Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sea Ice

A photo of Turnagain Arm's sea ice on a low tide.  These blocks of silty ice form during
our cold months and stick around until spring.  Soon they will melt
away and all the grayness will vanish along with them.
The silt deposits are washed down from the rivers that are formed from
the melting glaciers.  A lot of people find them rather unattractive, but
I kind of like them.  

Friday, March 29, 2013

Natures Wind Chimes

These lovely little balls of ice were swinging 
happily above a river.  
These jewels brought a smile to my face when I discovered them.
I hope you enjoy my simple pleasures as much as I did!.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pony Rides...

During Fur Rondy we always have a carnival visit town.  We 
also have pony rides for young children.  As I was 
watching the horses go around in their endless circles with little 
children on them, I wondered what these ponies where thinking.
I got the feeling that they would love to do something else other than walk in 
a big circle all day long with strangers on their backs.
Oh, if animals could talk...I think they would have a lot to say.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Yearling Dall Sheep

 Here is another sheep photo that I took this last Saturday. 
This is a yearling lamb from last spring.
This little guy was in a family group of about eight.
I felt like Jane Goodall as I sat on a rock watching them be themselves
around me.  They were so close to me, it was an experience that I will
never forget.  Such a wonderful moment!!!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Indoor Nature....

Sometimes the beauty of nature can be right inside your own house!
This is a close up photo of one of my dried flowers.
I love this photo and all the great colors,
I think it's beautiful!!
It's really uplifting after a day of snow!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

My Weekend With My Dall Sheep Friends...

I hiked up a hill this last weekend and spent about a hour watching 
a small family of Dall Sheep eat.  We have had a lot 
of snow lately so they were busy moving the snow around with
their hooves.  I sat on a rock and watched them work the area in front of me.
I was honored that they let me sit so close to them, we were only
about 20 feet away from each other.  This is the second time I have encountered this
little family group.  I think they are starting to recognize me.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

My Love For Bark, lol!

I have to laugh at myself sometimes as I am out and about taking photos, at
what attracts my eye.  I am always drawn to unusual tree bark with
neat textures or colors.  This particular photo is of a birch tree.
It has some sort of host on it, and I think the colors are wonderful.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Male Grosbeak...

This lovely male Grosbeak came to visit me last week.
I love the colors, I'm always amazed that Alaska has such wonderful colored birds.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lowell Point, Seward Alaska

I love going to Lowell Point in the winter time.  When there is snow everywhere
it's wonderful to walk the beach without the fear of slipping on the snow
or ice.  I't's a very relaxing place, and did I mention it was beautiful...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Alaskan Squirrel Up Close!

Hibernation?  I don't think so, this squirrel
makes his daily visits throughout the winter months.
Why sleep your days away if there is bird seed in abundance!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Alaskan Northern Lights!

Such a great show last Saturday, I thought I would 
share a photo!!!

Female Redpoll

I had to share this cute photo of a Redpoll with you,
I think it's sooooo cute!!  
To those of you who look forward to my daily posts, I'm
sorry I have been missing several days here and there.
I have been busy enjoying my spring break and the northern lights.
I have a couple of nice aurora photos I will share with you over the
next few days.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Alaskan Trumpeter Swan

While hiking the other day I was able to take a photo 
of one of our overwintering Trumpeter Swans.  
It's amazing that they can find enough food to sustain them
through our cold winter months.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Alaskan Pine Siskin

Alaskan Pine Siskin.  These little finches tend to habitat all of Alaska. This one 
seems to be traveling with a large flock of Redpolls.  They do migrate
to warmer climates, but depending on food they may stay through
 the winter.  Usually their numbers 
increase around April.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cold Alaskan Spring Days

Old Man Winter is hanging on tight!!!  We have beautiful clear
sunny days, but the cool winds are keeping us in a deep freeze.  

