Winter is gaining on us but I have gained more

I don’t have regrets to over work on a short season of wild Alaskan harvesting season. I still have more to go before the snow crashing down. Here are some delightful photos of my adventures, a few artsy projects I have completed and an amazing story;

Hatcher Pass berry picking
Tundra Black Berries
amanita mushroom
My cabbages
Qaspeq UAF
One evening of hunting
Spruce Root Ipuun
Absorbing Hatcher Pass

I wrote a poem and it’s all about the drive of harvesting what Alaska has in a short season of growth.

My great grandma and her ancestors before her lived solely off the land. Her name was Lizzie Lomack. Last weekend I meet her brother’s two of many grandchildren from Dillingham area. His name was Qugcuun. Qugcuun hiked over to Dillingham area from Kuskokwim River over the mountains in pursuit of food. Growing up I heard we had a big extended family up river and over the mountains to the south. It’s amazing how God introduced us in a peculiar way, in our very pursuit of berries we just love to gather.

Nattie and Mary, Qugcuun’s grandchildren

I am not crazy enough not to ignore the nature that nourishes our body.

I see the outdoors a time to renew my relationship with the one who created me – and I just want to simply enjoy his creation. I met my dear relatives and I am just so happy to know we are still gathering like our forefathers.


Author: Nasek'taq

Merna Wharton “Nasek’taq” is Yup'ik from Akiacuaq (Akiachak) lives in Anchorage Alaska. Merna is an Alaska Native artist, poet, traditional and contemporary seamstress, carver, gatherer of greens and berries, and loves the outdoors of Alaska! Merna enjoys finding art in natural elements and shares her experiences through her website, Merna crafts to preserve her culture and art and shares her worldview from a remote village Yup’ik girl’s perspective with a glimpse of life in Alaska in her writing and poems. More information about her art can be found at

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