Saturday, October 3, 2015

Fun with Macy

Can you guess where we went today? Bird TLC had a release of a Northern Goshawk at Eagle River Nature Center today and Macy felt up to going.
 This is one of the many beautiful places in the Anchorage area. Besides the scenery, there's lots of wildlife and very nice people.
 As always in the wild, there are dangers. But Macy wasn't scared of no bear.
We had stuff to see. It was a cloudy, drizzly day about 48°f, but it was the right weather for a hike.
 This Spruce Grouse we came upon in the trail. Macy startled it and it headed for this tree. It's camouflage works well.
All in all a good day.




Tuesday, September 22, 2015

20 years later, Yukla 27 I remember like yesterday

 It's September 22, 1995, 7:47AM. I had just retired 9 months ago from the USAF, the 3rd Wing or specifically the 962 AACS or as we called it AWACS. I was opening an auto parts store that I managed back then, when I got a call from a friend. She asked if I had been listening to the news. I told her I hadn't, that I was getting the store ready for opening. She then told me that AWACS had crashed. I couldn't believe it. I walked out of the store and looked towards base and could see the cloud of bellowing smoke. My heart just sunk and I cried.

It was just a year ago that I was the crew chief on 002 and I had put in my paperwork to retire. It was being replaced by the end of the year by 354 so she could go into depot. Now it's gone, along with 24 brave crew members. I can still see that cloud of smoke like it was yesterday.

Yes Yukla 27, I remember.

Here's a nice memorial video from You Tube

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Angel Rocks along Chena River

It was Labor Day weekend and I must say, a lot of Alaskans were getting out to enjoy the beautiful weather. Rebecca, Isaac and I were off to Angel Rocks with the dogs.
It's only about a 3 1/2 mile hike round trip, mostly gradual grade but it had some steep parts. We all enjoyed taking our breaks.
Sometimes Isaac likes going the not so obvious route.
But the views were awesome!
 The fall colors were in full swing.
 Macy was quite the explorer. However, when we got back to the car, she was asleep before we got out of the parking lot.
It was a fun day with Rebecca and Isaac, oh and Chloe. A good way to finish off the summer.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Crazy Dogs and Nice Ladies

Macy and I went to Fairbanks last weekend for the holiday. Our first full day there, Rebecca and Chloe invited us along on a dog walk with a few of her church lady friends at Ballaine Lake. The weather was perfect if not a little hot.
Most of the time it was a nice walk / hike / casual stroll. But Chloe found a good spot for her to spaz out.
 She also had the chance to do some scouting from the high spots.
 This is what happens when you go hiking with the locals.
 We made it back to the lake. Good place for the dogs to cool down. Macy was wonder who the other beagle was in the lake.
 But the best way to cool down is to go in the lake, sit down and have a drink.
 It was a good day. Thanks ladies and doggies!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ghost needs a new mew (house)

It's been a few years, 2006 to be exact. But Ghost came to live with me for me to caretake as a Bird TLC Education Bird. He changed my life and I try to make his a better one. Back in 2006 I built him a mew in the backyard of my place in Anchorage. It was the first time I ever attempted something like that.
 Well, I get to try it again. Since I moved, Ghost gets to also. But he needs a place to move to. His old mew is now too small for what is required of it and it needs what we call an arctic entry. It's to help prevent escapes.
 So we started a Go Fund Me campaign to raise funds for the materials. With the materials we will use, it will be the last mew he'll ever need.
 Ghost has traveled many places throughout Alaska with Bekah (Ghost other presenter) and I to help educate people about Bird TLC and Snowy Owls.
We've done very well. Ghost has even been in a movie "The Magic of the Snowy Owl" in 2012 on PBS. He has quite the birdality and people really take to him.
So if you can help out, it would be appreciated. Here's a link to our campaign

