We only did one over-night hike while in Soldotna—we dragged all our camping gear with us so I figured we had better use it! We swatted mosquities up to a shallow glacial lake called Upper Fuller and set up our tent on a pretty rock outcrop….still slapping bugs.
Jeremiah followed Milo around like a mother hen as Milo tripped and fell his way around camp, scattering our belongings, and posing for photos.
Milo usurped my seat, ate half our corn bread, tried to fall into the water, and was generally cute and perilous all evening.
We zipped ourselves up in our tent at 8:30….it was light out but we were tired of slapping mosquitoes, and anyway we hoped Milo would fall asleep. At 11 pm he was still going strong, bumbling around the tent, smooshing his face against ours, batting our heads, entirely too wound up to sleep. So I held him down by his sweatshirt while he screamed, and finally slept.
I’m not sure why we don’t have mountain meadows filled with wildflowers in NY like those in Alaska. Maybe it has something to do with the succession after a glacier recedes, with grasses and flowers growing where the soil is still too shallow for trees to shade them out. These dark purple monk’s hood are stunning, and wild bees push themselves way up under the hood to find the nectar.
Redish-orange columbine next to light purple wild geraniums are a lovely combination that we saw a lot while hiking.
I don’t think of birches as strong trees back in NY, but they’re one of the hardy survivors here in Alaska, along with cottonwoods and alders.
Up above the meadowy wild flowers are the short heather and other springy short plants that cover the tops of the mountains on the Kenai Peninsula. The white lichens make the upper slopes look peppery white from a distance.
My guess about the lack of wild flower meadows in NY is the same as yours: shrubs/trees grow up fast. I remember a guide book raving about a wildflower meadow above one set of “falls” on the East branch of the Sacandaga, and when I got there, I was underwhelmed. But in the Black Hills, there is enough scarcity of rain to allow the trees to be spaced far enough apart to allow wildflowers and grasses among them all summer. It is one of the things I really like about that place, along with the paucity of mosquitoes (probably also from less rainfall).
Your pictures are always so spectacular of course, and Milo is so precious. Of course he wasn’t tired he had a nice ride to the top of the mountain. Glad you all were safe, wouldn’t see me sleeping out there in the wilds of Alaska.