Untamed Land

Untamed Land
Untamed Land

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fall comes to the Matsu.

A few days ago I went back to Goose Creek where my friend Dan is building a cabin. Fall was in it's prime colors, and I enjoyed photographing the scenery while Dan worked on his cabin. There are a few of those photos here, plus some other Autumn photos taken in past years in other parts of the Matsu Valley.
The Matsu Valley is not really a valley, it's the name of a large area that surrounds the Matanuska, and Susitna River valleys. This is Sarah Palin country. I'm not very political myself. I get too cynical with politics, and I dont like that. The Matsu Valley starts about 30 miles, northeast of Anchorage, and stretches for many miles into interior Alaska.

The road to Goose Creek. I saw a Goshawk nearby that day, but it would'nt stick around for a photo.
Typical Fall scenery.

Highbush Cranberry leaves.

Mushrooms stacked on top of one another with spider webs.

More mushrooms, taken earlier in the season.

The creek still had plenty of rotting salmon.

Stinking Salmon and fallen leaves.

This photo is full of forboding, warning of the coming winter. It's a photo of the water with trees and clouds in reflection. The actual sky was not nearly so dramatic, it turned into a sunny day. This is my favorite photo of the day. I shot 160 photos at Goose Creek that day.

This photo was taken last year on the Knik River.

Another photo of the Knik River. The dusting of snow on the mountains is called Termination Dust. It signals the end of summer. People like me dread the appearance of Termination Dust. Others welcome the snow because they love winter sports.

Black Cottonwoods and a small creek along the river bottom. Black Cottonwoods are the largest trees in Southcentral Alaska.

A tributary of the Knik Rive

Notice the swans on this pond near the river.

The Matanuska River near the town of Palmer. The mountains are part of the Chugach Mountains.

Many miles upriver from Palmer. The river narrows in the canyon next to the Glen Highway.

This is another view of the Matanuska River, just out of Palmer.

The river and King Mountain on the left.

Back on the other side of Palmer, going toward Anchorage. These are the Palmer Hay Flats with Pioneer Peak, and Goat Mountain in the background.
Palmer Hay Flats are an important stopover for migrating waterfowl. Many of them stay, and breed here. These are Sandhill Cranes, and a few Mew Gulls.

Palmer is a good place to see Lesser Sandhill Cranes. They are easily seen in fields around town in Spring, and Fall.

The Matanuska River, and Pioneer Peak. Dramatic Pioneer Peak looms over the town and even blocks the winter sun from parts of Palmer. The small hill in front of the mountain is called The Butte.

A farm house near Pioneer Peak. Palmer has the best farmland in Alaska.

The Parks Highway and Mount Mckinley. The Great One looms over all in the Matsu.

Most of the homes along the Parks Highway are vacation homes, but many people live full time, scattered in the forest. Winters here are brutal in my opinion. Many people love the lifestyle. I wonder about their sanity.

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