Monday, August 17, 2015

I got a new toy

I went to a photography expo put on by Stewart's Photo a few weeks ago. I wanted a replacement for my Canon 100-400 generation I that I never was totally happy with. Here, all in one place, I can talk to all of the manufacturers. Oh, did I have fun.
I walked out with the Sigma 150-600 F5-6.3 DG Sports model. Oh what a beauty. The Tamron version seemed very cheaply made. Canon disappointed me with it's rep. I'd been on some photography trips sponsored by Canon and he was very knowledgeable of all the products they supplied. But at the expo, all I really heard from him about the Canon 100-400 gen II was that it was going to be in his camera bag. Nothing about the specs of the lens, what it can or can't do. The Sigma rep told it all and I was impressed.
So for a test drive I go to Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. From outside the fence I was about to play with er ahhh ahem, try out my lens. There was all kinds of planes like this Australian Royal Air Force Tanker.
 Ravn Air Beechcraft B1900 Cargo
 Alaska Air Taxi Short SC-7 Skyvan
 Then on the way home I saw this guy or gal.
 Hal the Bird TLC education bald eagle, got to spend the night with me because we had a late presentation. My friends say it looks like he's saying grace. This photo and the next was taken with my Canon EF24-105.
Macy wanted in the yard but I wouldn't let her because of Hal.
I also bought the Canon Pixma Pro-100 printer. That rep knew what he was selling. Also with the rebates they were offering, WOW!
So Macy and I are having fun in between work, house stuff, etc. Expect to see more.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

And then there's Zelda

I knew once I moved to the valley that I'd be commuting for about 45 minutes each way a few days a week. Pearl, my pickup truck I love, but she likes her gas. Also I didn't want to rack up the miles on her either. So the hunt was on for a gas conscious  economy car. I had the choice between a couple Impala's, an Imprenza, and a Jetta.
 The Jetta won out. She's used, was in better shape than the others, handled well and stopped better. You may call her Zelda. Since she's a VW, a German name was needed. Zelda is a variation of Griselda which means gray warrior maid.
Pearl need not be jealous. She's a beauty in her own right. I'll get to spend more time cleaning her up, making her shine. There will be times I'll need to take her and not Zelda. But Zelda will save me about $50 a week in gas.
This is the first car I've owned that's for me since the '80's. It'll take some getting use to.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Just different things.........

 My neighbor has a few old things decorating his yard.
 The way last winter was, we might need this snow plow this winter.
 Not a sign you see a lot in the lower 48.
 Thinking of going into business for yourself?
 From earlier this year down at Palmer Hay Flats. Not sure what this is. I'll get back to you.
 This Prickly Rose or Wild Rose are all over my yard.
Macy girl chillin' by the creek along Hatchers Pass.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sometimes you don't get what you go after

A few weeks ago I went on a hike along Cottonwood Creek with two of my grandsons. It wasn't a time for photography, but I saw a spot I wanted to come back to and shoot. A time when the lighting was better and less distractions.
 It's fishing season and there was a full parking lot. Lots of people, but they were all nice.
 Macy got the salmon fever when I wasn't watching at first. I told her she had to stop. Her license didn't cover fishing.
 But once we got to where we were going, she was very patient with me. I guess the calming of the creek rushing by had her mesmerized.
 I still didn't get the shot that I wanted though or I just wasn't happy with my results. I'll make it back another time and try again. Patience is what it's about.
I explained that to Macy. I think she got it.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Two grandson's for the weekend

This was the first weekend that any of the grandkids could spend the weekend. Nick & Stacey took it easy on me and just gave me the boys. It was still a working weekend, but OK, we still played a little.
 I think I got a couple of volunteers to cut the grass the rest of the summer.
 They liked my homemade waffles for breakfast.
 We took Sunday off and went for a hike out at the Palmer Hay Flats along Cottonwood Creek. It had just stopped raining so it was nice and humid. I think they still had a good time.
 There were all kinds of things along the trail to climb or jump on.
 Macy lead the way a lot. But at 74°, it was hot for her.
 The boys survived the weekend. We'll see if Macy does after her nap.