I’ve always stated spring is my least favorite season, if I had to rank them. With that being said, I absolutely enjoy the growth and change spring presents, particularly the bursts of wildflowers popping up.
Growing up in suburban New Jersey, our wildflowers included dandelions. We also had lilacs and touch-me-nots (I think that’s the name; it’s the ones that pop a seed out when you touch them, and I think my neighbor planted them).
Anyway, when I started to move around from state-to-state, I started paying attention more.
Nature certainly unfolds in Alaska this time of year, and the transformation is hard to miss. There are more than 100 species of wildflowers just in our area. Definitely a few repeats that I’ve seen in other states, like Lupine and Asters, but for a short growing season, I am entirely impressed.
Spring came early, and fast, this year. We first noticed the Pasque Flowers (aka Spring Crocus) on May 14th on the Triple Lakes Trail.
The rest of May into June granted us superb weather (except for today and yesterday!), so things continue to sprout, kind of ahead of Alaska’s typical schedule. Taking walks around the neighborhood reveals something new everyday.
And then of course when we hit the trails, there’s even more to discover. It seems like every week, the Savage River Loop has new flowers popping up.
Our yard alone has Bluebells, Prickly Rose and Dogwood. I have to laugh because in late May, we were cleaning up some areas with a weed whacker and asked our friend Donna if anything looked important, particularly these thorny branches sticking from the ground.
“Listen you Leave No Trace people,” she said. “Don’t go plowing everything over. These thorns will turn into beautiful prickly rose flowers!” I’m glad she put us in our place. We have wild and beautiful grounds!
Last, but not least, Alaska’s State Flower, Forget-Me-Not. I haven’t seen a whole lot of it on trails or roads, but our neighbor Kathy had them in her yard and gifted us some.
I’m sure there will be more wildflower love coming through the rest of the summer. The fireweed is already blooming and blueberry season is coming soon after!! Summer is mostly upon us, except for the fact that it is 46 and raining today.
By the way, everyone here uses the “Wildflowers of Denali National Park” book by the Pratts. Our copy is Justin’s, which he used when he was a naturalist guide for Denali Backcountry Lodge in the summer of 2003. I love that there are so many dead mosquitoes squashed among the pages. Typical Alaska!