Refuge Notebook: Migration is not canceled

A friend told me recently that March is her favorite month. What? Not May, when our birds of summer come home to nest? Nor June… Continue reading

 

Out of the Office: Nature in a time of pandemic can heal

As I write this I am in my third day of working at home — or, as I like to think of it, an embedded… Continue reading

 

During this time of uncertainty, the author vacillates between being outdoors and binge watching “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” (Photo courtesy of Kat Sorensen)

Tangled Up in Blue: Lonely among us

I set daily goals to accomplish during this universal pandemic, a different kind of frontier.

 

Crested auklets are just one of 30 species of seabirds that we study, but theyղe one of the strangest with their otherworldy eyes, showgirl plumes and tangerine odor. The citrus odor may be important for repelling pests. (Photo by Michael Johns/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Introducing Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge

We’ve probably already met, but you didn’t realize it. We’re the other national wildlife refuge headquartered on the Kenai Peninsula. If you’ve taken a Kenai… Continue reading

Crested auklets are just one of 30 species of seabirds that we study, but theyղe one of the strangest with their otherworldy eyes, showgirl plumes and tangerine odor. The citrus odor may be important for repelling pests. (Photo by Michael Johns/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Birds of the World resource wows

Recently a friend asked me for information about spruce grouse. I am sure he saw the slight look of panic as I thought about what… Continue reading

The author and a friend ski the hayfield loop on Feb. 24, 2020 at the Lookout Mountain Trails near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Back to basics

What do column writing and cross-country skiing have in common? Sometimes, they’re like pulling teeth. There are some days when the words just don’t seem… Continue reading

The author and a friend ski the hayfield loop on Feb. 24, 2020 at the Lookout Mountain Trails near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Refuge Notebook: Metabarcoding in our backyard

I like low key, low tech, cheap science. That is part of why I became an entomologist. I love that I can walk out the… Continue reading

The author’s fancy new skis are seen here during a ski in early January 2020. (Photo by Kat Sorensen)

Tangled Up in Blue: Don’t think twice

When my first Alaska Permanent Fund dividend hit my bank account, I did what every Alaskan wants to do, no matter how fiscally responsible they… Continue reading

The author’s fancy new skis are seen here during a ski in early January 2020. (Photo by Kat Sorensen)

Out of the Office: Dropping a line

In my ongoing quest to shake off my Florida roots and achieve the illustrious title of “Real Alaskan,” I recently managed to cross an important… Continue reading

Refuge Notebook: I Think I Can Ski

Let us start with a riddle. There are 11 frogs sitting on a log. Five of the frogs decide to jump off the log. How… Continue reading

The Tour of Tsalteshi is best done with friends. (Photo courtesy of Kat Sorensen)

Tangled Up in Blue: A good ski with friends

This past weekend I spent my Saturday night waxing skis. Sunday, I woke up before the crack of dawn, at 7:30 a.m., to make the… Continue reading

The Tour of Tsalteshi is best done with friends. (Photo courtesy of Kat Sorensen)

Refuge Notebook: Ice fishing the Swanson River Road area lakes

Winter is my favorite season here on the Kenai Peninsula. Everything is slower, quieter. You can just sense that the energy is calmer than the… Continue reading

Refuge Notebook: Completion of the Sterling Highway Improvements Project

As anyone visiting the Skilak Lake Wildlife Recreation Area or traveling between the Kenai Peninsula and Anchorage knows, construction has been underway on the Sterling… Continue reading

Former Refuge K9 Officer Rex will enjoy retirement as newcomer formerly known as Thomi takes up the job. (Photo by Rob Barto/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Refuge K9 officer receives new name

Who has ever poured over a list of possible baby names, highlighting favorites and writing them down for deliberation? Who has done the same for… Continue reading

Former Refuge K9 Officer Rex will enjoy retirement as newcomer formerly known as Thomi takes up the job. (Photo by Rob Barto/USFWS)
Hallie Bergwall makes a move in a Scrabble game at Resurrect Art Coffee House in Seward, Alaska. Bergwall took home the win. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled Up in Blue: Piecing together a win

My friend Joseph is a Scrabble savant by my standards and, I would think, by many other’s standards too. He excels at anagrams, staring at… Continue reading

Hallie Bergwall makes a move in a Scrabble game at Resurrect Art Coffee House in Seward, Alaska. Bergwall took home the win. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)
Driving through White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

El Paso or bust

It was minus 22 when we left for the Anchorage airport earlier this month. It was a sunny, beautiful drive north. The kind of bitter-cold… Continue reading

Driving through White Sands National Monument in New Mexico. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Bear Lake. Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/For the Clarion)

Tangled Up in Blue: A Bear Lake Loop

All summer long, you can find rowers, kayakers and more on Bear Lake just outside of Seward. Somewhere hidden on the west side, there’s a… Continue reading

Bear Lake. Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/For the Clarion)

Refuge notebook: Wintering sparrows find their way to Kenai

A recent study published in the journal Nature Climate Change highlighted some work by Dr. Kyle Horton and his colleagues, who figured out how to… Continue reading

Refuge Notebook: Exploring agriculture of the Kenai, 1897-1898

On June 8, 1897, Dr. Walter H. Evans of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Benton Killin, a retired lawyer and regent of the Oregon… Continue reading

Tangled Up in Blue: Heart’s Invisible Furies

I came up with a handful of good, meaningful New Year’s resolutions but by Jan. 2, I had failed most of them. My resolutions usually… Continue reading