An Outdoor View: Handle with care

Author’s note: First of a two-part series, this column was first published by the Clarion on Sept. 3, 2004.A common mistake hereabouts is to freeze… Continue reading

ADVANCE FOR THE WEEKEND OF MARCH 21-22 AND THEREAFTER - In an undated photo provided by BearSpray.com, Tim Lynch sprays the Bear Attack Pack backwards out of a backpack in a demonstration. The canister can be discharged much like pulling the ripcord on a parachute. The pack fits any size can of bear spray. (AP Photo/courtesy of BearSpray.com)

Movie stuntman hopes bear spray backpack will save lives

LIVINGSTON, Mont. (AP) — It may sound contradictory, but the people taking the biggest risks are usually the most safety conscious.Take Billy Lucas, for example.… Continue reading

ADVANCE FOR THE WEEKEND OF MARCH 21-22 AND THEREAFTER - In an undated photo provided by BearSpray.com, Tim Lynch sprays the Bear Attack Pack backwards out of a backpack in a demonstration. The canister can be discharged much like pulling the ripcord on a parachute. The pack fits any size can of bear spray. (AP Photo/courtesy of BearSpray.com)
Silhouette of the Steller's Jay, one of five corvid species found on the Kenai Peninsula. Georg Steller, its namesake, was the naturalist who accompanied Commodore Vitus Bering on his exploration of Alaska in 1741-42. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Ode to Crows, Ravens, Jays and Magpies

I recently co-authored an article in Bird Conservation International on the demographics of Mariana Crows. While always pleased to have a paper published in a… Continue reading

Silhouette of the Steller's Jay, one of five corvid species found on the Kenai Peninsula. Georg Steller, its namesake, was the naturalist who accompanied Commodore Vitus Bering on his exploration of Alaska in 1741-42. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

An Outdoor View: Fishing 2015

With early-run king salmon and razor clams pretty much out of the picture for the coming season, let’s take measure of what’s left.Below are some… Continue reading

In this Monday, March 9, 2015 photo provided by Lee Reich, having a few tricks to conserve water, this aloe plant can go months without a drop of added water in New Paltz, N.Y. (AP Photo/Lee Reich)

Jade plants (and other succulents): Go easy on watering

A friend phoned me a few weeks ago concerned about the sunken, blackened areas on the trunk of her jade plant. When I suggested that… Continue reading

In this Monday, March 9, 2015 photo provided by Lee Reich, having a few tricks to conserve water, this aloe plant can go months without a drop of added water in New Paltz, N.Y. (AP Photo/Lee Reich)
A mountain bike outfitted for a fishing excursion should include a rack for holding gear and rod tubes. Other available accessories include panniers and trailers. (Photo courtesy Dave Atcheson)

Tight Lines: Access great backcountry angling via bicycle

It’s usually not difficult to distinguish the real bicyclist from the occasional fisherman spotted riding our local trails. For one thing, the fisherman won’t likely… Continue reading

A mountain bike outfitted for a fishing excursion should include a rack for holding gear and rod tubes. Other available accessories include panniers and trailers. (Photo courtesy Dave Atcheson)

Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware and Fishing 2015 Ice Fishing Derby Results

2015 Ice Fishing Derby Results Kids Division 1st PlaceEllie Burns – 3.07 lb. RainbowBrayden Gagnon – 2.11 lb. Dolly VardenAdrein Krastas - .70 lb. KokaneeTanner… Continue reading

Bouillabaisse: King of the soups

Bouillabaisse, a fancy French word for fish soup, just might be the most delicious thing you’ll ever wrap a lip around. No one seems certain… Continue reading

Make preparations now for wonderful, safe, springtime walks

Make preparations now for wonderful, safe, springtime walks

“Hurumph!” This is a sound you never want to hear from the woods when you are walking along a trail. This guttural bellow followed by… Continue reading

Make preparations now for wonderful, safe, springtime walks
Handmade fish decoys are displayed Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Belgrade, Minn. Dennis Bertram uses glass eyes for his decoys and has been carving them for 35 years. (AP Photo/St. Cloud Times, Jason Wachter) NO SALES

Carver finds niche with handmade fish decoys

BELGRADE, Minn. (AP) — Dennis Bertram worked the curved blade in an unhurried rhythm, releasing thin curls of redwood. The emerging decoy lost its band-saw… Continue reading

Handmade fish decoys are displayed Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Belgrade, Minn. Dennis Bertram uses glass eyes for his decoys and has been carving them for 35 years. (AP Photo/St. Cloud Times, Jason Wachter) NO SALES
An angler enjoys a day of fishing on the banks of the upper Kenai River within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Permitting Kenai National Wildlife Refuge commercial guides and outfitters

It’s a slow Tuesday morning in February, when suddenly the phone rings for the first time all day. It’s Betty Lou from Arlington, Texas, and… Continue reading

An angler enjoys a day of fishing on the banks of the upper Kenai River within the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

