An outdoor view: Coming full circle

The other day, I looked in the mirror and saw a man who isn’t the same fishing nut he was when he was young. I… Continue reading

Kat Sorensen (left) and Elizabeth Earl rest on a snow-free patch of rock overlooking Skilak Lake on March 18 in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

A walkthrough of a first Alaska hike

It turns out there are over 9,000 steps to taking your first Alaska hike. Step one, two and three led me to the trailhead of… Continue reading

Kat Sorensen (left) and Elizabeth Earl rest on a snow-free patch of rock overlooking Skilak Lake on March 18 in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)
Moderator Marion Nelson, left, led a discussion among panelists Lee Bowman, Don Adams, Chuck Lockner and Dennis Spindler about seeds, soils and sprouts in preparation for the Spring 2017 growing season on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. The meeting was part of the Central Peninsula Garden Club’s monthly programming. (Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Garden Club talk seeds, soil and sprouts

The sights, sounds and temperatures of spring may still be at least a few weeks away, but for those dreaming of freshly sprouted, green plants… Continue reading

Moderator Marion Nelson, left, led a discussion among panelists Lee Bowman, Don Adams, Chuck Lockner and Dennis Spindler about seeds, soils and sprouts in preparation for the Spring 2017 growing season on Tuesday, March 14, 2017. The meeting was part of the Central Peninsula Garden Club’s monthly programming. (Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

An Outdoor View: The joys of not knowing

While wondering what I was going to write about this week, I got to thinking about ignorance. Ignorance has a bad rap, and it’s undeserved.… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: March Madness – Alaska style

As many eyes turn to their television sets this week to watch the 7-10 match up between the Gamecocks and the Golden Eagles or the… Continue reading

Tight Lines: In search of the privileged moment

Tight Lines: In search of the privileged moment

My timing may not have been the best. I’d arrived just as a bevy of tour operators, in a carefully orchestrated display of mass confusion,… Continue reading

Tight Lines: In search of the privileged moment
Tony Eichstadt, pointing, and the dozen mountaineers climbing with Eric Swab Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, scramble to the summit of Cap Rock near Palmer Lake, Colo., while on their weekly trek exploring the remote and historic spots in the backcountry of the Pikes Peak region. (Christian Murdock/The Gazette via AP)

Mysteries of Pikes Peak an ongoing adventure for historian

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Eric Swab was glancing at aerial satellite images of his next destination, another remote wilderness along Pikes Peak, when he… Continue reading

Tony Eichstadt, pointing, and the dozen mountaineers climbing with Eric Swab Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, scramble to the summit of Cap Rock near Palmer Lake, Colo., while on their weekly trek exploring the remote and historic spots in the backcountry of the Pikes Peak region. (Christian Murdock/The Gazette via AP)

An Outdoor View: Fishing at a ghost town

Author’s note: This story originally appeared in the Nov. 28, 2003 edition of the Clarion. — LP In fishing, as in most other endeavors, timing… Continue reading

In this Feb. 27, 2017 photo, daffodils, photographed in a pasture near Langley, Wash., are entering their third growing season but a number of factors — planting too shallow, bad timing when planted, growing conditions and predation — could keep some from flowering. Leave perennial bulbs alone after they finish blooming. That gives them the time they need to re-energize and flower another year. (Dean Fosdick via AP)

What to do when bulbs don’t bloom

Daffodils and tulips are almost certain to bloom when another spring rolls around, but even they can have an occasional bad season. Perennial bulbs need… Continue reading

In this Feb. 27, 2017 photo, daffodils, photographed in a pasture near Langley, Wash., are entering their third growing season but a number of factors — planting too shallow, bad timing when planted, growing conditions and predation — could keep some from flowering. Leave perennial bulbs alone after they finish blooming. That gives them the time they need to re-energize and flower another year. (Dean Fosdick via AP)
About 80 workshop participants came together this past week to discuss more collaborative ways of managing public lands on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Making a more sustainable landscape on the Kenai Peninsula

If you’re a Kenai Peninsula resident, here are some important events that I’m guessing you don’t know. Do you know that management of public lands… Continue reading

About 80 workshop participants came together this past week to discuss more collaborative ways of managing public lands on the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Sunlight shines on the snow-capped mountains in this photo taken in February on Resurrection Pass Trail in Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

