weather had been wet most of Tuesday, but it was relatively dry Wednesday. We've had mostly overcast skies, cool temperatures, and intermittent rain this spring. Occasional light showers didn't dampen the hike. I was surprised to see the variety of flowers up on the ridge, since there are still very few at lower elevations. As expected, most of the Pasque Flowers that I had come to see had gone to seed, but I was delighted to find just a few in peak bloom, on a steep shaded slope. Click any of the small pix to see bigger ones, and also check for more scenes below the collage. [See the Liberty Falls Trail hike from last July]

More photos from the trip to Wrangel-St. Elias:

Three views of the Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla patens)
whole plant -- close up -- seedheads

Tiny white flowers in a patch of juniper berries, on the ridge

A large blossomed windflower, found near the end of the trail
View from the end of the ridge, overlooking a lake and river
Tundra flowers cling to a rocky cliff
My dog enjoying the scenery, looking into the gorge


All photographs are the property of the photographer, Mary Hopson.
If you wish to use them in screensavers or webpages, please leave copyright information intact.

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