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Alaskan Trumpeter Swans

I took a long hike along the Kenai River today and was fortunate enough
to see a nice family of Trumpeter Swans.  
These birds are the heaviest birds native to North America.
This particular family did not migrate out to Texas or California in the fall.
It seems that every year there are about 15 to 20 swans that don't make the journey out and
stay the cold winter at Kenai Lake until it freezes over.  Once the lake is frozen, they
move towards the upper portion of the river.  I have seen them sleeping out on the
frozen lake in the middle of winter.  A good spot to be to observe predators.
I'm always amazed at how they withstand our cold winters.  They have a 
lifespan of around 33 years.  The darker swans in the photos are cygnets, or last years
babies.  I was astonished that they let me approach them today, I think the warm 
sunshine kept them from swimming off.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Eagle Survival...

A pair of eagles on the Kenai River having a tug of war over who
gets to eat the meal.  Amazingly the younger bird on the left
manages to steal the meal. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Fresh March Snowfall....

Today we were blessed with a blanket of fresh snowfall.  
Everything looks so beautiful and clean.
This photo features some Club Moss.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Warm March Day...

Beautiful plants are melting out from under the snow!!!
Such a wonderful mild march day, I think we are going to be blessed with 
an early spring this year!!!

Beauty Can Be Simple...

I love these spent high bush cranberry fruits.  A photo of last years
bounty and this years buds ready to start anew....
Nature is amazing!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Warmer Air = Melting

With warmer temperatures and longer daylight hours, the 
creek beds are slowing starting to loose their icy 
winter grip!!!

The process can be very beautiful....

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Mountain Chickadee

This little Chickadee was enjoying the warm afternoon sunshine.
A warm 38 degrees!
I know for some of you that's a very cold day, but our
days are getting longer and we are gaining 5 min. of light every day.
Soon our temperatures will rise and the migrating birds will appear 
back in our state.  Many of them have already started their migration back to
Alaska.  I can't wait to hear the forest full of song again!!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Iditarod 2013

Iditarod 2013 is now underway!  The teams left Anchorage on a foggy 
Saturday morning.

As they raced down the gauntlet of spectators there was 
time enough for high 5's!!

The dogs love to run and all the mushers equip
each dog with a set of leather booties.
safety first!!!

One of the best hats of the day was on this Alaskan.
A fur hat made with a black bear head addition.
These fur hats are very common around town when 
the Iditarod heads to town.

 When leaving Anchorage every musher can
have a guest along in the sled.  
Individuals can pay a lot of money for this privilege.

Beside beautiful hats there are also magnificent 
parkas. Many of these parkas have been handed down
in native families.  They are very cherished items for those who own them.

 This photo below shows some detail on a vintage Mouton coat.  
I had one of these as a child.  Super warm, but heavy.

Over the last few years the Iditarod has become one of
the best winter festivals in the world.  
Every year the crowds become bigger.

And the fur headgear more abundant.

In the end it's really all about the dogs
They are amazing animals.

Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes.
Like this little guy from Canada, check
out his tiny shovel!!!  Cute!

The start displays country flags of those competing in this years event.
Yes, there is a team from Bermuda!!

It's a photographers dream setting!!

I love this little group of professionals. 
Documentation is everything!
Many of them will continue the journey to Nome with the mushers.

Here's what they were looking at....

A photo of a sled...
pretty lightweight for the start in Anchorage.
Little bit bigger sleds will leave at the second start in Willow.
Some of those sleds have little seats that can be pulled out
when the mushers get tired.
Home sweet home for the trip to Nome.

There are many events in town including a fur auction and a carnival.

And did I mention, fur hats...

Hope you enjoyed the visit.  
Follow the mushers on line and google the Iditarod.
It's a wonderful event to help shorten our long winters.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Nobel Discoverer Oil Rig

This drilling rig will be transported to Korea for repairs.  
One of the issues involves possible damage to a propeller or 
shaft.  I love all the colors this oil rig brings to Seward's Harbor.