Range (shown in red) of the northern flying squirrel in Alaska. (Source: Alaska Fish and Game)

Refuge Notebook: Myth or mystery — flying squirrels on the Kenai

The northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus) is somewhat of an enigma to the Kenai Peninsula. While it has an established home in the Interior and… Continue reading

 

Homer News reporter Sarah Knapp (kneeling) is pictured with the Friends of Kachemak Bay State Park volunteer group who cleared South Eldred Trail during National Trails Day on June 5. The group was able to clear half a mile of the trail. Pictured left to right are Kristine Moerlein, Amy Holman, Kathy Sarns, Lyn Maslow, Ruth Dickerson and Kris Holderied. (Photo by Michael Singer)

Out of the Office: Finding Home in Alaska

“The story is it’s dark, it’s cold, it’s unfriendly and there are wild animals that’ll eat you.” That is the story of Alaska, or so… Continue reading

 

A Dytiscidae larva (water tiger) spotted in a pond adjacent to the pipeline corridor within the Kenai Wildlife Refuge in June 2020 (USFWS/Matt Bowser)

Refuge Notebook: The little-known predator of the seasonal pond

Not to be confused with the more noticeable surface whirligig beetles that swim in a circle, predaceous diving beetles will most often be under the water tension.

 

Eileen Sorensen taunts her dog, Hana, with fresh caught and cooked blue claw crabs in New Jersey. (Photo courtesy Kat Sorensen)

Tangled Up in Blue: Good Grief

They say that grief washes over you in waves, but I just jumped in.

Eileen Sorensen taunts her dog, Hana, with fresh caught and cooked blue claw crabs in New Jersey. (Photo courtesy Kat Sorensen)
Nick Varney

Reeling ‘Em In: Homer Spit looking like its own self again

Chinook fishing looks good in the fishing hole — but watch out for those seals.

Nick Varney
A young bear grazes on roadside horsetails off Skilak Lake Road. (Colin Canterbury/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Lots to spot this spring on Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

Fluffs of shiny black fur, russet red velvety noses, bright yellow mouths open wide. Spring babies will be making an appearance on the Kenai National… Continue reading

A young bear grazes on roadside horsetails off Skilak Lake Road. (Colin Canterbury/USFWS)
Ranger Nick Longobardi recording GoPro footage for Facebook content to bring sights from the refuge into your homes. (Photo by MJ Hendren/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Adaptation as consistency?

This year has been one for the books. Many of us had to change and adapt the way we function in our everyday lives. The… Continue reading

Ranger Nick Longobardi recording GoPro footage for Facebook content to bring sights from the refuge into your homes. (Photo by MJ Hendren/USFWS)
A male rufous hummingbird flashes his brilliant gorget after being captured for banding. This bird was banded in 2020 and returned to Seward for another breeding season. (Photo by Todd Eskelin/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Summer hummers

Recently, I was in Seward attempting to catch and band the first rufous hummingbird of the year. We had seen the bird the day before,… Continue reading

A male rufous hummingbird flashes his brilliant gorget after being captured for banding. This bird was banded in 2020 and returned to Seward for another breeding season. (Photo by Todd Eskelin/USFWS)
This is me standing in front of the Denali National Park and Preserve sign on Saturday, March 20, 2021. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: The weekend

By the second week of March, I had pretty much forgotten about the dry cabin I’d booked for the next weekend. I’d made reservations from… Continue reading

This is me standing in front of the Denali National Park and Preserve sign on Saturday, March 20, 2021. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Looking east towards the sun rising over Caribou Island. (Photo provided by refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Paddling Tustumena

By JOHN MORTON Alaska Wildlife Alliance

Looking east towards the sun rising over Caribou Island. (Photo provided by refuge)
Photos courtesy John Schoen
Mary Beth Schoen admires a large-tree old-growth stand in Saook Bay on northeastern Baranof Island. Some individual trees were over 6 feet in diameter and many centuries old. This riparian area was adjacent to a salmon stream and was full of bear trails. Large-tree old growth stands are rare on the Tongass.
Photos courtesy John Schoen
Mary Beth Schoen admires a large-tree old-growth stand in Saook Bay on northeastern Baranof Island. Some individual trees were over 6 feet in diameter and many centuries old. This riparian area was adjacent to a salmon stream and was full of bear trails. Large-tree old growth stands are rare on the Tongass.
Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuge Vice President and Outreach Chair Poppy Benson collects litter from the side of the highway at the refuge in Soldotna, Alaska on Friday, April 30, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Spring cleaning

