“How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!” – John Muir
On a map, the Palmer Hay Flats encompass about 45,000 miles of freshwater streams, marshes, bogs and silty glacial rivers. In person, its wild beauty is inspiring. The refuge is the stop for thousands and thousands of migratory birds, and many stay and nest and raise their young. Ducks, geese, swans, and other shorebirds are drawn to these wetlands as they migrate to and from the north. I spent the afternoon on a one mile hike around Reflections Lake with Sara Lamont, an Iditarod Education Committee member, long-time Iditarod race volunteer and our designated “moose whisperer” as she has the talent for spotting moose. Sara loves sharing her passion for Alaska’s wildlife with others, and our walk inspired me to continue to spend time in the beauty of nature, not only during my time here in Alaska, but when I return home to Texas.