DC_20170630_026 "Matanuska Sweet Pea"
Every spring, just beyond the toe of the Matanuska Glacier, fields of green turn to pink as the Alaska Sweet Pea plants begin to bloom. One of few plants in the moraine (unsorted rocks and dirt ground up and deposited by the glacier) closest to the ice, the Sweet Pea are able to thrive in low nutrient dirt, and are typically the first to grow in the harsh conditions. The Sweet Pea plays a vital roll in preparing new soil to sustain larger plants later on, and without pioneer plants like these, the ground up rock could take centuries to begin supporting life.
Beyond the bright pink flowers, the icefall of the glacier can be seen above the headwaters of the Matanuska River. Crevasses break the ice into seracs as it flows over a drop in the bedrock to create a dramatic end to the 26 mile long glacier.
Canon 7D and 24-105mm f/4L lens at 105mm and f/20 for 1/50sec, ISO 200