Birches offer up free brew this time of year on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo courtesy John Morton)

Refuge Notebook: Ent-draughts and birch sap

In Lord of the Rings, the two hobbits, Merry Brandybuck and Pippin Took, grow taller as their hair curls after downing a few Ent-draughts between… Continue reading

Birches offer up free brew this time of year on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo courtesy John Morton)

An Outdoor View: Getting along with bears

Author’s note: The Clarion first published this column on Aug. 11, 2006. It has been edited it for brevity. — LP I live in a… Continue reading

Even though the Swanson River has a slow current, canoeists smartly wear life jackets. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlif Refuge)

Getting ready for spring fever

It doesn’t take too many warm sunny days, coupled with almost three additional hours of daylight gained over the last month, for Spring Fever to… Continue reading

Even though the Swanson River has a slow current, canoeists smartly wear life jackets. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlif Refuge)
Silene acauilis, commonly known as moss campion or cushion pink, is seen along the Mount Marathon hiking trail in Seward in spring 2017. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Spring’s mantra

There is a Zen proverb that says, “Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.” The Kenai Peninsula is waking up,… Continue reading

Silene acauilis, commonly known as moss campion or cushion pink, is seen along the Mount Marathon hiking trail in Seward in spring 2017. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)
Pinned, labeled and barcoded Fannia subpellucens from the insect collection at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Find the online record in Arctos by simply typing “KNWR:Ento:2838” in the “Any Identifier” search bar and press enter! (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Making Kenai Refuge data discoverable through Arctos

In December, I started a project I had hoped would be over rather quickly. But to my surprise, I’m still enjoying it. After three months… Continue reading

Pinned, labeled and barcoded Fannia subpellucens from the insect collection at Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Find the online record in Arctos by simply typing “KNWR:Ento:2838” in the “Any Identifier” search bar and press enter! (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

An Outdoor View: Strange fishing indeed

For some reason, this column doesn’t seem as crazy now as it did when I wrote it for the Clarion in 2006. — LP “I… Continue reading

One of the aerial markers used to monitor snow depth on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Goodbye snow

The longer days and sun warming my office have me thinking somewhat disappointingly about trading out my skis for my bike. I am one of… Continue reading

One of the aerial markers used to monitor snow depth on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
The Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership works to protect spawning and rearing habitats for salmon and other fish species across jurisdicational boundaries. (Photo provided)

Refuge Notebook: A partnership approach to protecting fish habitats

What is being done collaboratively to ensure the Kenai Peninsula’s aquatic habitat remains healthy for fish? The Kenai Peninsula hosts a number of non-profit organizations,… Continue reading

The Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership works to protect spawning and rearing habitats for salmon and other fish species across jurisdicational boundaries. (Photo provided)
To everyone who made a great winter of recreation possible, thanks

To everyone who made a great winter of recreation possible, thanks

A hike I did on the Carter Lake trail in mid-January is a perfect example of how we rely on others when we recreate outdoors… Continue reading

To everyone who made a great winter of recreation possible, thanks

An Outdoor View: The fishing deal

Looking back at some of the crazy things I’ve done in the name of fishing in the past 75 years, I’m dumbfounded. As a wee… Continue reading

Looking south over the outwash delta at the head of Tustumena Lake showing where water and sand erupted from the ground and fractured the ice 54 years ago. Photograph taken shortly after the March 27, 1964 earthquake by Ave Thayer, Kenai National Moose Range.

Refuge Notebook: When the Kenai and Kasilof Rivers flowed backward

It must have been an alarming sight to see these two Kenai Peninsula rivers temporarily flow backward into the outlets of Kenai and Tustumena Lakes.… Continue reading

Looking south over the outwash delta at the head of Tustumena Lake showing where water and sand erupted from the ground and fractured the ice 54 years ago. Photograph taken shortly after the March 27, 1964 earthquake by Ave Thayer, Kenai National Moose Range.
TEK: Another Way of Understanding Our Natural World

TEK: Another Way of Understanding Our Natural World

I had the privilege last week to participate in an interesting workshop hosted by Chugachmiut, an Alaska Native nonprofit agency that serves seven villages in… Continue reading

TEK: Another Way of Understanding Our Natural World
Nature in music and feeling

Nature in music and feeling

Frozen Portage Lake beneath me cracks and groans ominously. A bitter cold infects the skin between my wrist and glove where cloth edges don’t meet.… Continue reading

Nature in music and feeling

What does a 1st-time Alaska visitor read to get ready?

Whether they’re built on John Muir’s journey along the Southeast in a Tlingit canoe, Christopher McCandless’ iconic teal and white bus or a retelling of… Continue reading

An Outdoor View: A Winter Olympics dream

Not much has changed since I wrote this column during the 1994 Winter Olympics. Norwegians still dominate most events, while Americans still win the occasional… Continue reading

The single track on Tsalteshi Trails offers the chance for snowshoeing and fat biking during the winter while the main trails are open only for skiing. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Five ideas for spring break fun

Next week is the start of spring break, leaving families across the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District one week and one day of time to… Continue reading

The single track on Tsalteshi Trails offers the chance for snowshoeing and fat biking during the winter while the main trails are open only for skiing. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)
Moon shot: Looking for signs in the sky

Moon shot: Looking for signs in the sky

I am mystically inclined. I look for patterns in my life — filtering meaning through cards or the stars — arranging the order of happenstance… Continue reading

Moon shot: Looking for signs in the sky
A willow rose on a Barclay willow near the Sterling Highway in Soldotna, February 28. Note in the background a stem from the same willow that was browsed by a moose; the rose gall was not eaten. (USFWS photo/Matt Bowser)

Refuge Notebook: A willow, a fly, and a moose

While traffic rushed incessantly up and down the Sterling Highway on a glorious June day, a male Barclay willow flourished in the full sun on… Continue reading

A willow rose on a Barclay willow near the Sterling Highway in Soldotna, February 28. Note in the background a stem from the same willow that was browsed by a moose; the rose gall was not eaten. (USFWS photo/Matt Bowser)
A male Wilson’s Warbler bathes in a small waterfall, Santa Elena, Costa Rica February 20, 2018 (T. Eskelin).

Refuge Notebook: Vacation through the eyes of a naturalist

First let’s paint a picture. I am sitting at a concrete table sipping the best cup of coffee I have ever tasted. It was slow… Continue reading

A male Wilson’s Warbler bathes in a small waterfall, Santa Elena, Costa Rica February 20, 2018 (T. Eskelin).

An Outdoor View: Bonefishing, Part 9

Author’s note: This column is the last in a series about fishing at Christmas Island in 1987. — LP March 2 — When I wake… Continue reading