The first place that we visited in Alaska was Potter Marsh, just south of Anchorage. Potter Marsh is an excellent location for bird watching, but we managed to find a corner of the marsh that was pretty darn quiet. We went first thing in the morning, and decided to first visit the east side, which is opposite from where the parking lot and boardwalk are located. On the east side, there is a small gravel lot, and you can really only walk up to the edge of the marsh. And that is just what we did.
After about twenty minutes, however, the only sign of a bird was a nearby Black-billed Magpie, apparently scolding us for daring to even exit our car in its presence. Since I knew we were still headed over to the parking lot and that boardwalk, I did not fret over the apparent lack of birds. Instead I turned my attention to some colorful plants that were next to the marsh.
First up is some type of grass. It caught my eye because of the purplish hue that it had, so I squatted down in order to frame it against something green. I have no idea what name to give this grass.
Next up is a wild flower with a couple of cool names: Yellow Toadflax or Butter-And-Eggs. Its flowers have a very interesting shape and color. I was disappointed, however, when I got home and tried to find a name for what I had photographed. A bit of research gave me the name, but also let me know that this cute thing is actually an invasive species in Alaska.
Last up is Fireweed. We saw plenty of this beautiful purple flower the entire week. I crawled around in the weeds and grass to get this photo, and managed to pick up a tick as well. Happily, I can report that this tick turned out to be my only insect encounter for the entire week. I came prepared for masses of mosquitoes, but I never even had to apply repellent. I think I got lucky.