In Denali National Park & Preserve, it’s easy to fixate on the big stuff.
At a staggering 20,320″, Mt. McKinley is high on the list of things Park visitors hope to see.
Due to the Mountain’s height, however, it’s obscured by clouds nearly 70% of the summer.
So glimpsing the Park’s “charismatic megafauna” – moose, caribou, Dall sheep, wolves & grizzly bears – is next on the wish-list of most Denali Park visitors.
However, Denali is a National Park, not a zoo. The wildlife is wild, revealing itself in brief, unpredictable and often far-away glimpses.
As a Park Ranger, I preferred to focus on the small, everyday stuff all around us. In a subarctic environment, that meant a lot of moss and lichen.
I’m a firm believer that it’s important to slow down and notice the little things in life.
Little things can change your perspective, and surprise you with unexpected beauty.
On every guided Ranger hike, I encouraged Park visitors to slow down and investigate the abundant moss & lichen they might otherwise overlook.
Volunteering with the Park Kennels 3 winters, I had the honor of naming a litter of pups.
My choice for a litter theme? (Wait for it…) Lichens!
For me, learning to enjoy the little things makes all the difference.
Thanks for this delicious trip back ‘up there’! We both miss that place and those people SO much!
You’re most welcome, Karl!
It’s been fun to reminisce about those happy Ranger days…
I think we are due for a visit back, soon.
WoW! The pics are so awsome!! I was born in Fairbanks and remember bits an pieces so these really pull at me, I’ve made it as far as Petersburg but so want to travel further.
Thanks, Cj! This 17 Days of Green project has been fantastic for digging into my photo archives.
We’re hoping to get back to Denali, soon. Left in 2003 and haven’t been back since. It’s really about time!
Those pictures of that Sphagnum moss are gorgeous! It almost looks like Hens and Chicks up close. VERY nice.
Thanks, Somer! I used the digital macro function on my little point and shoot Olympus camera. I love macro photography… gives you such a different perspective on things.