Introduction: Melissa Bell-Hettel

I am originally from Philadelphia, Pa (Go Birds!) and it will be two years since I moved to Fairbanks in October. I am the complete opposite of a green thumb and have managed to kill a cactus. This year I am attempting to keep a geranium and some petunias alive. [Fingers crossed]. If I am successful with them, I will move on to a greenhouse to grow vegetables (peppers, chilis, corn, potatoes, green beans).

I already posses a BA in Anthropology with a minor in Biology from Penn State. I am taking this course to learn more about the flora of Alaska. When I moved to Fairbanks, I bought a house on 5 acres. I have not ventured out fully on the property yet [the mosquitoes love biting me even with bug spray] and I am curious to see what flora there is. Coming from a more urbanized area, hunting/foraging was not something I have ever done, thought I would love to forage for some berries. If anyone in Fairbanks forages for berries and would not mind me tagging along, let me know.

My favorite flower is the Cattleya orchids. They come in a variety of colors [blue, pink, yellow, white, purple]. For this class, I will be using both my iPhone and Nikon DSLR camera for my observations.

One comment

  1. Welcome Melissa,
    What a gorgeous picture! I have a few cattleyas at home too, but none this gorgeous! We have a few orchids in Alaska, the calypso orchid (Calypso bulbosa (L.) Oakes) is one of the more showy ones in Fairbanks. But there are others, keep a look out for them. Good luck with exploring your property, I am sure you will come across lots of plants there, use the iNaturalist observation assignment as an opportunity to get out and observe. Maybe try early mornings or after a rain to have fewer flying companions around.

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