An Outdoor View: Shooting around the house

Author’s note: This column first appeared in the Clarion on Sept. 23, 1993. It has been edited slightly for brevity. — LPOne advantage of living… Continue reading

This undated photo provided by the Olympic Regional Development Authority shows  a person taking a skeleton ride at Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, N.Y.  For $75, visitors on winter Saturdays can take a sled ride belly down, head first on a sled the size of a throw rug. While racers take running jumps onto their sleds and can exceed 80 mph, visitors are pushed off about halfway down the run and can hit 30 to 40 mph.  (AP Photo/Olympic Regional Development Authority)

On the wild slide: Lake Placid site offers skeleton rides

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Sledding can be pleasant and pastoral, with big toboggans, snowy hills and rosy cheeks. And then there’s skeleton sledding: belly down,… Continue reading

This undated photo provided by the Olympic Regional Development Authority shows  a person taking a skeleton ride at Mt. Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid, N.Y.  For $75, visitors on winter Saturdays can take a sled ride belly down, head first on a sled the size of a throw rug. While racers take running jumps onto their sleds and can exceed 80 mph, visitors are pushed off about halfway down the run and can hit 30 to 40 mph.  (AP Photo/Olympic Regional Development Authority)

An Outdoor View: Clams and Kings

Not many years ago, if you wanted razor clams, you simply drove to the beach. Clams were plentiful, the digging was easy, and getting a… Continue reading

The bronze statue of a bull moose at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge's new Visitor Center needs a name. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Finding the meaning of the moose

I have a confession. I am terrible with remembering people’s names. I can remember the Latin names of trees, insect, animals, and even recite lines… Continue reading

The bronze statue of a bull moose at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge's new Visitor Center needs a name. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
In this Feb. 1, 2015 photo, Holy Trinity church stands illuminated at Russia's Bellinghausen station on King George Island in Antarctica. Holy Trinity is the world's southernmost Eastern Orthodox Church. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Antarctica: Mystery continent holds key to mankinds future

DECEPTION ISLAND, Antarctica — Earth’s past, present and future come together here on the northern peninsula of Antarctica, the wildest, most desolate and mysterious of… Continue reading

In this Feb. 1, 2015 photo, Holy Trinity church stands illuminated at Russia's Bellinghausen station on King George Island in Antarctica. Holy Trinity is the world's southernmost Eastern Orthodox Church. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Refuge Notebook: Records fall during 115th Christmas Bird Count

A consistently warmer than normal November and December, with scattered days and even nights above freezing, resulted in a mid-winter landscape exhibiting a dearth of… Continue reading

An Outdoor View: Don’t just sit there

According to WebMD, in 2014, new studies found that sitting for long hours is linked to worse mental health, a higher risk of death from… Continue reading

This Dec. 2014 photo provided by Amy Rockwell, Kristi Neznanski carries her daughter Hazel in a pack during a Salem Hike It Baby outing at the Croisan Trail system in South Salem, Ore.  The group called Hike It Baby, which recently opened a branch in Salem, is encouraging new parents to get outdoors by offering a supportive atmosphere on organized weekly hikes.  A collection of 118 people are part of the Salem group, and during the last two weekends, they've had hikes at the Croisan Trail system in South Salem and Kezier Rapids Park.   (AP Photo/Statesman-Journal, Courtesy of Amy Rockwell)

Hiking with kids takes a bit more planning

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Once upon a time, going for a hike was a simple activity.Toss a few snacks, water and appropriate gear into a… Continue reading

This Dec. 2014 photo provided by Amy Rockwell, Kristi Neznanski carries her daughter Hazel in a pack during a Salem Hike It Baby outing at the Croisan Trail system in South Salem, Ore.  The group called Hike It Baby, which recently opened a branch in Salem, is encouraging new parents to get outdoors by offering a supportive atmosphere on organized weekly hikes.  A collection of 118 people are part of the Salem group, and during the last two weekends, they've had hikes at the Croisan Trail system in South Salem and Kezier Rapids Park.   (AP Photo/Statesman-Journal, Courtesy of Amy Rockwell)
ADVANCE FOR USE MONDAY, FEB. 16 - In this photo taken Jan. 17, 2015, curling enthusiasts participate in a curling clinic hosted by the Bozeman Parks and Recreation Department at Southside Park in Bozeman, Mont.. Participants learn the basics of the game and help raise interest in the sport. (AP Photo/Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez)

Curling surges in popularity

BOZEMAN, Mont. (AP) — Bozeman’s hottest up-and-coming winter sport, it turns out, doesn’t have anything to do with mountains.Instead, it’s curling — perhaps best known… Continue reading

ADVANCE FOR USE MONDAY, FEB. 16 - In this photo taken Jan. 17, 2015, curling enthusiasts participate in a curling clinic hosted by the Bozeman Parks and Recreation Department at Southside Park in Bozeman, Mont.. Participants learn the basics of the game and help raise interest in the sport. (AP Photo/Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez)