Trientalis europaea subsp. arctica

I’m back from vacation. Over 3 weeks traveling through Alaska, Yukon and northern BC yielded approx. 4500 clicks of the shutter and somewhere between two and three thousand different compositions of flowers, landscapes, animals and more.

The joy of experiencing the beauty and wildness of these places, however, was tempered by the grief of losing a friend and co-worker, Peter Wharton. I learned of Peter’s passing early on during the trip, and there is no doubt it affected what I photographed; I’ve many images of placid and reflective waters.

While in Fairbanks, I learned of the photography of Michio Hoshino from a few photographs featured at the highly-recommended Museum of the North. Hoshino’s images of Alaska are unsurpassed. You can view a few of them in the museum’s online exhibit about Hoshino: Coming Home. Hoshino’s photography is matched by his writing, but much of it can only be found in its original Japanese. Translations of only a few selections have been made, I believe.

One passage from Hoshino: “I remember one day, a long time ago, on my first visit to the coast of the Arctic Ocean, when I tried to take a picture of a single thrush, resting on the top of a beached log. I had found it odd that here, in the midst of the treeless arctic tundra, a drifting tree would have been lifted up onto the shore. This was a spruce tree that had drifted down a river, and after a long journey had arrived at the sea. Carried along by an ocean current, it one day reached these distant northern shores. Its branches fallen off, and its bark peeled free, the tree had become implanted in the sand pointing up toward the sky. It had become a landmark, and not only provided a place for the thrush to rest its wings, but also a scent station where the arctic fox marks its territory. As it slowly rotted, it imparted nutrients to the soil, which one-day might nourish flowers in their short summer bloom. As I thought about this, the boundary between life and death became blurred, and I realized that all things have embarked upon an unending journey.

Today’s plant is commonly known as Arctic starflower. It is found in the woods and subalpine meadows of both northwest North America and northeast Asia.

Trientalis europaea subsp. arctica

15 responses to “Trientalis europaea subsp. arctica”

  1. heidi

    Beautiful photo, once again.
    Oh how I’ve missed these pix lately!
    Welcome back!

  2. EJ

    What system do you use to keep track of 4500 pics in 3 weeks?

  3. Lorraine Evans

    Miss the wonderful pictures. Was wondering if in the vast database If you have pictues of rose hips?

  4. onlyheaven

    I’ve missed you Dan. Please accept my condolences about your friend Peter, and thank you for sharing such a beautiful, insightful, and appropriate passage from Hoshino. It’s so touching that I’m truly moved. Thank you & welcome back.

  5. Sheila.

    That sounds like an amazing trip. Good to have you back.Looking forward to seeing more of your pics.

  6. Liz Montgomery Heinz

    What a lovely, spiritual return to the daily botanicals. Thanks for sending me to the online Hoshino exhibit; it was transporting. Looking forward to more from your trip.

  7. Christie

    It’s good to have you back, Daniel! There is also a beautiful book written about a man’s friendship with Hoshino and Hoshino’s quest to photograph the blue bear. Hence the title: The Blue Bear, by Lynn Schooler. I thoroughly enjoyed this read as it was a wonderful blend of information and thought provoking descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness as well as a memoir of a man clearly loved. Highly recommended. =)

  8. Daniel Mosquin

    I don’t have a particularly good system to keep track of images, I’m afraid. Sorted by folders named after dates, then backed up to two locations.
    Yes, I do have a couple photos of rose hips. One or two may have been on BPotD before. I also took one or two this trip, but the hips are infected with a fungus I wanted to try and identify…
    Christie, thanks for the (additional) recommendation. I read an interview with Lynn Schooler last night and was already leaning toward purchasing that book. I’ll have to put it on my gift list now.
    There are also 4 photo books by Hoshino, strictly in Japanese. The Museum of the North carries them and will ship them anywhere from their gift store. Lastly, if you’d like an English-version of some of Hoshino’s work, look for “Hoshino’s Alaska”. It’s an abbreviated compilation compared to the 4 volume set, but gives an excellent overview.

  9. Morris Brinkman

    Daniel Mosquin,
    – Thank you for introducing us to Michio Hoshino. The incredible subject matter of his photographs is only surpassed by his character and his deep appreciation of that subject matter!
    – Most Sincerely, thank you again for the great trip!
    – Morris Brinkman,

  10. Meg Bernstein

    Thanks for introducing us to Michio Hoshino and his beautiful photography. Good to have you back.

  11. Beverley

    Trientalis europaea – Z4 – RHS Index of Garden Plants, Griffiths
    Trientalis, tre-en-ta-lis; from L. trien, one-third of a foot, the height of the plant. Europaea, u-ro-pe-a, of Europe. Plant Names Simplified, Johnson and Smith

  12. katemarie

    definitely you were missing from my days… so glad you had a break, had such a friend, found a new mentor, returned to ‘us’ with renewed passions and deepened compassions…..your place in the sun… and shade and always with camera in hand….joyonya!

  13. elizabeth a airhart

    daniel it is so good to have you back
    a trip of many thoughts it would seem
    our friends are never far away
    some times it is just a touch of the
    breeze when walking in the gardens
    and there they are in our pathway
    powells books may have the titles you want
    at least in trade paper backs
    thank you for shareing

  14. Carol Leifer

    Today’s post made the wait worthwhile. I checked every day for your return. Welcome, welcome.

  15. Margaret-Rae Davis

    First thank you for the lovely flower.
    Your writings today have such a wonderful meaning of life. It was beautiful what you said. Loosing of your friend brought out a wonderful side of you in picture and writings.
    Thanks you for sharing this,
    Margaret-Rae

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