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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Afognak Beauty

The big spruce trees up on Afognak were amazing. It really is the southwest limit of a coastal rainforest that stretches all the way to Oregon. Since the last ice age retreated and left behind a tree-less coastal margin, the rain forest has been colonizing its way north and west to the Kenai Peninsula and then South to Shuyak and Afognak Islands and the Kodiak Archipelago. Today they are colonizing their way south on Kodiak Island proper. The spruce trees only made it to the city of Kodiak about 100 years ago, and today they are just reaching Uganik Bay. The oldest trees on South Afognak are about 500 years old. There were no spruce trees anywhere in the Kodiak Archipelago just 800 years ago or so.

Another great thing about our Afognak get-a-way was the lack of people up there. It was so quiet and still. There was nobody around but us, and we had the beaches and forest all to ourselves (and the chattering red squirrels of course). Patrick

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