10 things to know before you go winter adventuring

With this year’s influx of snow and traditional winter weather, Kenai Peninsula residents may be planning more outdoor excursions than in winters past. There are… Continue reading

Sunlight shines on the snow-capped mountains in this photo taken in February on Resurrection Pass Trail in Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)
Dr. Paul Errington defined compensatory mortality, which is the basis for modern harvest management. (Photo credit: Iowa State University e-library)

Refuge Notebook: The scientific basis for hunting

In the world of wildlife and fisheries management, the death of an animal does not always directly equate to one less animal in the population.… Continue reading

Dr. Paul Errington defined compensatory mortality, which is the basis for modern harvest management. (Photo credit: Iowa State University e-library)

An Outdoor View: On water

On TV news earlier this week, the Californians who were wading through their flooded houses and boating down their flooded streets got me to thinking… Continue reading

Hanging baskets bring instant color, texture to small spaces

Hanging baskets bring instant color, texture to small spaces

By DEAN FOSDICK Associated Press Want to add instant color and texture to your deck, balcony, entryway, or other small space around your yard? Consider… Continue reading

Hanging baskets bring instant color, texture to small spaces
Annual precipitation varies in alpine habitats above 1500 feet on the Kenai Peninsula due to the effects of rain shadows. Precipitation amounts in millimeters and extrapolated from weather stations by AdaptWest (https://adaptwest.databasin.org/).

Refuge Notebook: Rain Shadows Create Diverse (and Changing) Alpine Habitats

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is often described as “Alaska in miniature” because of the variety of habitats that occur here. On the Kenai Peninsula,… Continue reading

Annual precipitation varies in alpine habitats above 1500 feet on the Kenai Peninsula due to the effects of rain shadows. Precipitation amounts in millimeters and extrapolated from weather stations by AdaptWest (https://adaptwest.databasin.org/).
In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo a mountain grouse track crosses a snowshoe hare track at Mount Spokane State Park in Washington. (Rich Landers/The Spokesman-Review via AP)

Critter tracks read like a story in the snow

By RICH LANDERS The (Spokane) Spokesman-Review SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Early Sunday morning while reading the newspaper, I contemplated several options for making the best… Continue reading

In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo a mountain grouse track crosses a snowshoe hare track at Mount Spokane State Park in Washington. (Rich Landers/The Spokesman-Review via AP)
In this August 2016 picture, people walk along the main historic downtown street of Hope, Alaska. Hope, a small unincorporated town along the Turnagain Arm at the end of the 18-mile Hope Highway, is a popular tourist destination in the summer months for its hiking and boating opportunities and for its historical value. (Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)

New trail in the works for Hope

Residents of Hope have wanted a separated trail off their highway for a long time. The narrow, winding highway, which stretches 18 miles along a… Continue reading

In this August 2016 picture, people walk along the main historic downtown street of Hope, Alaska. Hope, a small unincorporated town along the Turnagain Arm at the end of the 18-mile Hope Highway, is a popular tourist destination in the summer months for its hiking and boating opportunities and for its historical value. (Elizabeth Earl/Peninsula Clarion)
Mike Crawford of Kenai leads a group of fat tire bikers up a climb in the Caribou Hills in January. A fat tire race and ride is planned for Sunday starting at Freddie’s Road House on Oil Well Road near Ninilchik. (Clarion file photo)

Fat tire bike event hits Caribou Hills

By JOEY KLECKA Peninsula Clarion Call them back country backcountry beasts, call them wilderness warriors, call them beach bums. But just don’t call them fat.… Continue reading

Mike Crawford of Kenai leads a group of fat tire bikers up a climb in the Caribou Hills in January. A fat tire race and ride is planned for Sunday starting at Freddie’s Road House on Oil Well Road near Ninilchik. (Clarion file photo)

An Outdoor View: McPhee on catch-and-release

Author’s note: This column first appeared in the Clarion on Nov. 29, 2002. I’ve edited it slightly for brevity. “The Founding Fish” is fascinating book… Continue reading

Dom Watts fits a cow moose with a GPS radio-collar for a study of moose reproduction and calf survival on the Alaska Peninsula. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: New wildlife biologist lands in Kenai Refuge

As I navigated the icy roads through Turnagain Pass a couple weeks ago in a borrowed car filled with totes and duffle bags, I couldn’t… Continue reading

Dom Watts fits a cow moose with a GPS radio-collar for a study of moose reproduction and calf survival on the Alaska Peninsula. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)