An Outdoor View: On keeping motivated

Author’s note: Earlier this week, my doctor said I should lose 15 pounds and get more exercise. This column, from the Clarion on Oct. 25,… Continue reading

In this Oct. 8, 2016 photo, a group of new mushroom hunters scour national forest land near Skykomish, Wash., for chanterelle mushrooms. (Evan Bush/The Seattle Times via AP)

Stalking the wild fungi

SKYKOMISH, Wash. (AP) — The rain is falling without mercy. It’s midmorning, but a gray blanket of low clouds tucks the forest in so cozily… Continue reading

In this Oct. 8, 2016 photo, a group of new mushroom hunters scour national forest land near Skykomish, Wash., for chanterelle mushrooms. (Evan Bush/The Seattle Times via AP)
This undated photo taken in New Market, Va., shows sun-loving vegetables the ones shown here, which can be cultivated indoors in winter enriched by supplemental lighting. But choose the right plant combinations for your four-season gardening. Some are more demanding than others. Vegetable gardening can be a year-round activity with the right indoor growing conditions. (Dean Fosdick via AP)

Vegetable gardening can be moved indoors for winter harvest

There’s no reason to stop growing vegetables just because cold weather has arrived. Sun-loving edibles can be cultivated indoors in containers enriched by supplemental LED… Continue reading

This undated photo taken in New Market, Va., shows sun-loving vegetables the ones shown here, which can be cultivated indoors in winter enriched by supplemental lighting. But choose the right plant combinations for your four-season gardening. Some are more demanding than others. Vegetable gardening can be a year-round activity with the right indoor growing conditions. (Dean Fosdick via AP)
ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY OCT. 30 - In this Oct. 15, 2016 photo, Chad Schaeffer, his wife Jen Schaeffer, both of Sioux Falls, and Carol Bothe, of Brandon, S.D., talk about a pheasant Chad had just shot after hunting their final piece of cover during the South Dakota pheasant hunting opener near Brookings, S.D. The Argus Leader reports that the number of women obtaining pheasant hunting licenses in South Dakota has almost doubled in the last 10 years, reflecting a shift in culture and the success of hunting education programs. (Joe Ahlquist/The Argus Leader via AP)

A shift in culture as more women take up hunting

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The sound of a gunshot crackled through miles of soon-to-be combined land, bringing one pheasant to the ground in a single… Continue reading

ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY OCT. 30 - In this Oct. 15, 2016 photo, Chad Schaeffer, his wife Jen Schaeffer, both of Sioux Falls, and Carol Bothe, of Brandon, S.D., talk about a pheasant Chad had just shot after hunting their final piece of cover during the South Dakota pheasant hunting opener near Brookings, S.D. The Argus Leader reports that the number of women obtaining pheasant hunting licenses in South Dakota has almost doubled in the last 10 years, reflecting a shift in culture and the success of hunting education programs. (Joe Ahlquist/The Argus Leader via AP)
Political cartoon by Ding Darling from 1936 titled "Nobody's Constituents." The University of Iowa hosts a data base archive of his cartoons at http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/ding/.(Courtesy of the Jay N. 'Ding' Darling Wildlife Society).

Refuge Notebook: Reflecting on the conservation legacy of Ding Darling

This month marks the 140th birthday of J.N. “Ding” Darling. Ding was a political cartoonist and a key figure in American wildlife management and conservation.… Continue reading

Political cartoon by Ding Darling from 1936 titled "Nobody's Constituents." The University of Iowa hosts a data base archive of his cartoons at http://digital.lib.uiowa.edu/ding/.(Courtesy of the Jay N. 'Ding' Darling Wildlife Society).

An Outdoor View: Bragging rights

I’ve seen the term “bragging rights” used many times, and I recently got to wondering about it.You won’t find bragging rights specifically named in the… Continue reading

In this Oct. 6, 2016 photo, Outdoor School students Maya Herring, left, and Evie Larson enter notes in their field study notebooks during a lesson at Camp Howard in Mount Hood National Forest near Corbett, Ore. The outdoor education is unique to Oregon and is a rite-of-passage for public school students that's meant to instill a respect for nature in each generation - studies show it improves attendance and boosts test scores. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

Oregon weighs whether all kids should get outdoor education

MOUNT HOOD NATIONAL FOREST, Ore. — Each year, thousands of Oregon parents hug their kids goodbye and send them tramping into the wilderness for up… Continue reading

In this Oct. 6, 2016 photo, Outdoor School students Maya Herring, left, and Evie Larson enter notes in their field study notebooks during a lesson at Camp Howard in Mount Hood National Forest near Corbett, Ore. The outdoor education is unique to Oregon and is a rite-of-passage for public school students that's meant to instill a respect for nature in each generation - studies show it improves attendance and boosts test scores. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
This undated photo shows Seckel pears being harvested in New Paltz, N.Y. Seckel, like other European pears, can be picked mature to finish ripening off the plant. (Lee Reich via AP)

Gardening: Eat fruit at peak flavor

Pick up an apple and hold it to your ear. Can you hear it breathing?Of course you can’t. But that apple, like any other harvested… Continue reading

This undated photo shows Seckel pears being harvested in New Paltz, N.Y. Seckel, like other European pears, can be picked mature to finish ripening off the plant. (Lee Reich via AP)
At least 17 earthworms crawl out of the soil in response to mustard powder solution. Note the absence of decomposing leaves; only coarser, woody material remains above mineral soil.  (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Yes, earthworms are changing the Kenai

