An Outdoor View: Future fishing

With the rapid advances in technology we’re seeing now, I’m wondering what fishing on the Kenai River will be like a few years from now.… Continue reading

Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS Big-eared Radix at Stormy Lake, July 12, 2016.

Refuge Notebook: The Kenai Peninsula’s first exotic freshwater snail

Sometimes one thing leads to another. It was in fall 2012 as the Alaska Department of Fish & Game and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service… Continue reading

Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS Big-eared Radix at Stormy Lake, July 12, 2016.
AP Photo/By Dean Fosdick  This Dec. 3, 2016 photo taken at a Langley, Wash., grocery store, shows poinsettias. Poinsettias aren’t annuals if grown indoors. You can restore them to provide good cheer for yet another holiday season. The main attraction of poinsettias, like these pictured here, is not their flowers, but their leaves. The actual flowers are the small buds buried deep within the leaf cluster that bloom yellowish green.

Wait, don’t toss those poinsettias to the curb!

Poinsettias have become the best-selling potted plants in the United States, and are second in popularity only to Christmas trees during the holiday season. Unfortunately,… Continue reading

AP Photo/By Dean Fosdick  This Dec. 3, 2016 photo taken at a Langley, Wash., grocery store, shows poinsettias. Poinsettias aren’t annuals if grown indoors. You can restore them to provide good cheer for yet another holiday season. The main attraction of poinsettias, like these pictured here, is not their flowers, but their leaves. The actual flowers are the small buds buried deep within the leaf cluster that bloom yellowish green.
In this March 2, 2014, file photo, Julie Rau cross-country skis with her daughter, Kaylee, in tow at the Gold Fork Park N’ Ski Area near Idaho City, Idaho. Cross-country skiing includes two distinct styles—classic and skate skiing. (Pete Zimowsky/Idaho Statesman via AP, file)

A newcomer to cross-country skiing gets hooked by the sport

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The first time I tried cross-country skiing, I was in junior high in southern Minnesota wondering why anyone would want to… Continue reading

In this March 2, 2014, file photo, Julie Rau cross-country skis with her daughter, Kaylee, in tow at the Gold Fork Park N’ Ski Area near Idaho City, Idaho. Cross-country skiing includes two distinct styles—classic and skate skiing. (Pete Zimowsky/Idaho Statesman via AP, file)
This undated photo shows a poinsettia flower in New Paltz, N.Y. Poinsettia's true flowers - the small, rounded structures at the very tips of the stems - aren't as showy as its red bracts, but are quite fascinating under a magnifying glass. (Lee Reich via AP)

There’s more to poinsettias than their showy leaves

Early winter is when poinsettias come into the limelight, showing off their colors in homes and shop windows. But a poinsettia is more than just… Continue reading

This undated photo shows a poinsettia flower in New Paltz, N.Y. Poinsettia's true flowers - the small, rounded structures at the very tips of the stems - aren't as showy as its red bracts, but are quite fascinating under a magnifying glass. (Lee Reich via AP)
In this Jan. 2, 2016 photo, Adam Holt, of Bend, rides a fat bike on one of the groomed singletrack trails at Wanoga Sno-park in Bend, Ore. For those who just refuse to stop mountain biking, even when most Central Oregon singletrack is covered in snow - fatbikes are an option.  (Joe Kline/The Bulletin via AP)

Fatbike tracks make mountain biking a year-round sport

BEND, Ore. — For those who just refuse to stop mountain biking, even when most Central Oregon singletrack is covered in snow — fatbikes are… Continue reading

In this Jan. 2, 2016 photo, Adam Holt, of Bend, rides a fat bike on one of the groomed singletrack trails at Wanoga Sno-park in Bend, Ore. For those who just refuse to stop mountain biking, even when most Central Oregon singletrack is covered in snow - fatbikes are an option.  (Joe Kline/The Bulletin via AP)
This map shows that goldeneyes banded in Alaska and the Yukon Territory, Canada, were mostly recovered on the southern Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak. (Data from the National Bird Banding Lab, Patuxent, MD)

Refuge Notebook: An eye on goldeneyes

During the past two summers, I have had strange encounters with a duck flying through the woods on my property. Usually in the dusky early… Continue reading

This map shows that goldeneyes banded in Alaska and the Yukon Territory, Canada, were mostly recovered on the southern Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak. (Data from the National Bird Banding Lab, Patuxent, MD)

An Outdoor View: Reader’s quiz

This week, a quiz for Peninsula Clarion readers:1. Snowy River is(a) a tributary of the Kasilof River.(b) a major river in the Australian states of… Continue reading

Lucy and Leo wait for Clarion editor Will Morrow on the front porch of Barber Cabin on Lower Russian Lake in Chugach National Forest on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. (Photo by Will Morrow/Peninsula Clarion)
Lucy and Leo wait for Clarion editor Will Morrow on the front porch of Barber Cabin on Lower Russian Lake in Chugach National Forest on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. (Photo by Will Morrow/Peninsula Clarion)
Les Palmer

An Outdoor View: Dippers

Editor’s note: This column previously appeared in the Clarion on Dec. 27, 2002.   The other day, I got to thinking about the birds that… Continue reading

Les Palmer
The 3-mile-long Marsh Lake Trail was newly completed in 2016 on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The logs came from trees removed as part of treatments to reduce fuels around Sterling this past summer.

