Anna and I in Seward, Alaska, on June 9, 2022 after waiting in Cooper Landing for almost three hours.

Out of the Office: Time well spent

There really only seem to be two seasons in Alaska: winter season and construction season. On the Kenai Peninsula this summer, we’ve all been delayed… Continue reading

Anna and I in Seward, Alaska, on June 9, 2022 after waiting in Cooper Landing for almost three hours.
Nick Varney

Reeling ‘Em In: Kings acting ‘a bit schizoid’

It’s hard to tell what’s worse: thieving seals or *%$@#0# snaggers

Nick Varney
The scenery on the drive from Homer to Anchorage ranges from beautiful to awe inspiring, like Turnagain Pass on the Kenai Peninsula, as seen here on Sunday, May 22, 2022. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Road trippin’

You know how you’ve done something so long and so often it becomes routine, and yet it still can amaze you? Traveling to Anchorage and… Continue reading

The scenery on the drive from Homer to Anchorage ranges from beautiful to awe inspiring, like Turnagain Pass on the Kenai Peninsula, as seen here on Sunday, May 22, 2022. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
A moose browsing on birch on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/FWS)

Refuge Notebook: Moose and pizza: A matter of taste?

Special note from Kris Inman, refuge supervisory wildlife biologist: From time to time, we look back at previous articles, and this article stood out at… Continue reading

A moose browsing on birch on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/FWS)
A fisherman catches a salmon in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon before the tide washed in on June 25, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)

Reeling ‘Em In: River closures means best fishing is by the sea

It’s time now to take and look at the fishing report for the week of June 14, 2022

A fisherman catches a salmon in the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon before the tide washed in on June 25, 2021, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Hikers walk along the Ptarmigan Lake trail on Sunday, May 22, 2022 near Seward, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Coming back together

Maybe it’s the sunshine or maybe it’s the revival of activities that were shuttered during COVID, but the peninsula is feeling brighter and more bustling… Continue reading

Hikers walk along the Ptarmigan Lake trail on Sunday, May 22, 2022 near Seward, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
A brown bear. (Photo by Tim Bowman/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Drilling down into bear dentition — A (safe) look into the mouth of Alaska’s bears

What comes to mind when you think of bears? Smokey? Losing the playoffs? What about teeth? Whether you’re hunting, fishing, hiking or just outside taking… Continue reading

A brown bear. (Photo by Tim Bowman/USFWS)
Nick Varney
Nick Varney
Pollen collects on the beak of a female rufous hummingbird and is transferred from flower to flower. (Photo by T. Eskelin, USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Only warm-blooded pollinator on peninsula has wings, will travel

This past weekend I participated in the Summer Hummingbird Days event hosted by the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. It was a great event focusing on… Continue reading

Pollen collects on the beak of a female rufous hummingbird and is transferred from flower to flower. (Photo by T. Eskelin, USFWS)
Mills Creek, May 11, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Gratitude

On May 11 this year, just past 8 a.m., the day started cold

Mills Creek, May 11, 2022. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
There are two photos of Mystery Creek plots burned by Swan Lake. This plot was only burned by the Swan Lake Fire and has blackened duff with variable depth of burn, low shrubs resprouting from surviving roots, and other plants seeded in since the fire. Photos were taken in 2021.

Refuge Notebook: Swan Lake Fire — A burn severity story

If you live in Southcentral Alaska, there’s a good chance you’ve driven or hiked through the 2019 Swan Lake Fire. If you’re like me, maybe… Continue reading

There are two photos of Mystery Creek plots burned by Swan Lake. This plot was only burned by the Swan Lake Fire and has blackened duff with variable depth of burn, low shrubs resprouting from surviving roots, and other plants seeded in since the fire. Photos were taken in 2021.
Nick Varney
Nick Varney
A Kenai River fisherman and his mother celebrate a successful catch. (Photo by Boo Kandas)

Refuge Notebook: Kenai River, the river that does it all

I did not fully appreciate the recent history of the Kenai River and surrounding watershed until I read Shana Loushbaugh’s thesis, “The history of land… Continue reading

A Kenai River fisherman and his mother celebrate a successful catch. (Photo by Boo Kandas)
Hope, Alaska on May 14, 2022. (Courtesy of Sabine Poux)

Out of the Office: Hope

Working in journalism is draining for a lot of reasons. We’re constantly taking meetings and phone calls, trying to produce multiple stories per day, and… Continue reading

Hope, Alaska on May 14, 2022. (Courtesy of Sabine Poux)
A LifeMed helicopter waits on June 10, 2014, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna, Alaska. The author took a medevac flight in May 2013 in a similar helicopter. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Planes, trains, automobiles and helicopters

Every new Alaskan has a bucket list of things they want to check while living here (hopefully, a long time). One subset would be “modes… Continue reading

A LifeMed helicopter waits on June 10, 2014, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna, Alaska. The author took a medevac flight in May 2013 in a similar helicopter. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Paved sidewalks are trails are maintained at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, after the partial government shutdown ended on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Refuge Notebook: Be nice to nettles!

Editor’s note: This article first appeared May 14, 2004, and is reprinted with minor edits. Spring has arrived in full force, and it’s time to… Continue reading

Paved sidewalks are trails are maintained at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, after the partial government shutdown ended on Friday, Jan. 25, 2019. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Installation of culverts in Kelly Lake Road. (Photo provided by FWS)

Refuge Notebook: More than fins, feathers and fur

In the fall of 2010, I found a job opening listed through USAJobs, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at a location in Soldotna,… Continue reading

Installation of culverts in Kelly Lake Road. (Photo provided by FWS)
An orange-crowned warbler is one of the bird species that likes to nest in slash and wood piles. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/FWS)

Refuge Notebook: Nesting birds can use our help

It’s that time of year when spring cleaning, yardwork and some much-needed sprucing up around our homes and properties are upon us. Likewise, there continue… Continue reading

An orange-crowned warbler is one of the bird species that likes to nest in slash and wood piles. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/FWS)
The bridge at Tonsina Point. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Tackling Tonsina

I’m reluctant to hike alone in Alaska. As much as I like being by myself and wandering in the woods, my concerns about encountering wildlife… Continue reading

The bridge at Tonsina Point. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
YCC Enrollees harvest beetle-killed spruce for a facility enhancement project. (Photo by Nick Longobardi/FWS)

Refuge Notebook: Youth Conservation Corps: A legacy of hard work and good times

Do you know a local high school student who likes to work hard in the outdoors, doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty, and is looking… Continue reading

YCC Enrollees harvest beetle-killed spruce for a facility enhancement project. (Photo by Nick Longobardi/FWS)