Clear skies

We knew it would gush rain all weekend but decided to go anyway. I sliced off the top of a plastic milk jug and said… Continue reading

Members of the Kenai River Queens watch their game and wait on a line shift on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 at Kenai Multipurpose Facility in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

River Queens take the ice

Once the temperature drops, being a Kenai River Queen doesn’t mean you caught the biggest king — it means you’re on the ice. The Kenai… Continue reading

Members of the Kenai River Queens watch their game and wait on a line shift on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 at Kenai Multipurpose Facility in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)
Single image mosaics were created from the hundreds of photos taken during multiple drone surveys. Distinguishing Aleutian from Arctic Terns based on bill color was possible from photos taken 50 feet above the ground. (Image courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: An unmanned survey of a tern colony

A small breeding colony of Arctic and Aleutian Terns nests by Headquarters Lake, a convenient 15-minute walk from the Kenai Refuge office. For several years,… Continue reading

Single image mosaics were created from the hundreds of photos taken during multiple drone surveys. Distinguishing Aleutian from Arctic Terns based on bill color was possible from photos taken 50 feet above the ground. (Image courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Due dates for Kenai Refuge permits just around the corner

As I reflect on the last six months of the year, I’m appreciative of the absolute flurry of activity both recreationally and commercially here on… Continue reading

Clouds roll over a mountain near Cooper Landing on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Bad weather, one step at a time

Especially for those eager to recreate on snow, the weather forecast for the next week is not pretty. Lots of clouds, rain and temperatures in… Continue reading

Clouds roll over a mountain near Cooper Landing on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)
Kids from the Kenaitze Indian Tribe Susten Archaeology Camp excavate around a historical cabin in preparation for it be moved by Gary Titus from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo provided)

Relocation of the Darien-Lindgren Cabin

In 2012, I received a grant from the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area to develop an interpretive program for the Kenaitze Indian Tribe. My… Continue reading

Kids from the Kenaitze Indian Tribe Susten Archaeology Camp excavate around a historical cabin in preparation for it be moved by Gary Titus from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo provided)

‘Peaking’ my interest

I can’t exactly tell you how many peaks I’ve climbed on the Kenai Peninsula. It doesn’t have anything to do with my memory — rather,… Continue reading

A snowshoer enjoys Tsalteshi Trails in this Decmeber 2013 file photo. A wide range of sports gear will be available at the Kenai Central High School ski team’s annual gear swap Saturday at the school. (Clarion file photo)

Swap and shop: Kenai Central Ski Team holds sports swap

For anyone in the market for sports equipment, whether looking to start skiing or needing a new Frisbee, Kenai Central High School will have the… Continue reading

A snowshoer enjoys Tsalteshi Trails in this Decmeber 2013 file photo. A wide range of sports gear will be available at the Kenai Central High School ski team’s annual gear swap Saturday at the school. (Clarion file photo)
The American Redstart currently breeds in eastern United States and southern Canada, but climate warming may make the Kenai Peninsula a suitable place for it to live by the end of this century. (Photo by S. Maslowski, USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Flying into the future

I am jealous of birds. They fly. In my imagination, the mobility of flight would open up so many possibilities. The first bird found in… Continue reading

The American Redstart currently breeds in eastern United States and southern Canada, but climate warming may make the Kenai Peninsula a suitable place for it to live by the end of this century. (Photo by S. Maslowski, USFWS)
Flowered spikes that look like erect pine cones are why this parasitic plant that grows in northern latitudes is called the Northern Groundcone. (Photo by Leslie Morton)

Refuge Notebook: Northern Groundcones – the cure for cancer?