Refuge Notebook: 2016 highlights from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge

In thinking about highlights in 2016 for the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, I’m reminded yet again that what is valued is ultimately in the eyes… Continue reading

The 3-mile-long Marsh Lake Trail was newly completed in 2016 on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. The logs came from trees removed as part of treatments to reduce fuels around Sterling this past summer.
ADVANCE FOR RELEASE SATURDAY, DEC. 17, 2016 AND THEREAFTER- In this Dec. 8, 2016 photo, Emily Mengershausen demonstrates negotiating a black route at Ascension Rock Club in Fairbanks, Alaska. Mengershausen, one of Fairbanks' premier climbing instructors, taught herself to climb and started competing after she was injured as a young gymnast. (Eric Engman  /Fairbanks Daily News-Miner via AP)

Climbing the rock of Fairbanks instructor’s life

FAIRBANKS (AP) — When a young gymnast named Emily Mengershausen fell from the balance beam in Kansas City, dislocating her elbow, her life’s trajectory took… Continue reading

ADVANCE FOR RELEASE SATURDAY, DEC. 17, 2016 AND THEREAFTER- In this Dec. 8, 2016 photo, Emily Mengershausen demonstrates negotiating a black route at Ascension Rock Club in Fairbanks, Alaska. Mengershausen, one of Fairbanks' premier climbing instructors, taught herself to climb and started competing after she was injured as a young gymnast. (Eric Engman  /Fairbanks Daily News-Miner via AP)
ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, DEC. 17-18 - FILE - In this Dec. 9, 2012, file photo, an unidentified skier heads through the woods at Teacup Lake nordic cross country ski area on Mount Hood near Hood River, Ore. The opportunity to experience the region's dramatic landscapes dusted in winter white, often with no other people around, more than makes up for any minor discomforts while winter camping. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times via AP, File)

Winter camping is a special treat. Here are some tips

SEATTLE (AP) — My first winter camping experience was a bit of an anomaly. Yes, I slept on snow, but it was an unseasonably warm… Continue reading

ADVANCE FOR WEEKEND EDITIONS, DEC. 17-18 - FILE - In this Dec. 9, 2012, file photo, an unidentified skier heads through the woods at Teacup Lake nordic cross country ski area on Mount Hood near Hood River, Ore. The opportunity to experience the region's dramatic landscapes dusted in winter white, often with no other people around, more than makes up for any minor discomforts while winter camping. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times via AP, File)
Skiers enjoy the afternoon sun low on the horizon over Bottenintnin Lake on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: The long nights of winter

Yay! We’re two days past the Winter Solstice, our longest night, headed in the right direction for day length. Good days of skiing and ice-fishing… Continue reading

Skiers enjoy the afternoon sun low on the horizon over Bottenintnin Lake on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

An Outdoor View: Cubs

It was a dark and stormy night, but the imitation Christmas tree was blinking properly, the fire in the natural-gas fireplace was blazing safely, and… Continue reading

This undated photo shows a pine seedling in New Paltz, N.Y. Growing a Christmas tree from seed, a pine, shown here, takes a long time but is very satisfying. (Lee Reich via AP)

Cheer in the long term: growing a Christmas tree from seed

Even during this holiday season, with winter upon us, you might find some gardening to do. Growing a Christmas tree from seed, for example.That’s no… Continue reading

This undated photo shows a pine seedling in New Paltz, N.Y. Growing a Christmas tree from seed, a pine, shown here, takes a long time but is very satisfying. (Lee Reich via AP)
A sign on Ski Hill Road announces entry to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, so named in 1980 with passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: A time for reflection: Kenai National Wildlife Refuge’s 75th anniversary, Part 2

As the Kenai National Moose Range approached its fourth decade, Congress passed two laws which profoundly affected its management. The 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement… Continue reading

A sign on Ski Hill Road announces entry to the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, so named in 1980 with passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

An Outdoor View: Choices

When I was a small child, I was taught that to kill or injure any living thing for no reason is wrong. I’ve since learned… Continue reading

This Nov. 25, 2016 photo shows soundscaping evergreens photographed in Langley, Wash. Soundscapers use trees to mask bothersome urban noise. Evergreens, like these alongside a Langley street are the preferred vegetative sound barriers because they are densely branched and attractive the year-'round. (AP Photo/By Dean Fosdick)(Dean Fosdick via AP)

Nature’s remedy for blocking noise? Trees

Landscape designers in cities are creating quieter living spaces by using trees to mute loud noises like sirens and air brakes. It’s called “soundscaping,” and… Continue reading

This Nov. 25, 2016 photo shows soundscaping evergreens photographed in Langley, Wash. Soundscapers use trees to mask bothersome urban noise. Evergreens, like these alongside a Langley street are the preferred vegetative sound barriers because they are densely branched and attractive the year-'round. (AP Photo/By Dean Fosdick)(Dean Fosdick via AP)
This undated photo provided by Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary, shows a black bear resting on a tree limb at the Sanctuary near McCall, Idaho. Snowdon rehabs all kinds of animals and releases them back into the wild but has become known for its bear cubs. (Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary via AP)

Sanctuary prepares orphaned bear cubs for the wild

MCCALL, Idaho — Janell Carr first met Mr. Cinnamon when the black bear cub was eating out of her bird feeder in Cascade. She and… Continue reading

This undated photo provided by Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary, shows a black bear resting on a tree limb at the Sanctuary near McCall, Idaho. Snowdon rehabs all kinds of animals and releases them back into the wild but has become known for its bear cubs. (Snowdon Wildlife Sanctuary via AP)