I know we’re a wild-caught seafood company, but why not dip our toes into a little botany this week?
Right now, as the generous Alaskan sun casts its mystical light with no abandon into the late hours of the evening’s lingering stretch, there bloom shocks of vivid magenta all over the state. Scientifically, the plant is called Chamaenerion Angustifolium — but Alaskans know it as their beloved fireweed.
And as my husband and our CEO Arron always tells me, fireweed is more than just a pretty plant. With the unabashed intensity of its purple hues, besides being a welcome visual disruptor to an otherwise green-blue palette of glacial vastness, Arron sees the fireweed as a living keeper of time, a signal to Alaskans — in the form of blossom — that the beginning of summer’s end now approaches. “Fireweed is stunning,” he says, “but more than that, it has a unique anticipatory sentiment that reminds me of the ever-changing nature of Alaska’s colors and light.”
The fireweed bloom also indicates the winding down of the sockeye salmon run and the ramping up of the coho salmon run, another way in which the natural cycles of Alaska create a pattern of biodiversity in perfect harmony with all of its disparate elements. The same way you can observe the masses of salmon teeming in the rivers, so too can you witness a sudden swath of fuchsia patched across the side of any given Alaskan mountain, perhaps one last show from Mother Nature before the crisp air of Autumn begins to settle in. And just like the sockeye salmon come earlier in the summer than do the coho, the fireweed, too, has its own special time.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that fireweed season coincides with Leo season (which happens to be my sign!), a wild vastness of unbridled violet forever reaching towards the light, punctuating an already gorgeous landscape with one last kiss from creation so profound, it has the power to carry you all the way to next summer.
As the warmer months ebbs toward their end, I hope the fiery bloom of the Chamaenerion Angustifolium does for you what it does for me: to plant the seeds of gratitude and sunny optimism for this and every season to come.
Live wild...and don’t forget to smell the flowers!
Pictured: The Mendenhall Glacier and Fireweed blooming in Brotherhood Bridge Meadow, Juneau, Alaska. Photo courtesy of: Kenneth John Gill aka Gillfoto / Wikicommons