Two birders scan Bishop’s Beach on Saturday afternoon, May 12, 2018, during the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. (Photo by Michael Armstrong / Homer News).

Birding: the universal outdoors activity

Like many imported Alaskans, I have a long list of outdoor activities I acquired after moving here in 1979: skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, dog mushing,… Continue reading

 

The author stumbles at the rock marking the race point on the Mount Marathon Race trail during one of her many training runs in preparation for the July 4, 2018, race. (Photo provided by Kat Sorensen)

Tangled Up in Blue: A double-edged sword

Registration for the 2019 Mount Marathon Race opened March 1. Within hours of getting the email, I sent my information off into the internet tubes… Continue reading

 

A game camera photo of an ocelot from the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge website.

Life on a South Texas refuge

Did you know that more than 10 percent of the international border between the United States and Mexico is shared with several National Wildlife Refuges… Continue reading

 

The author with a pair of friends this past summer at Grewingk Glacier. (Photo provided by Megan Pacer)

Out of the Office: Hold my beer while I wade in glacial melt

Last week, the members of my team and I came in absolute dead last at trivia night. I normally wouldn’t share this with so broad… Continue reading

The author with a pair of friends this past summer at Grewingk Glacier. (Photo provided by Megan Pacer)

Refuge Notebook: An earthworm quandary

This last September we hosted two earthworm experts from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Kyungsoo Yoo and graduate student Adrian Wackett. They study how earthworms… Continue reading

The author skis at the Ski for Women earlier this winter. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled up in Blue: Not feeling it

I really do not want to write this. It’s not that I don’t love writing my column, I enjoy it. It’s a fun practice, reflecting… Continue reading

The author skis at the Ski for Women earlier this winter. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Refuge notebook: Wildlife translocations to and from the Kenai Peninsula

By DOM WATTS Imagine, if you will, a couple of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists in a seaplane flying over the Kenai Mountains, when… Continue reading

A “listening session” was held and recorded in Cooper Landing this week as part of an organized effort to record community residents’ observations of change on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge notebook: Voices of the Kenai

By JOHN MORTON I’ve had the privilege recently to hear what other residents think about changes they have witnessed in their lifetimes here on the… Continue reading

A “listening session” was held and recorded in Cooper Landing this week as part of an organized effort to record community residents’ observations of change on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
The sign announcing the start of the Alaska Highway in Dawson’s Creek, British Columbia. Taken in August of 2018. (Photo by Brian Mazurek)

Out of the Office: What a long, strange trip it’s been

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned this past year, it’s that sometimes you have to change your life, and sometimes your life changes you. Last… Continue reading

The sign announcing the start of the Alaska Highway in Dawson’s Creek, British Columbia. Taken in August of 2018. (Photo by Brian Mazurek)
The view of a Homer sunrise as seen from the cabin where the author spent a recent winter weekend. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled up in Blue: A weekend away

Coming up to an unknown cabin in the woods is an engaging experience. Throughout the windy, snow-covered roads of Ohlson Mountain in Homer, my friends… Continue reading

The view of a Homer sunrise as seen from the cabin where the author spent a recent winter weekend. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Refuge Notebook: To feed or not to feed the birds

By TODD ESKELIN As the snow continues to pile up, I have had some unwanted guests at my bird feeder. A cow moose and her… Continue reading

Laura Bashor and Amber Robbins, two biological interns at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, being filmed this past summer for an Animal Planet series on top of Hideout Trail. (Photo provided by refuge)

Refuge notebook: Reflections on 2018

By ANDY LORANGER Another year in the books on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge – is it me or does every year seem to pass… Continue reading

Laura Bashor and Amber Robbins, two biological interns at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, being filmed this past summer for an Animal Planet series on top of Hideout Trail. (Photo provided by refuge)
FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots defensive back Stephon Gilmore, center, celebrates his interception with Dont’a Hightower, left, and Eric Rowe, right, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Please tear us apart

In contrast to Will Morrow’s spin on being a Patriots fan (see “Don’t Tear Us Apart”, Jan. 27), I offer my own. Being a Chicago… Continue reading

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots defensive back Stephon Gilmore, center, celebrates his interception with Dont’a Hightower, left, and Eric Rowe, right, during the first half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
Musher Dave Turner celebrates just after winning this year’s Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019 at Freddies Roadhouse finish line near Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Dave Turner claims first T200 win

After chasing other top mushers for three years, Dave Turner has finally proven himself a winner by snagging first place in the Tustumena 200 Sled… Continue reading

Musher Dave Turner celebrates just after winning this year’s Tustumena 200 Sled Dog Race on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019 at Freddies Roadhouse finish line near Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Tangled up in Blue: Are you silly?

There’s a whole book of vocabulary in the world of downhill skiing. There are hundreds of ways to describe snow, while I usually just refer… Continue reading

An adult male Calliope Hummingbird captured and banded near Inkom, Idaho. This is the smallest breeding bird in North America. (Photo provided by Todd Eskelin)

Hummingbirds take migration to a new level

By TODD ESKELIN In my career as a bird bander, I have banded over 20,000 birds and probably closer to 30,000 birds. I have banded… Continue reading

An adult male Calliope Hummingbird captured and banded near Inkom, Idaho. This is the smallest breeding bird in North America. (Photo provided by Todd Eskelin)
An aerial photo of the longest of five culverts being installed under the Sterling Highway. (Photo by Shaun Combs, DOT&PF)

Refuge notebook: Why do moose cross the road?

By JOHN MORTON Why do moose cross the road? To get to the other side, of course — as do other wildlife like lynx, caribou,… Continue reading

An aerial photo of the longest of five culverts being installed under the Sterling Highway. (Photo by Shaun Combs, DOT&PF)
Kenai National Wildlife Refuge interns Angel Smith and Laura Bashor help Hilcorp Alaska restore a retired gas pad east of the Swanson River Oil Field. (Photo by Lorene Lynn)

Restoring nature 1 gravel pad at a time

By AMBER ROBBINS What happens to old oil and gas pads when they are no longer useful? This June, I was given the opportunity to… Continue reading

Kenai National Wildlife Refuge interns Angel Smith and Laura Bashor help Hilcorp Alaska restore a retired gas pad east of the Swanson River Oil Field. (Photo by Lorene Lynn)
Bright orange spores are released from rupturing needles of a spruce tip infected with spruce tip rust on the Skyline Trail on July 5, 2018. (Photo provided by Matt Bowser of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

A big year for spruce tip rust

By MATT BOWSER “What is that?” asked my co-worker, pointing down to where it looked like someone had marked the ground beside the Skyline Trail… Continue reading

Bright orange spores are released from rupturing needles of a spruce tip infected with spruce tip rust on the Skyline Trail on July 5, 2018. (Photo provided by Matt Bowser of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Our national bird more than meets the eye

By TODD AND LEAH ESKELIN If you have not checked out the city of Kenai Eagle Cam you are missing out. This is among the… Continue reading