Last month when I stepped into the woods after a day’s work on Stormy Lake I saw a sight I had seen only in pictures… Continue reading

At least 17 earthworms crawl out of the soil in response to mustard powder solution. Note the absence of decomposing leaves; only coarser, woody material remains above mineral soil.  (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS)

An Outdoor View: Big fish, big fight

Author’s note: For various reasons, most big halibut are caught by anglers fishing from charter boats. This story is about a very large halibut that… Continue reading

This June 29, 2016 photo shows a male Saker falcon on a tether in truck parked in a driveway near Langley, Wash. Raptors used for bird abatement are trained to chase, not kill. This Saker falcon, an eastern European variety, is one of several raptor species trained by falconers to chase away birds that can damage fruit crops. Some growers have reported losing more than 40 percent of their harvest to bird pests. (Dean Fosdick via AP)

Falconers hired to discourage other birds from eating crops

Frustrated growers tired of seeing wild birds devastate their fruit crops are turning to raptors to patrol their fields, orchards and vineyards.This ancient predator-prey relationship… Continue reading

This June 29, 2016 photo shows a male Saker falcon on a tether in truck parked in a driveway near Langley, Wash. Raptors used for bird abatement are trained to chase, not kill. This Saker falcon, an eastern European variety, is one of several raptor species trained by falconers to chase away birds that can damage fruit crops. Some growers have reported losing more than 40 percent of their harvest to bird pests. (Dean Fosdick via AP)
An Upper Russian Lake rainbow trout. (Photo by Dave Atcheson)

Tight Lines: Return to Upper Russian Lake

It had been at least ten years since my last visit to the U.S. Forest Service’s cabin on Upper Russian Lake, so I figured it… Continue reading

An Upper Russian Lake rainbow trout. (Photo by Dave Atcheson)
A male ruffed grouse shows its black "ruff" while displaying on a drumming log in central Wisconsin. Ruffed grouse were introduced to the Kenai Peninsula in 1995-97.  (Photo by  J. Bronsdon)

Refuge Notebook: Ruffed grouse on the Kenai Peninsula

I don’t hunt game birds much anymore, partly because I don’t have a decent bird dog and partly because ptarmigan and spruce grouse just don’t… Continue reading

A male ruffed grouse shows its black "ruff" while displaying on a drumming log in central Wisconsin. Ruffed grouse were introduced to the Kenai Peninsula in 1995-97.  (Photo by  J. Bronsdon)

An Outdoor View: Success in fishing

Tell people you went fishing, and their usual response will be, “How’d ja do?”What they really want to know is how many you caught, how… Continue reading

This undated photo shows a bi-fold coldframe in New Paltz, N.Y. Seedlings can keep warm and cozy even in cold weather when the bi-fold cover of this coldframe is closed to capture and hold the sun's warmth. (Lee Reich via AP)

Using a coldframe is like moving your garden south

In one weekend, you could effectively move your garden — or at least part of it — a few hundred miles south. If you’re handy,… Continue reading

This undated photo shows a bi-fold coldframe in New Paltz, N.Y. Seedlings can keep warm and cozy even in cold weather when the bi-fold cover of this coldframe is closed to capture and hold the sun's warmth. (Lee Reich via AP)
Ranger Macey teaches summer campers about the impacts of pollution to waterways on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Working at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge is more than a job

The annual rush of tourists and new explorers coincides with summer days when the sun never really disappears. So when I showed up in Alaska… Continue reading

Ranger Macey teaches summer campers about the impacts of pollution to waterways on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

An Outdoor View: Why we fish

Author’s note: The Clarion first published this column in 1996. Lots of things have changed since then, but the reasons we fish remain the same.… Continue reading

This April 15, 2016 photo provided by Dean Fosdick, shows a succulent mix in Fosdick's Langley, Wash., greenhouse. Think of succulents as the new African violets. They thrive indoors or out. Succulents are easy to deal with, are resistant to disease and thrive in the dry humidity common inside homes in winter. (AP Photo/By Dean Fosdick)  (Dean Fosdick via AP)

Succulents are good indoor winter houseplants

If you’re shifting to houseplants as cold weather approaches, consider gardening with succulents. Succulents are easy, disease-resistant, and thrive despite the dry air common indoors… Continue reading

This April 15, 2016 photo provided by Dean Fosdick, shows a succulent mix in Fosdick's Langley, Wash., greenhouse. Think of succulents as the new African violets. They thrive indoors or out. Succulents are easy to deal with, are resistant to disease and thrive in the dry humidity common inside homes in winter. (AP Photo/By Dean Fosdick)  (Dean Fosdick via AP)

An Outdoor View: Name things you fear

If you were to name the thing you most fear, what would it be? I don’t mean the fear that Donald Trump will be president,… Continue reading

Tom Collopy and Mary Frische of Wild North Photography based in Homer spent over four years photographing the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Celebrate Refuge’s 75th birthday with special event

Celebrate Kenai National Wildlife Refuge’s 75th Birthday year with a grand opening art show event on Oct. 8, from 6-8 p.m., at the Kenai Chamber… Continue reading

Tom Collopy and Mary Frische of Wild North Photography based in Homer spent over four years photographing the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)