Overbrowsing!

Ron Niebrugge Alaska, Denali, Photos, Travel 6 Comments

Overbrowsing

I captured this photo because I liked the patterns in the vegetation, but two things really struck me.

First is the incredible damage the hare population boom has done to the vegetation.  This was in Sable Pass where miles of plant life basically had most of its bark stripped away by hungry hares.  This was true in many areas of Denali.  Only the tops and bottom portions of the plant have been spared.  I assume the tops were out of reach, and the bottoms have just recently emerged from the snow.

The second thing that struck me was out late spring is this year in Denali, and all of Alaska for that matter.  It has been unseasonably cold this year.  This photo was from June 7th, and there isn’t a bit of green here yet.  One biologist told me he estimated spring was running two weeks late.  If I didn’t know better, I would say this photo was captured in late fall, like the end of September.

I might add, jpeg compression is not a friend of this image.

Comments 6

  1. Post
    Author

    Hi Richard,

    You know, it usually looks like this for a bit in the fall, and in the spring, the rest of the time it is buried in snow.

    Sounding like it has been hot down there! Having the extra growth from the winter rains probably doesn’t help.

    Thanks,

    Ron

  2. Man, that is very interesting. It does look lie Autumn. Are the bears you’ve seen hungry, since they can’t get to some of their natural foods??

  3. Post
    Author

    Hi Beth,

    Good question. I’m sure they must have been hurting for food some since there weren’t many, if any fresh greens.

    Thanks,

    Ron

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