A hand-painted plug.

Tight Lines: Looking for a new way to fool fish

Each year, as Kenai River guides Bo Ansel and Monte Roberts conducted a class at Kenai Peninsula College’s Kenai Fishing Academy, I would scramble for… Continue reading

A hand-painted plug.

Refuge Notebook: Celebrating marmots

For those of you who don’t know it, Marmot Day is on February 2. Celebrated in many lower 48 states as Groundhog Day, the name… Continue reading

An Outdoor View: Hope for the future

Earlier this week, billionaire Bill Gates announced on his Internet blog that a new kind of sewage-treatment plant, an “Omniprocessor,” had been built that can… Continue reading

In this undated photo, a green-tinted gazing globe visually takes in all of last summer's garden in New Paltz, New York. These mirrored glass ornaments fell out of favor about 50 years ago, but are making a comeback, seen by some as attractive ornaments and by others as kitsch. (AP Photo/Lee Reich)

Is there a gazing globe in your garden’s future?

Did I see a glint of mocking laughter in a friend’s eyes when I mentioned the new addition to my garden, a gazing globe?These mirrored… Continue reading

In this undated photo, a green-tinted gazing globe visually takes in all of last summer's garden in New Paltz, New York. These mirrored glass ornaments fell out of favor about 50 years ago, but are making a comeback, seen by some as attractive ornaments and by others as kitsch. (AP Photo/Lee Reich)
The morning sun on the last day of 2014 shows the sheen of water and ice on Headquarters Lake, a time of year in which the Kenai Peninsula would normally be blanketed in snow. (Kenai National Wildlife Refuge photo)

Refuge Notebook: Missing the missing snow

Editor’s note: Due to a technical issue, the Refuge Notebook was not published in Friday’s Clarion.Short days and little to no snow — not a… Continue reading

The morning sun on the last day of 2014 shows the sheen of water and ice on Headquarters Lake, a time of year in which the Kenai Peninsula would normally be blanketed in snow. (Kenai National Wildlife Refuge photo)

Les Palmer: The legendary Beaver

After a 60-year hiatus from building model airplanes, I’m doing it again. Please bear with me while I explain what this has to do with… Continue reading

ADVANCE FOR USE SUNDAY, DEC. 28 - In this Dec. 18, 2012 photo, dogs run in the snow on Hyalite Canyon south of Bozeman, Mont. "If it is below zero, you might want to really think about being outside with your dog," said Dr. Spencer Anderson of Baxter Creek Veterinary Clinic in Bozeman, Mont. (AP Photo/The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Ben Pierce)

When temperature dips, dogs need special care

BOZEMAN, Mont. — On a recent cross-country ski trip in the Bridger Mountains, I noticed my dog was walking a little funny. It was a… Continue reading

ADVANCE FOR USE SUNDAY, DEC. 28 - In this Dec. 18, 2012 photo, dogs run in the snow on Hyalite Canyon south of Bozeman, Mont. "If it is below zero, you might want to really think about being outside with your dog," said Dr. Spencer Anderson of Baxter Creek Veterinary Clinic in Bozeman, Mont. (AP Photo/The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Ben Pierce)
In this Dec. 21, 2014 photo, a monarch butterfly perches on a branch in the Piedra Herrada sanctuary near Valle de Bravo, Mexico. More butterflies appear to have made the long flight from the U.S. and Canada to their winter nesting ground in western Mexico, raising hopes after their number dropped to a record low last year. The insects are being hurt by various factors: in Mexico, the encroachment of logging into their habitat; and in the United States, the decline of milkweed, the butterflies' main source of food that has been crowded out by pesticide-resistant crops. (AP Photo/Christian Palma)

More Monarchs return to Mexico, but now face cold

PIEDRA HERRADA, Mexico — More Monarch butterflies appear to have made the long flight from the U.S. and Canada to their winter nesting ground in… Continue reading

In this Dec. 21, 2014 photo, a monarch butterfly perches on a branch in the Piedra Herrada sanctuary near Valle de Bravo, Mexico. More butterflies appear to have made the long flight from the U.S. and Canada to their winter nesting ground in western Mexico, raising hopes after their number dropped to a record low last year. The insects are being hurt by various factors: in Mexico, the encroachment of logging into their habitat; and in the United States, the decline of milkweed, the butterflies' main source of food that has been crowded out by pesticide-resistant crops. (AP Photo/Christian Palma)

An Outdoor View: Wild and wooly fishing

Author’s note: This column first appeared in the Clarion Aug. 1, 2003. It has been edited for brevity. — LP   Most recreational boaters stay… Continue reading

In a Dec. 10, 2014 photo, the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum, located just off US-2 in Naubinway, Mich., features 80 different brands of snowmobiles and nearly 150 displays - like this "Then and Now" feature which showcases past and present designs. Of the old machines represented, many are one-of-a-kind creations _ either special prototypes or homemade machines by barnyard engineers. (AP Photo/The Evening News, Scott Brand)

