Alaska Wildflowers: Black Swamp Gooseberry

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Water Droplets

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The thing about living in a rain forest is everything is always wet.  Most of the time that honestly sucks – but every once in a while it can be magical.

I think these might be lupine but whatever they are the newest leaves are covered in little hairs that are perfect for holding water.  Some of the droplets were just plain huge.

When I took these pictures I was actually trying to sneak up on a pair of ducks in a pond just off the road.  I saw this cluster of green leaves covered in what looked like diamonds and I promptly laid down and spent 15 or 20 gloriously muddy minutes with them.  I couldn’t imagine what I must’ve looked like…

Totally worth it, right?

Spring In Alaska!

New Growth

New Growth

Things here are changing fast – and it’s not just the snow disappearing from the mountains.  I was downtown yesterday afternoon and noticed some changes: the tour shops are preparing to open, the halibut legs were coming out, and the plants were greeting the sun.

Salmon Berry Leaves

Salmon Berry Leaves

In most open areas everything still looks dead and gray – but if you know where to look (several of these pictures were taken in ditches) you can find new green things.

Moss

Moss

Even the moss is reacting to the longer days.

First Salmon Berry Flower

If you’ve never had a Salmon Berry you are missing out.  (and no, they don’t taste like fish!)

Fern Fiddlehead

Fern Fiddlehead

In just two months this little fern could grow to be three or four feet long.

Fireweed

Fireweed

By July this fireweed will be five or six feet tall!

Salmon Berry Leaves

Salmon Berry Leaves

Dandelion

First Dandelion

I was surprised to find these dandelions already in bloom.

Skunk Cabbage

Skunk Cabbage

Like a lot of the other plants here these skunk cabbage are fast growers.

Garden Flowers

Garden Flowers

I sort of cheated with this one – these flowers were in someone’s planter box…

Which picture is your favorite?