Skis and poles, ready for crust skiing, sit at the Dale Clemens Cabin above Resurrection Bay and Seward on April 12, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the office: Winter to summer

In January, it took allusions to neuroscience, the Green Bay Packers and Metallica for me to explain in this space how the Culture of the… Continue reading

Skis and poles, ready for crust skiing, sit at the Dale Clemens Cabin above Resurrection Bay and Seward on April 12, 2019. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Tutka Backdoor Trail project gaining momentum

The rugged backcountry on the south side of Kachemak Bay is getting a fresh look from hikers with an eye on connecting two coasts. As… Continue reading

Nikki Aufiero practices a handstand at Fourth of July Beach near Seward, Alaska, in April 2019. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled up in Blue: The other ocean

I got confused looking out at Resurrection Bay recently. The horizon was clouded, none of the mountains that typically line the coast were visible from… Continue reading

Nikki Aufiero practices a handstand at Fourth of July Beach near Seward, Alaska, in April 2019. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)
Pilot-biologist Dom Watts flying out of Fairbanks in a Super Cub. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

The road to becoming a U.S. Fish & Wildlife pilot-biologist

I remember the first time my Uncle Larry flew down in his Cessna and picked me up at the little airport a few miles from… Continue reading

Pilot-biologist Dom Watts flying out of Fairbanks in a Super Cub. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
An ulu the author made as part of the Alaska Humanities Forum Sister School Exchange. (Photo provided by author)

Out of the Office: A sister school experience

As I write this column, I’m drowning in stories of Legislature budgets, potential school closures and some guy stealing a mammoth tusk in Anchorage. There’s… Continue reading

An ulu the author made as part of the Alaska Humanities Forum Sister School Exchange. (Photo provided by author)
A Columbian snowfly recently emerged from the Kenai River at Soldotna Creek Park on March 29, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS)

Refuge notebook: Winter stonefly season on the Kenai

If you spend any time near the Kenai River in Soldotna from March to May you may have noticed elongate, roughly one-third-inch long, dark stoneflies… Continue reading

A Columbian snowfly recently emerged from the Kenai River at Soldotna Creek Park on March 29, 2019, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS)
The red-breasted nuthatch is one of our common resident bird species. (Photo provided by Kyla Canterbury)

Refuge notebook: Resident bird songs welcome spring

I am always pleasantly surprised by the influx of daylight hours and sunshine that comes to the Kenai Peninsula in the last weeks of March.… Continue reading

The red-breasted nuthatch is one of our common resident bird species. (Photo provided by Kyla Canterbury)
The crust skiing in the hills above Seward has been epic lately. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled up in Blue: Tunnels

I heard there are tunnels just below the streets of Seward, vacant remnants of an Army looking to protect the coast. There are small signs… Continue reading

The crust skiing in the hills above Seward has been epic lately. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Gayla Hoseth, 2nd Chief of Curyung Tribal Council and Director of Natural Resources at Bristol Bay Native Association, left, Norman Van Vactor, CEO of the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, center, and former Alaska legislator Rick Halford, present at a press conference against the	Pebble Mine project on Monday, April 1, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Gayla Hoseth, 2nd Chief of Curyung Tribal Council and Director of Natural Resources at Bristol Bay Native Association, left, Norman Van Vactor, CEO of the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, center, and former Alaska legislator Rick Halford, present at a press conference against the	Pebble Mine project on Monday, April 1, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Painting Lines

I have been drawing those lines my whole life.

In this scene from Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1962 film ‘Ivan’s Childhood,’ two characters kiss over a ravine in a birch forest.

Tangled up in Blue: In the birch grove

I’m ready for the snow to melt. I don’t want my fellow winter recreation enthusiasts to hate me for saying this, but as Seward is… Continue reading

In this scene from Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1962 film ‘Ivan’s Childhood,’ two characters kiss over a ravine in a birch forest.

Refuge notebook: 2 refuges on the Pacific Flyway share similarities, differences

In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt established Pelican Island, off the coast of Florida, as the first federal refuge. This put migratory bird conservation as a… Continue reading

Two birders scan Bishop’s Beach on Saturday afternoon, May 12, 2018, during the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. (Photo by Michael Armstrong / Homer News).

Birding: the universal outdoors activity

Like many imported Alaskans, I have a long list of outdoor activities I acquired after moving here in 1979: skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, dog mushing,… Continue reading

Two birders scan Bishop’s Beach on Saturday afternoon, May 12, 2018, during the Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival. (Photo by Michael Armstrong / Homer News).
The author stumbles at the rock marking the race point on the Mount Marathon Race trail during one of her many training runs in preparation for the July 4, 2018, race. (Photo provided by Kat Sorensen)

Tangled Up in Blue: A double-edged sword

Registration for the 2019 Mount Marathon Race opened March 1. Within hours of getting the email, I sent my information off into the internet tubes… Continue reading

The author stumbles at the rock marking the race point on the Mount Marathon Race trail during one of her many training runs in preparation for the July 4, 2018, race. (Photo provided by Kat Sorensen)
A game camera photo of an ocelot from the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge website.

Life on a South Texas refuge

Did you know that more than 10 percent of the international border between the United States and Mexico is shared with several National Wildlife Refuges… Continue reading

A game camera photo of an ocelot from the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge website.
The author with a pair of friends this past summer at Grewingk Glacier. (Photo provided by Megan Pacer)

Out of the Office: Hold my beer while I wade in glacial melt

Last week, the members of my team and I came in absolute dead last at trivia night. I normally wouldn’t share this with so broad… Continue reading

The author with a pair of friends this past summer at Grewingk Glacier. (Photo provided by Megan Pacer)

Refuge Notebook: An earthworm quandary

This last September we hosted two earthworm experts from the University of Minnesota, Dr. Kyungsoo Yoo and graduate student Adrian Wackett. They study how earthworms… Continue reading

The author skis at the Ski for Women earlier this winter. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled up in Blue: Not feeling it

I really do not want to write this. It’s not that I don’t love writing my column, I enjoy it. It’s a fun practice, reflecting… Continue reading

The author skis at the Ski for Women earlier this winter. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Refuge notebook: Wildlife translocations to and from the Kenai Peninsula

By DOM WATTS Imagine, if you will, a couple of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologists in a seaplane flying over the Kenai Mountains, when… Continue reading

A “listening session” was held and recorded in Cooper Landing this week as part of an organized effort to record community residents’ observations of change on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge notebook: Voices of the Kenai

By JOHN MORTON I’ve had the privilege recently to hear what other residents think about changes they have witnessed in their lifetimes here on the… Continue reading

A “listening session” was held and recorded in Cooper Landing this week as part of an organized effort to record community residents’ observations of change on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)