Volunteers turn out to remove refuse from the refuge

Friends of Alaska National Wildlife Refuge Vice President and Outreach Chair Poppy Benson collects litter from the side of the highway at the refuge in Soldotna, Alaska on Friday, April 30, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
A group of skiers make their way along a trail behind Skyview High School, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, at the Black Stone Axe Ridge Warm Up Rally at the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna lends support to Tsalteshi grant request

The trails association recently applied for a grant through the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

A group of skiers make their way along a trail behind Skyview High School, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, at the Black Stone Axe Ridge Warm Up Rally at the Tsalteshi Trails in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)
Large flocks of Pacific brant depend on a few key areas, especially Izembek Lagoon. (Photo by Heather Wilson/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: The outlook for Pacific brant

After a multiweek weather delay, Biologist/Pilot Heather Wilson and I took off from Kenai just before noon, Jan. 31, in a Cessna 206 on amphibious… Continue reading

Large flocks of Pacific brant depend on a few key areas, especially Izembek Lagoon. (Photo by Heather Wilson/USFWS)
This photo taken in October 2017 shows author Kat Sorensen with the first fish she ever caught using a fly rod! (Photo courtesy of Kat Sorensen)

Tangled Up in Blue: Throwbacks

There’s still a box of fancy heels and short, summer dresses wasting away in my parents’ basement right where I dumped them over four years… Continue reading

This photo taken in October 2017 shows author Kat Sorensen with the first fish she ever caught using a fly rod! (Photo courtesy of Kat Sorensen)
The Alaska Highway on July 15, 2020. (Photo by Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Up the Alcan

Five days and nearly 2,500 miles: That’s how long I traveled to get to Alaska. I grew up in rural Idaho, 5,000 feet up in… Continue reading

The Alaska Highway on July 15, 2020. (Photo by Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
The docile Pacific brant migrates thousands of miles between eelgrass beds in Alaska and Mexico. (Photo by Jeff Wasley/USGS)

Refuge Notebook: Meet our amazing Pacific brant

This is the first of a two-part series describing a charismatic but lesser known goose species, its past, present and future in the Pacific flyway,… Continue reading

The docile Pacific brant migrates thousands of miles between eelgrass beds in Alaska and Mexico. (Photo by Jeff Wasley/USGS)
Andrew Marley, the 2021 Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament winner, at left, holds his prize winning 25.62-pound white king salmon on Saturday, April 17, 2021, on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. Helping him are his father, Jay Marley, center, and older brother Weston Marley, right. The family team included Erica Marley, not shown, all fishing on the Fly Dough. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

10-year-old takes home $87,000 for top fish in Homer tourney

‘Quite a bit of that is going to go to college tuition,’ dad says of son’s earnings

Andrew Marley, the 2021 Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament winner, at left, holds his prize winning 25.62-pound white king salmon on Saturday, April 17, 2021, on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. Helping him are his father, Jay Marley, center, and older brother Weston Marley, right. The family team included Erica Marley, not shown, all fishing on the Fly Dough. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
StoryWalk along the Keen-Eye Trail. (Photo by Michelle Ostrowski/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Read a book, spend time in nature with StoryWalk

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss, “I… Continue reading

StoryWalk along the Keen-Eye Trail. (Photo by Michelle Ostrowski/USFWS)
Bleached, dying elodea in Sandpiper Lake on Aug. 28, 2020. (Photo by Mark Laker/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Update on non-native species in refuge

While some planned projects at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge were put on hold in summer 2020 due the pandemic, we in the refuge’s biology… Continue reading

Bleached, dying elodea in Sandpiper Lake on Aug. 28, 2020. (Photo by Mark Laker/USFWS)