Refuge notebook: New fall colors include hummingbirds

In a day and age where social media seems to dominate and not always for the best reasons, I recently had the most positive outcome… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: More elodea found on Kenai refuge

When we first found elodea on the Kenai Peninsula seven years ago, partners in the Kenai Peninsula Cooperative Weed Management Area didn’t really have any… Continue reading

The writer is seen in this ridiculous photo posted immediately to her mother’s Facebook as she leaves for Alaska in February 2017 with only one coat, the army jacket she wears in this photo. (Photo courtesy of Eileen Sorensen)

A little bit richer

I woke up this morning a bit richer. The Alaska Permanent Fund dividend landed in Alaskans’ bank accounts sometime early Thursday and mine was among… Continue reading

The writer is seen in this ridiculous photo posted immediately to her mother’s Facebook as she leaves for Alaska in February 2017 with only one coat, the army jacket she wears in this photo. (Photo courtesy of Eileen Sorensen)
Michael Armstrong’s dog, Leia, waits patiently to go for a walk on the Homer Spit beach on Jan. 25, 2014, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Need an exercise plan? Get a dog — a really rowdy, rambunctious dog

Suppose at your latest physical you got a stern lecture from your doctor. Suppose she told you to start exercising more — a lot more.… Continue reading

Michael Armstrong’s dog, Leia, waits patiently to go for a walk on the Homer Spit beach on Jan. 25, 2014, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
The author and her first cousin once removed, August Murphy, play at the waterfront playground in Seward, Alaska, in late August 2019. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Murphy)

Tangled up in Blue: Viewscapes

I want to start reflecting on this summer with an onslaught of adjectives — hot, exciting, adventurous, challenging — but I have two more things… Continue reading

The author and her first cousin once removed, August Murphy, play at the waterfront playground in Seward, Alaska, in late August 2019. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Murphy)

Refuge notebook: The porcupine — an underappreciated creature

Sauntering my way, the animal halted and gazed in my direction. It appeared uncertain about my status. Was I a threat? Or, was I anything… Continue reading

A group of friends makes their way through the trail leading to Tutka Lake across Kachemak Bay from Homer, Alaska in August, 2019. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Let’s pour one out for Mother Tutka

For the two years I’ve lived in Homer, I’ve managed just two trips across Kachemak Bay that haven’t been work related. If I keep up… Continue reading

A group of friends makes their way through the trail leading to Tutka Lake across Kachemak Bay from Homer, Alaska in August, 2019. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Refuge Notebook: The Swan Lake Fire and wildlife

This summer brought one of the hottest and driest summers ever recorded on the Kenai. Large areas dominated by black spruce, hot temperatures, and dry… Continue reading

Kat Sorensen, the author, walks alongside her 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee on Kenai Beach in May 2018. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Tangled up in Blue: Miles and miles

I bought my 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee when I first moved to Alaska after a failed fling with a 1992 Cherokee that had a leaky… Continue reading

Kat Sorensen, the author, walks alongside her 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee on Kenai Beach in May 2018. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Refuge notebook: Why are the birch trees brown?

I was working out Swan Lake Road last month when I noticed that entire stands of birch trees looked odd. The leaves almost appeared to… Continue reading

Refuge notebook: Storks in Poland are example of cultural wildlife conservation

This last month I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Poland with my family. The trip was organized by my father-in-law, Henry, who lived… Continue reading

Out of the Office: Burnt out

The first time I reported on the Swan Lake Fire, I didn’t even mention it by name. On June 6 – 84 days ago as… Continue reading

In April, a sunrise was often paired with rain in Seward. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled Up in Blue: All this rain

When I asked Peter what I should write my column about this week, he suggested I talk about swimming in lakes. It was intuitive, since… Continue reading

In April, a sunrise was often paired with rain in Seward. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Refuge notebook: Lightning on the Kenai Peninsula

I’ve been saying “Wow” a lot lately. A week ago, on Aug. 13, 48 lightning discharges occurred within 300 miles of the North Pole! The… Continue reading

Reeling ‘Em In: Smoky days didn’t stop Nick from catching some righteous cohos

Last week was a bit wild with the fire flare ups, road closures and hanging smoke. Until the winds finally showed up, the inside of… Continue reading

Coming into the Country: Ticks

While on a family vacation to Florida this spring we took a short walk through a lush, beautiful forest in Faver-Dykes State Park near Pellicer… Continue reading

There are a lot of paths to choose from in Seward, like the Lost Lake Trail. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled up in Blue: Too many roads to travel

The idea of multiverses has been big lately, in this one at least. The theory goes that the world we live in is just one… Continue reading

There are a lot of paths to choose from in Seward, like the Lost Lake Trail. (Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion)

Refuge notebook: The difference between predicting climate change and its ecological outcomes

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has a great online climate forecasting tool. Simply type in a town, the future decade(s), an emission scenario and voila… Continue reading