• a new home for my blog

    A fresh start

    When I started my blog in 2011 I loved writing about Myrtle Glen, the plants, flowers, critters; I loved telling about our travels, the recipes using what grows in our garden, the gardening books I cherish. It all came to a stop a couple of years ago when I started having problems with WordPress. The spamming was so annoying, gadgets stopped working, I did not like the template and wasn’t able to transfer the content to a new template correctly, it simply was a complete mess.
    So I exported everything to Blogger in hopes it all would be easier. My imported posts were an even bigger mess there. The spacing wasn’t right, the font sizes totally off, and the worst part, none of my images were imported but simply linked back to the WordPress blog. I was so fed up, I stopped blogging altogether in fall of 2014.
    But I do miss blogging, and I decided to give it a second try using Blogger, updating the past posts and uploading the images.

    I am also integrating my Myrtleglen.com website into blog pages to cut the need for a hosting company.
    I have a lot of catching up to do, I want to blog about some of our past trips, about cooking with what we harvest in our garden, and our two kittens Bob and Marley.


    Here we go, off to a fresh start  –  

    Blogging in Myrtle Glen, a Backyard Wildlife Habitat in Central Florida




  • Icy Strait Point, Alaska

    Day 4 of our Alaska cruise brought us to Icy Strait Point, close to the town Hoonah. I wish we’d have more time to explore the fishing town and museum but we opted for the whale and bear tour this time.


    The whales were exiting to watch, I had the feeling they knew exactly what we wanted to see. But typical for me, I snapped the pictures either too early or too late. We had a group of 5 whales close by the boat doing chin slaps, back slaps, swimming on their backs and slapping their fins.


    day4 whale watching



    The second part of this tour led us back into the rain forest in hopes to see a bear.

    We did see one, but he was too quick to disappear when he heard us coming.


    day4 bear country




    This bear did not mind having its picture taken 😉



    day4 carved bear



    While on the lookout for bears we saw Rufous Hummingbirds, but unlike wildflowers, the critters just don’t pose for picture-taking.


    Shooting Star (Dodecatheon pulchellum)

    day4 017_14-06-30_shootingStar




  • Tongass – Temperate Rain Forest in Alaska


    Still docked in Ketchikan, and after the city tour we spent the afternoon in the temperate rain forest area of the  Tongass National Forest.


    Tongass Alaska Rain forest



    Tongass is the largest national forest in the US and Earth’s largest remaining temperate rain forest.


    Tongass Rainforest Alaska


    Western red cedar, Sitka spruce and western hemlock are the main tree species growing here.

    Everything is super-sized, the huge leaves belong to the Skunk Cabbage, food source for the bears…


    skunk cabbage in Tongass national forest


    … and this native slug, called banana slug,  is huge as well. The only indigenous slug to Alaska grows to a length of 25 cm ( 9.8 inches)


    banana slug in Alaska


    We were told it is a ‘young’ forest, with just a thin layer of soil. Bedrock is visible everywhere overgrown with mosses and beautiful lichen, the trees are shallow rooted and in time strong storms will topple them. The fallen trees are called nursery trees, they turn into a food source for shrubs and new trees.


    bedrock in Tongass



    day3 038


    Our Tour guide pointed out a wolf den


    wolf den Tongass



    It is cool and wet,  in Ketchikan the average precipitation is 320 cm (162 inches)s a year, second only to Hawaii and the temperature range for the year is -1 C  to 27 C  (30 to 80 F).


    salmon spawning pool tongass


    All five species of Pacific salmon (chum or dog, sockeye or red, king or chinook, silver or coho, pink) thrive and spawn in the streams and waters of the Tongass.

    This pool is a spawning site, we did see tiny salmon in the water.


    salmon spawning pool in tongass



    One last look


    tongass rain forest

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