Like the moss I was amazed to see hanging from some spruce trees near Denali. I knew that was a boreal forest region, but I didn't know that mosses which inhabit trees (envision Spanish moss in wet humid southern areas) lived there. Upon doing some online searching, I found a really cool PDF of Alaskan mosses and liverworts that helped me to identify this surprising find as cat-tail moss.
While hiking the Bear Mountain Trail that I talked about in this post I saw and photographed what looked like pine cones growing upright out of the ground. I knew they weren't actual pine cones, but I wasn't sure what they were. So I took a photo for reference (a typical MO for me) and to help me remember identifying features when I had time to look it up later. Turns out they are a kind of boschniakia; a parasitic plant that feeds on the root systems of certain trees and shrubs.
I also saw many flowers that were unfamiliar to me. Flowers such as:
fireweed (close up)
a patch of fireweed
There were also some grasses I saw for the first time:
Alaska cotton grass
squirrel tail grass
There were also several wildflowers that I knew.
wild iris aka blue flag
No matter where in Alaska I went, no matter what the weather, I was usually commenting on the flora around me. And, if we were out hiking, I was getting left behind as I stopped to examine the leaves and/or blossoms. But what's the point of walking around somewhere if you aren't going to look at what's growing there?