My name is Diane, I am a mother of 4 children, work at UAF, and a nature enthusiast. Born and raised in Oregon, living in Alaska for the last 12 years, I now call it home. I grew up exploring outside, and have always loved looking at the many different things that grow on this earth. I love collecting and observing the different flora when exploring Alaska with my family. It is a wonder the way plants change from tundra to wetlands, to forest and how they adapt to survive. I am excited to learn more in depth about the amazing flora and share my knowledge with my kids. Watching the spring turn to summer, it is a wonder how plants bloom in a staggered rate, each in their own time. We enjoy growing plants in our home garden, foraging for berries and mushrooms (we just finished a batch of dandelion honey and salve), and hunting. On our journeys we like to collect and press flowers or bring our sketch books. My favorite thing to observe is the lichen and spongy ground cover you find in the higher altitudes. The way it soaks up moisture and becomes very squishy and full, and then dry and crusty, it reminds me of coral. Also, Arctic Cotton, I love arctic cotton. It reminds me of the Lorax.
it sounds like you are enjoying the different landscapes in Alaska, the high alpine areas are my favorite ones too. I love your picture, is that on top of Murphy Dome? Cottongrass is a great plant, and it can create pure stands in tundra areas with surplus of water. They can from white carpet from the white powder puffs of the infructescence (mature flower heads). These mostly white structures are the perianth parts that are reduced to bristles. I am looking forward to your excursions and documenting plants you encounter.