Snowmobile museum features historic, unique sleds

NAUBINWAY, Mich. — Roaring into its second year of operation at the new location, Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway is deriving tremendous… Continue reading

In a Dec. 10, 2014 photo, the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum, located just off US-2 in Naubinway, Mich., features 80 different brands of snowmobiles and nearly 150 displays - like this "Then and Now" feature which showcases past and present designs. Of the old machines represented, many are one-of-a-kind creations _ either special prototypes or homemade machines by barnyard engineers. (AP Photo/The Evening News, Scott Brand)

Oregon’s Horse Butte attracts winter mountain bikers

BEND, Ore. — To the west, the Cascade Range was obscured by a shroud of clouds. To the northeast, the Ochoco Mountains were specked with… Continue reading

Northern pike are voracious predators of juvenile salmon and trout.  This pike was from Alexander Creek, a tributary of the Susitna River. (Photo by Dave Rutz)

Refuge Notebook: Eradicating an invasive predator from the Kenai Peninsula

Loons calling through the morning mist … the cry of an eagle perched overhead… rainbow trout leaping from the water, and your children’s smiles as… Continue reading

Northern pike are voracious predators of juvenile salmon and trout.  This pike was from Alexander Creek, a tributary of the Susitna River. (Photo by Dave Rutz)

An Outdoor View: The tackle box

Author’s note: I offer the following to put you in the mood for Hanukkah, Christmas, Festivus or whatever celebration gives you warm feelings and urges… Continue reading

A Limited Edition decal is attached to the tailgate of Peter Duvaloois' Rat Rod on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, in Saugerties, N.Y. The fast machines are pieced together from vintage parts and scrapyard finds. They are rumblier, rustier and turn more heads on the highway. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Rat rods: Vintage vehicles made into rusty rides

SAUGERTIES, N.Y. — Peter Duvaloois’ rat rods are way cooler than your car.The fast machines, pieced together from vintage parts and scrapyard finds, also are… Continue reading

A Limited Edition decal is attached to the tailgate of Peter Duvaloois' Rat Rod on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, in Saugerties, N.Y. The fast machines are pieced together from vintage parts and scrapyard finds. They are rumblier, rustier and turn more heads on the highway. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Snowshoe hares in winter coat are camouflaged in snow but stand out in an otherwise brown landscape if the snow melts prematurely.  (Photo by D. Gorden/E. Robertson)

Refuge Notebook: Camouflage depends on the background

Throughout fall and early winter, a short-tailed weasel has been making my afternoon schedule more interesting. As I wait for my son to finish his… Continue reading

Snowshoe hares in winter coat are camouflaged in snow but stand out in an otherwise brown landscape if the snow melts prematurely.  (Photo by D. Gorden/E. Robertson)

An Outdoor View: Rounding up

In the dying throes of the 18th century, the French came up with a decimal-based way to measure stuff, the “metric” system. In the years… Continue reading

In this Dec. 3, 2013 photo, carting leaves to spread beneath trees and shrubs offers many benefits from a perspective of soil, plants, and - because weeds are suppressed - also gardeners in New Paltz, N.Y. (AP Photo/Lee Reich)

Ignore those ugly rumors about mulch

Rumor has it that mulching your garden beds or trees and shrubs could starve your plants. It’s a rumor that has circulated for the past… Continue reading

In this Dec. 3, 2013 photo, carting leaves to spread beneath trees and shrubs offers many benefits from a perspective of soil, plants, and - because weeds are suppressed - also gardeners in New Paltz, N.Y. (AP Photo/Lee Reich)
Photo by Dan Balmer/Peninsula Clarion Members of the Kenai Peninsula Outdoors Club traverse down a hill during a hike on Vista Trial Nov. 22, 2014 off Skilak Lake Road.

‘Get out and play’: Kenai Peninsula Outdoor Club continues to grow

The Kenai Peninsula Outdoor Club was once a small group of friends that enjoyed a shared interest in outdoor activities. Today, the group has grown… Continue reading

Photo by Dan Balmer/Peninsula Clarion Members of the Kenai Peninsula Outdoors Club traverse down a hill during a hike on Vista Trial Nov. 22, 2014 off Skilak Lake Road.
Kenai Refuge biological intern Jen Peura collects vegetation data on one of the plots (Elizabeth Bella/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Are we winning the war on invasives?

Invasive plants are now well known as a threat to ecosystem integrity across the Kenai Peninsula. We’ve watched the not-so-slow march of invasive species down… Continue reading

Kenai Refuge biological intern Jen Peura collects vegetation data on one of the plots (Elizabeth Bella/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

An Outdoor View: This fishing thing

There must be something to this fishing thing, or we wouldn’t do the things we do to do it.Fishing, like certain diseases, gets into your… Continue reading