June Searcy-Josten, of Happy Valley, gears up for a day of beachcombing in the cold wind with a large bag for driftwood and smaller bags for miscellaneous shells and rocks. (Photo courtesy/June Searcy-Josten)

Combing the peninsula — tips for beachcombing

The beaches of the Kenai Peninsula are a treasure trove to those who are willing to keep their head down. Beachcombing in the area doesn’t… Continue reading

June Searcy-Josten, of Happy Valley, gears up for a day of beachcombing in the cold wind with a large bag for driftwood and smaller bags for miscellaneous shells and rocks. (Photo courtesy/June Searcy-Josten)

Out of the Office: Bear encounters bring the noise

The woods are getting a bit louder these days. With the uptick in bear encounters this summer in Alaska, the trails and backcountry wonderlands are… Continue reading

A pellet dropped by a snowshoe hare. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: The story behind snowshoe hare pellets

Few people are aware of a unique tradition that happens annually here at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. For the past thirty years only the… Continue reading

A pellet dropped by a snowshoe hare. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Survivalist Kellie Nightlinger lays out seaweed to dry during a walk in early June. Nightlinger has been voted the top female survival expert in the world, and has chosen Alaska as her home for the past five years. (Photo by Alex McCarthy/Juneau Empire)

‘Wild Woman’ finds home in Juneau

There’s a fine line between a plant causing a blood infection and a plant making a healthy snack, and Kellie Nightlinger knows the difference. As… Continue reading

Survivalist Kellie Nightlinger lays out seaweed to dry during a walk in early June. Nightlinger has been voted the top female survival expert in the world, and has chosen Alaska as her home for the past five years. (Photo by Alex McCarthy/Juneau Empire)
A pressed herbarium specimen identified in 1941 as Kenai Birch by Eric Hult&

Refuge Notebook: A tale of two birches

Did you know there are two species of native birches on the Kenai Peninsula? Well, actually three if you count the dwarf birch (Betula nana),… Continue reading

A pressed herbarium specimen identified in 1941 as Kenai Birch by Eric Hult&

An Outdoor View: Thoughts on bears

Earlier this month, predatory black bears killed two people, and brown bears defending cubs mauled five others. While this number of attacks in a short… Continue reading

In this file photo, runners are shown starting the final Salmon Run Series race of the year on Aug. 5, 2015 in Soldotna. The Salmon Run Series at Tsalteshi Trails starts on Wednesday. The weekly event is in its sixth year and runs until Aug. 2. The trails will also be hosting the Soldotna Cycle Series on Thursday nights and the Unity Run on July 15. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Tsummer at Tsalteshi

Tsalteshi Trails will see a lot of action even before the first snowfall with a number of running and mountain biking events taking place on… Continue reading

In this file photo, runners are shown starting the final Salmon Run Series race of the year on Aug. 5, 2015 in Soldotna. The Salmon Run Series at Tsalteshi Trails starts on Wednesday. The weekly event is in its sixth year and runs until Aug. 2. The trails will also be hosting the Soldotna Cycle Series on Thursday nights and the Unity Run on July 15. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: A forest of two minds

East is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet. True or not in geopolitics, it fits the Kenai Peninsula’s two landscapes.… Continue reading

Retiring Park Ranger Candace Ward (center) with her dynamic colleagues, Leah Eskelin (left) and Michelle Ostrowski (right) in front of Majesty the Moose (back). (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: The lure of the North and where it led me

I first experienced the Far North in 1960 on a family road trip up the Al-Can Highway from California to Alaska. My father fixed up… Continue reading

Retiring Park Ranger Candace Ward (center) with her dynamic colleagues, Leah Eskelin (left) and Michelle Ostrowski (right) in front of Majesty the Moose (back). (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Event organizer Vince Redford, standing, and participants of Friday Night Lights at the ConocoPhillips Kenai Multipurpose Facility in Kenai keep their eyes on the music booth during a game of musical chairs on June 16. The weekly event runs from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and offers a wide variety of games played on the ice. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Friday night on the ice

On a summer night in Alaska, there is no shortage of light but Friday Night Lights at the ConocoPhillips Kenai Multi-Purpose Facility is offering something… Continue reading

Event organizer Vince Redford, standing, and participants of Friday Night Lights at the ConocoPhillips Kenai Multipurpose Facility in Kenai keep their eyes on the music booth during a game of musical chairs on June 16. The weekly event runs from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and offers a wide variety of games played on the ice. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)
Oregon joins states where roadkill can be harvested for food

