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Monday, June 20, 2016

Wildflowers in the Alpine

Eschscholtz Buttercup - Ranunculus eshscholtzii

For the past fortnight I've been taking the dogs skiing practically every day.  We climb up Pyramid Mountain and then they chase me across the snow and we hike back down. The wild flowers are blooming like crazy. Two weeks ago the skiing was still pretty good, but by last week it was getting pretty skimpy.  There is still a run that is 600 vertical feet long - only it is broken in the middle and you now have to cross a short section of grass to ski the whole run. 

Last week I decided I'd try and learn a new flower every day.  I already know a lot of them like the Pixie-eye Primrose, White Anemone, Avens etc, so I went looking for the ones I did not know.  Each day I did not bring the plant book up with me so it was sort of a two day process.  I'd try and memorize the flower I found and then I'd look it up in the book when I got home.  And then the next day I'd find the flower again and confirm my identification.

I was surprised to find buttercups and hawkweed that are native to Kodiak.  I'd thought all hawkweed and buttercups were invasive species - but no I gather there are relatives of the standard roadside buttercup and orange hawkweed that do indeed belong here.

Anyway, here are the new flowers I learned the names of last week.  Patrick

Snow Bed Marigold - Caltha leptosepala

Another of the buttercup where you can better see the leaves

Leatherleaf Saxifrage - Leptarrhena pyrolifolia

Wooly Hawkweed - Hieracium triste

Dying snowfields, Brewster and Lupine

Yellow Anemone - Anemone richardsonii

On the ride home the doggies love to stick their heads out the car windows and sniff

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