Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Angel Rock hike

I'm really glad that friends Dorothy and Kim wanted to go on a hike with me on a recent trip to Fairbanks. I just love being out in Chena Recreation area at the end of Chena Hot Springs Road. Its been a part of my life as a young kid growing up and became a place to get away on numerous weekends with Tim.

Angel Rock (pdf) was our destination and we had an incredible hike with great weather, good snacks, and beautiful scenery. We talked Dorothy into climbing higher up on the rocks so we could look down in the valley below us.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

In Fairbanks

It's been warm in Fairbanks. Its very dry and the pollen is pretty thick. I went up to the ski trails at UAF to join in an ABO bird walk but only three of us showed up and none of us were the guides! Another couple and I walked around for a little while until we decided to part ways. I walked down to Smith Lake and then back through some of the trails that I like. I saw several songbirds and some ducks.

You forget how expansive Fairbanks is and how far away the mountains are. There's a lot out there between town and the Alaska Range.

I went with my sister to the nursery to pick up some of the vegetables and flowers she needed for the garden and yard. How fun! I thought this was a silk flower but its real!

Its nice to see kids playing in the old neighborhood again. I spend many years playing in this yard with the neighbor kids and as the homeowners grew older so did the kids. Its been enough time not that there's a new generation of kids who are whopping it up!

And I just have to say - the camera on the iphone isn't very good but it sure is handy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

From the air

I forgot that I took these images on my last trip north. The flight was delayed leaving Juneau due to ground fog but once it lifted it was a blue-bird sky day. The view from the windows was incredible.

North Douglas and Skull Island

I always look for whales or boats on the water. I wonder how big this boat is to leave this size of a wake?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Signs of Summer

The airport has been under renovation since last summer and they are still plugging away. I came back from Seattle the other day and they had laid down some carpet in the new luggage area. It has got to be the ugliest carpet I have ever seen! Why did they even bother!

First ship of the summer came in on Tuesday. We've had one a day so far and more are on the way.

And the barges are coming more often and they have more interesting cargo: buses, vans, boats, heavy equipment - things that are outside of containers.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Boy Scout Beach and North Bridgette

Its all about the food, right? We had an awesome April birthday hike for Terry, with Oso, Linnie, and Kristie out to North Bridgette - Carnage Cove as our destination. We even had fresh wild strawberry shortcake with whipped cream courtesy of Kristi.

Beside the yummy food, the pay-off was seeing a pair of swans! Along with sapsuckers, gold-crowned kinglets, scoters, harlequin ducks, among others. We also saw whales breaching while we were eating lunch. We didn't see any northern shrike on this trip - the bird responsible for name of Carnage Cove.

The weekend before, Dave, Kristi, Oso, and Terry joined us on our beach survey. It was a glorious day - with the hint of spring in the air. They trail was almost completely clear of ice and snow.

We timed the walk with a low tide - this makes for a big beach and little chance of seeing any dead birds.

We looked for Mountain Bluebirds and other migration species but didn't see any. Kristi said that the next weekend was when the bluebirds came through.

Things that make you go, hmmm?

I was out walking on Sandy Beach the other day at one of the higher tides of the month. I had noticed that there were quite a few large logs floating past the house. So I wasn't surprised to see this large log, but I was surprised to see it sitting atop some pilings. Did someone help it there by guiding it as the tide was going out? Did a group of people lift it up there. Or did it find itself here as the tide was going out.

I went back the next day and the log was gone.