Petersburg, Alaska
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 02 Aug 2022

Petersburg, Alaska , 8/2/2022, National Geographic Quest

  • Aboard the National Geographic Quest
  • Alaska

Arriving in Petersburg this morning offered an exceptional look at this “town that fish built.” Guests, staff, and crew enjoyed an entire day of all that Petersburg has to offer. We were able to view the area via Zodiac harbor tours, bike tours through town, a cultural tour the forest, flightseeing tours of the LeConte Glacier, and walks through the muskeg.

I was so struck with gratitude for the muskeg environment. In this nutrient poor ecosystem that is soggy with anaerobic decomposition, plants need to adapt for other means of nutrition. One adaption is that of the sundew plant. In the muskeg, we saw a couple different types of sundew, or Drosera, their Latin name. We saw round leaf sundew and big leaf sundew; both plants have evolved to become carnivorous and proliferate throughout the muskeg. I thought these small but mighty plants deserve a poem.

Oh sundew, oh sundew, how do you do

Your delicate structures appear near my shoe

Moss and stumps are your closest neighbors

The muskeg yields so many different behaviors

 

Dear sundew, dear Sundew, how do you do

As I witness your survival strategies, I can’t believe it’s true

Entrapping a fly and digesting its essence

Your enzymes and tentacles don’t produce phosphorescence

 

Dearest sundew, sweet sundew, how do you do

A Petersburg day isn’t complete till I see you

Whether the weather is sweet or bitter

I’ll see you again and please don’t wither

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