Oregon joins states where roadkill can be harvested for food

By ANDREW SELSKY Associated Press SALEM, Ore. — Some folks in Oregon might not want to ask, when served an elk burger or a venison… Continue reading

Oregon joins states where roadkill can be harvested for food
This undated photo shows blossoms of Strawberry Hill rose in New Paltz, N.Y. From breeder David Austin comes Strawberry Hill rose, which is one of many modern shrub roses that captures the look and fragrance of old-fashioned roses with today’s sought-after repeat-blooming and disease resistance. (Lee Reich via AP)

A rose may be a rose — but varieties vary

Seeing gardens awash in rose blossoms this time of year is undoubtedly what prompted my sister-in-law to call me for suggestions on what roses to… Continue reading

This undated photo shows blossoms of Strawberry Hill rose in New Paltz, N.Y. From breeder David Austin comes Strawberry Hill rose, which is one of many modern shrub roses that captures the look and fragrance of old-fashioned roses with today’s sought-after repeat-blooming and disease resistance. (Lee Reich via AP)
Lupine flowers grow bloom along the Kenai Spur Highway on Tuesday. A wide array of wildflower species can be found throughout the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

It’s time to stop and smell the wildflowers

It’s easy to find yourself among the wildflowers in Alaska. The approach of summer solstice brings peak wildflower season on the Kenai Peninsula. The roadways… Continue reading

Lupine flowers grow bloom along the Kenai Spur Highway on Tuesday. A wide array of wildflower species can be found throughout the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)
The Intertidal Psuedoscorpion, Halobisium occidentale, is the second species of pseudoscorpion to be documented on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Alaska’s smallest sea monster

Lurking in some of Alaska’s woods, swamps, and rocky places is the tiniest monster one could conjure into existence. With oversized pedipalps (pincers) protruding far… Continue reading

The Intertidal Psuedoscorpion, Halobisium occidentale, is the second species of pseudoscorpion to be documented on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
This Jan. 25, 2016 photo provided by Kim Randolph shows Ruger, the “adventure” cat, and Jeremy Vick in Marquette, Mich. (Kim Randolph via AP)

Why should dogs have all the fun? Try adventure catting

NEW YORK — At the beach, in the snow or on a hiking trail, heading outdoors for adventures with a “house cat” runs counter to… Continue reading

This Jan. 25, 2016 photo provided by Kim Randolph shows Ruger, the “adventure” cat, and Jeremy Vick in Marquette, Mich. (Kim Randolph via AP)

Out of the office: A case for hiking alone

Not working Mondays is the bee’s knees. No start-of-the-work-week blues and no lines at the grocery store or other places most people frequent on a… Continue reading

Clouds and smoke curl around the top of Augustine Volcano on Sunday, June 4, 2017 on Augustine Island, Alaska. The remote island in Cook Inlet is composed of little more than the volcano and its surrounding debris. (Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Little-studied island holds life, geothermal energy potential

The nearest town is 37 miles of wilderness and ocean away from the shores of Augustine Island, but the island still brims with life. In… Continue reading

Clouds and smoke curl around the top of Augustine Volcano on Sunday, June 4, 2017 on Augustine Island, Alaska. The remote island in Cook Inlet is composed of little more than the volcano and its surrounding debris. (Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)
A Waitabu boy hides behind his mother and aunt while the village sings Isa Lei, their traditional Fijian farewell song. (Photo courtesy Tracy Melvin)

Refuge Notebook: Faces of climate inequality

An 11-hour flight from Los Angeles, 1 hour flight from Nadi, and a 2-hour 4-wheel-drive trek along the rugged, sun-drenched coast of Taveuni Island will… Continue reading

A Waitabu boy hides behind his mother and aunt while the village sings Isa Lei, their traditional Fijian farewell song. (Photo courtesy Tracy Melvin)
In this April 2017 photo taken with a smart phone, the tide rushes in on the north Kasilof beach in Kasilof, Alaska. (Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

Tips for taking a better cell phone photo

It’s easy to run into picture-perfect moments on the Kenai Peninsula, from a beautiful vista above Skilak Lake to a moose and her calf in… Continue reading

In this April 2017 photo taken with a smart phone, the tide rushes in on the north Kasilof beach in Kasilof, Alaska. (Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

An Outdoor View: How to catch kings

By way of celebrating the 50th anniversary of catching my first king salmon, I thought it would be fun to remember some of the more… Continue reading