Last year, in his first season in Denali, Park Ranger Jake Frank photographed over 115 species of...See more
Last year, in his first season in Denali, Park Ranger Jake Frank photographed over 115 species of wildflowers. "Taking pictures helps me remember the names so that I can later share my knowledge with visitors." This year he had a plan, to see how many species of wildflowers he could find in a single season. From his experience last season, he knew when and where to look for most of the flowers. His goal for the project was 120 species. "People are so surprised by the diversity of wildflowers in the park. During peak wildflower season [early July], it's possible to see fifty or sixty species on a single hike. I wanted to showcase the diversity of Denali's wildflowers to everyone, even people who have never been here, using social media." After exploring Denali's marshes, swamps, riverbeds, mountains, drainages, tundra, and taiga, he was able to identify over 180 species, including a species (Gentianella tenella) never before seen on the north side of the Alaska Range until now. "Every week I just kept finding more and more. It even surprised me how many I ended up seeing." When asked if he will try and beat his record next year he replied, "I'm gonna try mushrooms next."