Biologist Daneil Rapp reaches way into a burrow to investigate its contents. (Photo by Sarah Youngren/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: The life of a biologist

It’s summer in Alaska when the daylight hours are long and nearly countless wildlife is reproducing. Nearly countless, but not entirely. A crew of biologists… Continue reading

 

Camille Botello reaches the Skyline summit near Cooper Landing, Alaska with dirty ankles on June 27, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: The view from Skyline

In some ways, the isolation of the pandemic has proved even more harsh for me. I’ve spent the majority of it — actually, this week… Continue reading

 

Volunteer campground hosts meet with Refuge Rangers at Hidden Lake Campground. (Photo by Berkley Bedell/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: How campers make good neighbors

There’s just something about dinner roasted over an open fire (maybe a s’more or two for dessert), birds singing and kids playing games that don’t… Continue reading

 

Bears walk along Skilak Lake Road on Monday, June 14, 2021 near Skilak Lake, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Bears and dogs don’t mix

The best way to enjoy bear country with pups is by keeping them close.

Bears walk along Skilak Lake Road on Monday, June 14, 2021 near Skilak Lake, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
The author starts the Mount Marathon Race on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Nicole Lawrence)

Tangled Up in Blue: 360 days to go

When I first heard about the Mount Marathon Race after moving to Kenai, I was ignorant to its heavyweight status. I hadn’t explored the state… Continue reading

The author starts the Mount Marathon Race on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Nicole Lawrence)
A telephoto lens helps capture this photo of a black bear on the Kenai Peninsula while keeping a safe distance. (Photo by C. Canterbury/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Being aware in bear country

I recently got a call from a friend that is a typical call we receive when living in places like the Kenai Peninsula. Our friends… Continue reading

A telephoto lens helps capture this photo of a black bear on the Kenai Peninsula while keeping a safe distance. (Photo by C. Canterbury/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Kayakers paddle across Kenai Lake on Saturday, June 12, 2021, near Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Kayakers paddle across Kenai Lake on Saturday, June 12, 2021, near Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
After a few days, the chick is getting stronger and showing promise for a potential successful release. (Photo by Marianne Clark)

Refuge Notebook: Do our feathered friends need help?

For many, summer in Alaska is signified by lupine in full bloom and the bugs coming out in force. The abundance of insects is also… Continue reading

After a few days, the chick is getting stronger and showing promise for a potential successful release. (Photo by Marianne Clark)
Map of wildfire history on the Kenai Peninsula. (From Wildland Fire Science)

Refuge Notebook: Living with fire on Kenai Peninsula

Thinking back to my childhood days in Alaska, I don’t recall wildfires being a regular occurrence. I’ve learned that I was uninformed at that time.… Continue reading

Map of wildfire history on the Kenai Peninsula. (From Wildland Fire Science)
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Tangled Up in Blue: Sidelined

I didn’t race in the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb at Bird Ridge in Anchorage last Sunday. I went up to the trailhead, and walked… Continue reading

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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

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

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)
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.

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)
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)