In the 1992 movie “Medicine Man,” Sean Connery plays a scientist who discovers the cure for cancer in a rare ant species in the Amazon… Continue reading

Flowered spikes that look like erect pine cones are why this parasitic plant that grows in northern latitudes is called the Northern Groundcone. (Photo by Leslie Morton)

An Outdoor View: Shrews

Author’s note: The Clarion first published this column on Sept. 18, 1987. I’ve edited it for brevity. — LP Unless you live in Australia or… Continue reading

Out of the Office: Hands on

Out of the Office: Hands on

A palm reader once told me I’d marry a dark-haired man, but wouldn’t lead a long life. Since then, I’ve decided I don’t believe in… Continue reading

Out of the Office: Hands on

Trapping season approaches

Regulations for trapping throughout the state vary, but trapping season on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is almost here. Anyone looking for a unique way… Continue reading

Remains of an aluminum soda can that was chewed on by wolf pups at a wolf natal den on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo by Ted Bailey)

Refuge Notebook: Secure natal dens are vital for many carnivorous mammals

A hidden, secure place to give birth to and rear young is vital to many carnivorous mammals. This is especially true for solitary carnivores in… Continue reading

Remains of an aluminum soda can that was chewed on by wolf pups at a wolf natal den on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo by Ted Bailey)
Lily Craig shows off the silver salmon she caught on the Kenai River during the Kenai Chamber of Commerce’s first annual silver salmon derby in September 2017. (Photo courtesy Nathaniel Craig)

Silver derby wraps up with 200+ entries

With the first Kenai River Silver Salmon Derby officially closed, the Kenai Chamber of Commerce is calling it a success. The derby organizers weighed their… Continue reading

Lily Craig shows off the silver salmon she caught on the Kenai River during the Kenai Chamber of Commerce’s first annual silver salmon derby in September 2017. (Photo courtesy Nathaniel Craig)

An Outdoor View: On risks, disasters and deprivation

With so many people having to leave their homes due to natural disasters in recent weeks, I got to thinking about disasters. During the hurricanes,… Continue reading

At the close of the first day of Kenai’s Silver Salmon Derby, Kenai mayor Brian Gabriel spins one of the two wheels that generate the “magic weight,” allowing the catcher of the fish closest to that weight to win a percentage of the day’s derby earning, on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at Three Bears grocery store in Kenai, Alaska. The wheels settled on a magic weight of 7.85 pounds. Of the 43 silver salmon brought to Three Bears to be weighed and entered on Wednesday, the winner was 8.13 pounds. The Kenai silver derby is a new promotional event in its first year, put on by the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Kenai’s city government. Complete rules can be found on the Kenai Chamber of Commerce website or at Three Bears grocery. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Wheel of Silvers

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to show the magic weight on Wednesday was determined to be 7.85 pounds. At the close of the… Continue reading

At the close of the first day of Kenai’s Silver Salmon Derby, Kenai mayor Brian Gabriel spins one of the two wheels that generate the “magic weight,” allowing the catcher of the fish closest to that weight to win a percentage of the day’s derby earning, on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at Three Bears grocery store in Kenai, Alaska. The wheels settled on a magic weight of 7.85 pounds. Of the 43 silver salmon brought to Three Bears to be weighed and entered on Wednesday, the winner was 8.13 pounds. The Kenai silver derby is a new promotional event in its first year, put on by the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Kenai’s city government. Complete rules can be found on the Kenai Chamber of Commerce website or at Three Bears grocery. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)
Genetic relationships among selected big-ear radix snails collected in several geographic regions. Longer branch lengths correspond to more differences among barcode sequences, measured in expected changes per amino acid site. (Graphic courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: One thing leads to another: Big-ear radix snails on the Kenai Peninsula

“Sometimes one thing leads to another.” This is a quote from a Refuge Notebook article I had written about the Kenai Peninsula’s first exotic freshwater… Continue reading

Genetic relationships among selected big-ear radix snails collected in several geographic regions. Longer branch lengths correspond to more differences among barcode sequences, measured in expected changes per amino acid site. (Graphic courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Rain putting a damper on summer, fall activities

If it seems like the fall season in Alaska is upon us, you’d be wrong. Technically. Technically, autumn does not begin for another week, Sept.… Continue reading

Austin Strattman wrestles a steer to the ground in a chute dogging display June 25, 2016, at the Soldotna rodeo grounds. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Weekend 9-11 rodeo to pay tribute to veterans, police, servicemen

With the 16th anniversary of the tragic events of Sept. 11 approaching, the men and women who commit their lives to protect their community and… Continue reading

Austin Strattman wrestles a steer to the ground in a chute dogging display June 25, 2016, at the Soldotna rodeo grounds. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)