Friday, September 19, 2008

Fireweed in Alaska: Is it Fall?

1) Fireweed in Anchorage, no blooms left, August 23, hard to see (well, there's no flowers, that's why!).

2) Fireweed at Turnagain Summit, seen earlier, a few tops of blooms still blooming, August 24.

3) Fireweed at Summit Lake Lodge; likewise, it's the very top of the stalk that's blooming, and some stalks aren't, August 24.

4) Fireweed at Tern Lake, a great place to look for swans and other birds, and one of my favorite talus slopes (across the lake); can't tell how high the blooms on the fireweed are, August 24.

Fireweed at the Kenai Cabin, on the Kenai River near Sterling, with hint of boat behind fish-cleaning table; blooms here are at only the very end of the stalk, August 24.

5) Fireweed at Deep Creek, just a ways south of Ninilchik on the Kenai Penninsula, where we put in for halibut fishing; fireweed blooms are a little variable, from the last two at the end of the stalk, to the last one, to zero blooms, August 25.

6) And we didn't make it down to The End of The Road to see how the fireweed was doing down at the halibut capital of the world!

A clue about whether it was still summer or had turned to fall when the above photos were taken: Termination Dust fell in the Chugach Mountains just above Anchorage on July 24th (source: parental-types living in there and viewing it with their own four eyes - two apiece), the earliest ever that I'm aware of, back through the mid-1980's.

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