Refuge notebook: Taking the wild out of wildlife

I find this a little depressing. A 2018 study published by the National Academy of Sciences estimates that by weight, 70% of all birds on… Continue reading

 

Graduate student Sue Ives used this portable acrylic chamber with an infrared gas analyzer to measure carbon flow in a peatland on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo provided by the refuge)

Refuge notebook: Healthy peatlands store carbon and help salmon

After this last summer’s lightning, fires and long drought, it should be obvious that our local climate is becoming warmer and drier than longtime residents… Continue reading

 

A brave volunteer dressed up in a bat costume to help peers visualize the anatomy of a bat resulted in an unusual question. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge notebook: No silly questions

“Why don’t bats get dizzy from hanging upside down?” A second grade student at Tustumena Elementary School posed this excellent question to me. I stood… Continue reading

 

This adult male Bobolink was singing and displaying in a distant field near Homer, Alaska. With the aid of a 500mm lens, astute birders documented the first occurrence of this species on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo by Sarah Dzielski)

Refuge Notebook: The Future of the Bobolink

June 23, 2019 started as almost every other day this summer. Hot, dry weather dominated from Hope to Seldovia. It was, however, unique in the… Continue reading

This adult male Bobolink was singing and displaying in a distant field near Homer, Alaska. With the aid of a 500mm lens, astute birders documented the first occurrence of this species on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo by Sarah Dzielski)

Out of the office: The bigger the moment, the bigger the reaction

There’s something about big moments and important games that I just can’t get enough of. As a sportswriter, it’s naturally in my DNA to salivate… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: Kenai refuge cabins are again open for business

As a relatively new parent, my appreciation of the proverb that begins with, “It takes a village,” seems to grow with each passing day. This… Continue reading

Tangled Up in Blue: Love & Volleyball

My boyfriend won’t let me be on his volleyball team. Last summer, before we were dating and when female participation in the Seward softball league… Continue reading

Out of the office: Best place on the peninsula

Columnist’s note: I felt compelled to write this column Sunday night, even though it wasn’t due until Thursday afternoon. A short time after I finished,… Continue reading

The author ran a marathon in the snow and has been feeling pretty blue since. (Photo courtesy Kat Sorensen)

Tangled up in Runner’s Blues

I’m always looking for the right answer, the right way to do things. I manipulate my Google searches over and over, to find the hidden… Continue reading

The author ran a marathon in the snow and has been feeling pretty blue since. (Photo courtesy Kat Sorensen)
Baked salmon with roasted turnips, brussell sprouts, carrots, beets, kohlrabi for dinner, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2019, near Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the office: Summery salmon memories

Wednesday evening, everything on my dinner plate was either caught in Alaska or grown in Alaska. The last of the kohlrabi and turnips, a single… Continue reading

Baked salmon with roasted turnips, brussell sprouts, carrots, beets, kohlrabi for dinner, Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2019, near Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
A hiker avoids an icy, frozen boardwalk on a morning hike from the Dan Moller Cabin in Juneau in October 2019. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled up in Blue: Winter isn’t coming

On a late September early morning drive back from Talkeetna, I saw winter surprise three different drivers. The first hit the black ice in their… Continue reading

A hiker avoids an icy, frozen boardwalk on a morning hike from the Dan Moller Cabin in Juneau in October 2019. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Refuge notebook: New fall colors include hummingbirds

In a day and age where social media seems to dominate and not always for the best reasons, I recently had the most positive outcome… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: More elodea found on Kenai refuge

When we first found elodea on the Kenai Peninsula seven years ago, partners in the Kenai Peninsula Cooperative Weed Management Area didn’t really have any… Continue reading

The writer is seen in this ridiculous photo posted immediately to her mother’s Facebook as she leaves for Alaska in February 2017 with only one coat, the army jacket she wears in this photo. (Photo courtesy of Eileen Sorensen)

A little bit richer

I woke up this morning a bit richer. The Alaska Permanent Fund dividend landed in Alaskans’ bank accounts sometime early Thursday and mine was among… Continue reading

The writer is seen in this ridiculous photo posted immediately to her mother’s Facebook as she leaves for Alaska in February 2017 with only one coat, the army jacket she wears in this photo. (Photo courtesy of Eileen Sorensen)
Michael Armstrong’s dog, Leia, waits patiently to go for a walk on the Homer Spit beach on Jan. 25, 2014, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Need an exercise plan? Get a dog — a really rowdy, rambunctious dog

Suppose at your latest physical you got a stern lecture from your doctor. Suppose she told you to start exercising more — a lot more.… Continue reading

Michael Armstrong’s dog, Leia, waits patiently to go for a walk on the Homer Spit beach on Jan. 25, 2014, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
The author and her first cousin once removed, August Murphy, play at the waterfront playground in Seward, Alaska, in late August 2019. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Murphy)

Tangled up in Blue: Viewscapes

I want to start reflecting on this summer with an onslaught of adjectives — hot, exciting, adventurous, challenging — but I have two more things… Continue reading

The author and her first cousin once removed, August Murphy, play at the waterfront playground in Seward, Alaska, in late August 2019. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Murphy)

Refuge notebook: The porcupine — an underappreciated creature

Sauntering my way, the animal halted and gazed in my direction. It appeared uncertain about my status. Was I a threat? Or, was I anything… Continue reading

A group of friends makes their way through the trail leading to Tutka Lake across Kachemak Bay from Homer, Alaska in August, 2019. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Let’s pour one out for Mother Tutka

For the two years I’ve lived in Homer, I’ve managed just two trips across Kachemak Bay that haven’t been work related. If I keep up… Continue reading

A group of friends makes their way through the trail leading to Tutka Lake across Kachemak Bay from Homer, Alaska in August, 2019. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Refuge Notebook: The Swan Lake Fire and wildlife

This summer brought one of the hottest and driest summers ever recorded on the Kenai. Large areas dominated by black spruce, hot temperatures, and dry… Continue reading

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