Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Starwort, mushrooms and panorama at Delta River - August 2015

Went camping along the Delta River near Black Rapids this past weekend. This is a panorama looking downriver. (Click on the image for a large view.) Weather was blustery--wind blowing down the river as usual. It was strong enough at times that if you were walking with your back to it, you sort of automatically picked up speed.

I read an account of a traveler along the Valdez-Fairbanks Trail back in the early 1900s. He was traversing this section of the river where the trail was out on the iced-over river channel. Many people hiked the trail during that period, and he was watching the person in front of him who was running with the wind. As he watched, the runner suddenly dropped out of sight. Evidently the runner had come up on an open lead of water, and with the wind at his back couldn't stop in time and plunged into the river, never to be seen again.

On a lighter note, there were Alaska starwort (Stellaria alaskana) blossoms all over the place These are tiny flowers, no more that 1/2" across. The flowers actually only have five petals, but each petal is split, sometimes for 3/4s of its length, so they often look like they have 10 petals.

Along the bank of the channel there were many rocks that had been dislodged and rolled downhill. In each of those hollows where a rock had been were these small, delicate mushrooms. the mushrooms were no more that 1 1/2" across.

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