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Spring Secrets

06-16-2016

Dawn Paley, Wilderness Adventurer

After the winter storms have calmed, the sun begins to linger a bit longer in the sky as spring slowly creeps its way in to the Alaskan landscape.

Winter attempts to keep its frigid grip on the land as snow blankets the ground. But the change has already begun as evergreen mosses, ferns and plants peak through the wintery blanket. The change of season is just as dramatic as the rugged habitat that surrounds it.

Alaska in spring

With the new season comes the renewal of life and it’s a bird watchers paradise as numerous birds are heading to Alaska from every continent to mate and raise their young. Not only can you enjoy the sighting of birds that nest in this area, but in spring time we get a rare glimpse at birds that are merely migrating in the area and may not be seen again until fall.

Our first spring flowers are just starting to bloom and little pockets of lupine add a tranquil blue to the verdant forest that surrounds them. Of all these miraculous changes, my favorite by far is the delectable feast that is sprouting up all around us. The untrained eye merely sees a forest and shoreline filled with plants and trees. But my eyes quickly hone in on those tender shoots as accoutrements to my meals. Add a little goose tongue to my sandwich. Pick some salmonberry flowers and spruce tips for a cup of tea.

Salmonberry flowers

These tasty morsels will be around for only a few more weeks so make sure to grab a piece of the real prize: the fiddlehead fern sprouts and devils club shoots which can only be harvested within the first few days after sprouting. The devils club, which is normally covered in numerous spines as a great defense to grazing animals, is tightly wound with spines not yet developed. A tasty, energy filled trail snack for the adventurous bushwhacker.

Fiddlehead ferns in Alaska

But I am not the only wanderer with a keen eye for the growing vegetation. The bears have woken up from their long winter slumbers in pursuit of the shoreline with their cubs in tow. With no salmon or berry bushes for the bears to snack on, they wander the coast line munching on the plethora of wild greens popping up all along the coast, restoring their energy lost during the long hibernation.

Bears in Alaska

Spring has sprung and all too soon summer will be here. Seasons seem to fly by once you learn to appreciate all the unique, short lived aspects each has to offer. With every week there is always something new to discover in this wild, ever-changing landscape. So come and explore with us!



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