Sally Baughman's Life in Beta Testing

Walking the Tundra Around Bethel

If you think mountains and valleys when think Alaska, think again. I live in middle of a huge river delta, formed by two of the largest rivers in Alaska: The Kuskokwim and the Yukon. Although Bethel is on the edge of the Kuskokwim River, we are surrounded by land that is considered tundra. “Tundra= a vast, flat, treeless Arctic region in which the subsoil is permanently frozen”.

Tundra develops in areas with long, cold winters and short, usually cool summers. Additionally, persistent winds, low precipitation, and permafrost are important features of some tundra environments.  IN a nutshell, tundra refers to a type of geographic area with characteristic environmental conditions and to the plants & animals that have adapted to live under these conditions. As I am trying to adapt to these conditions myself, I get outdoors almost every day for a walk. Even if its only down the road from my office to the Y/K Fitness Center, or around the block in my neighborhood, I aim for fresh air.

I’ve gotten out for a few walks on the tundra, and its so beautiful to take a closer look. Wonderful colors all around the area, and as it starts cooling off more, the reds and yellows are really popping out. It does get snowy and icy, but for now its staying clear, and thus good for walking and berry picking.

I hear there is a local woman who knows mushrooms. I’m going to try to find her. Mushrooms are everywhere!



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