The view looking north toward the pass from just above Juneau Lake. (Photo by Jack Carroll/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Finding refuge in the forest

As a park ranger for the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, I get to spend a lot of time on the refuge’s trails and in the… Continue reading

The view looking north toward the pass from just above Juneau Lake. (Photo by Jack Carroll/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Eivin Kilcher with his children and their flotsam treasures on Ushagat Island in August 2020. (Photo by Eve Kilcher)

Refuge Notebook: Flotsam ‘treasure’ harbors wealth of wildlife knowledge

This August, Eivin Kilcher was beachcombing on Ushagat Island when he saw something unusual. “I was thinking, whoa, that looks like a massive-something-important.” He and… Continue reading

Eivin Kilcher with his children and their flotsam treasures on Ushagat Island in August 2020. (Photo by Eve Kilcher)
The author and her voting sticker. (Photo by Kat Sorensen)

Tangled Up in Blue: I voted

I feel like I’ve been talking about voting for weeks, months … maybe more like 1,451 days, but I can’t stop talking about voting. I… Continue reading

The author and her voting sticker. (Photo by Kat Sorensen)
A section of the Diamond Creek beach has built up, with plants growing where 10 years ago there had been bare mud, as seen here on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the Office: Annual CoastWalk beach trek reveals changes, transformation

Volunteers in annual Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies program clean up, monitor beaches

A section of the Diamond Creek beach has built up, with plants growing where 10 years ago there had been bare mud, as seen here on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
The author is seen here, sharing the world at Lassen Volcanic National Park in California. (Photo courtesy of Patrick Lewis)

Tangled Up in Blue: Me, me, me

When I wait until the last minute to write Tangled Up in Blue, inspiration can be hard to come by. This morning, mere hours before… Continue reading

The author is seen here, sharing the world at Lassen Volcanic National Park in California. (Photo courtesy of Patrick Lewis)
A long, white strip of soft, white feathers running down the back gives the downy woodpecker its name. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/USFWS.

Refuge Notebook: The smallest woodpecker

On a recent sortie looking for grouse in the spruce forest of the northern Kenai Peninsula, I heard what sounded to me like a squeaky… Continue reading

A long, white strip of soft, white feathers running down the back gives the downy woodpecker its name. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/USFWS.
The climb up April Bowl provides expansive views, seen here Aug. 3, 2020 in Hatcher Pass, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
The climb up April Bowl provides expansive views, seen here Aug. 3, 2020 in Hatcher Pass, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Andrew Berg outside his ҈omesteadӠcabin, which stood originally on Tustumena Lake and now stands at the headquarters of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Andrew Berg outside his ҈omesteadӠcabin, which stood originally on Tustumena Lake and now stands at the headquarters of Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
A photo of the author’s hands during a drier October full of blueberry picking. (Photo provided by Kat Sorensen)
A photo of the author’s hands during a drier October full of blueberry picking. (Photo provided by Kat Sorensen)
Refuge Notebook: Greater duckweed on Kenai Peninsula refuge
Refuge Notebook: Greater duckweed on Kenai Peninsula refuge
The Kenai River curls to Skilak Lake, as seen from the Hideout Trail on July 5, 2020. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: Burn it all down

The plastic paradox and rockwork on Skyline Trail

The Kenai River curls to Skilak Lake, as seen from the Hideout Trail on July 5, 2020. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Refuge Notebook: New trail makes Ski Hill safer
Refuge Notebook: New trail makes Ski Hill safer
A sign welcomes travelers to the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
A sign welcomes travelers to the Kenai Peninsula. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
A promo screen for the app “Agents of Discovery.” (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
A promo screen for the app “Agents of Discovery.” (Photo provided by Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Nick Varney

Reeling ‘Em In: Nick wraps up his summer fishing column

It was a short, strange, summer but it looks like the season for doubling the layers of my rain gear has finally arrived. Soon the… Continue reading

Nick Varney
Refuge Notebook: Kenai birches came from Asia

Refuge Notebook: Kenai birches came from Asia

Evidence still needed to show what Kenai birch conclusively is

Refuge Notebook: Kenai birches came from Asia
Tangled Up in Blue: Last looks

Tangled Up in Blue: Last looks

From a splendidly placed saddle near Callisto Peak, you can see Bear Glacier and it’s iceberg-laden lagoon. The ridgeline isn’t an easy trek, or well… Continue reading

Tangled Up in Blue: Last looks
Out of the office: Checking items off the list
Out of the office: Checking items off the list
Nick Varney
Nick Varney
Refuge Notebook: Mosquito serves as unofficial Alaska state bird
Refuge Notebook: Mosquito serves as unofficial Alaska state bird