Saturday, November 21, 2015

How much snow did you get?

Last winter was a very disappointing winter. The total snowfall in Anchorage was like 21 inches, down about 100 below average. Well. we're working on putting that behind us this year. Last night we got about 8 inches on top of the 3 or 4 we had on the ground.
 Can you tell a proud American veteran from Alaska lives here?
 This is how your greeted when entering my driveway.
 Think I should have unloaded the truck last night?
 Macy says it's not all the fun that people are saying it is. That's probably because she had her belly shaved a few weeks ago to have a procedure done and the snow is belly high for her.
Cooper is loving the fresh snow though.
On a side note for those of you that watch reality shows. Alaskan Bush People is a complete hoax. Many of the so called actors have stolen over $20,000 from the people of Alaska. At this time, they are not even in the state. Most are in Seattle pushing a bullshit book about how they survive in Bush Alaska. I urge you not to watch this crap or buy the book and to contact The Discovery Channel and urge them to stop supporting this type of garbage.
If you don't believe me, read the Daily News Miner from Fairbanks.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

An Anniversary, A Birthday and a Surprise

(Nov. 2014 Taken by our friend Britt Coon)
Well, the Anniversary was on Oct. 31. Macy and I have been together for 4 years now. We've gone through a lot here lately. For a while there I thought I was going to loose her. She has become a major part of my life and I can't picture her not being in it now.
 So, Macy's birthday is on Nov. 12th. She'll be 6 years old. And yes, that's the surprise in the back.
 Meet Cooper. Cooper is a 7 year old beagle. No, Macy doesn't look thrilled in the picture. She's still wondering what's going on.
Here they look like they're being lined up in front of a firing squad. I just want a picture guys.
Cooper came to us through friends who were putting him up after being found abandoned. There a lot of adapting and getting use to, but I think it's going to work out. Macy has company while I'm at work. Cooper loves the big yard. We're going to have fun!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A visit to the Hanson's House

Macy has been feeling lots better, so we've been doing some exploring close to the house. We've driven by this turn off on Fairview several times and we've seen cars parked next to the road. Wondering why, we stopped and found it to be a Alaska State Parks Recreation Site.
It's seems the Hanson's, Henry and Ester, moved here in 1939 with $6 in Henry's pocket.
 They started off with a surplus government Quonset hut and in time developed it into this two story home.
 Macy wanted to go in, but no one was home. The Hanson's have long passed away, Henry in 1987 and Ester in 1990. However, they donated the 30 acres to Alaska State Parks. Henry said "By doing this, we'll be remembered after we're gone".
 For the time, they had a beautiful green house. They're also bird houses every where's.
 The facilities were modern for the time.
 But at one time, this was the way to get water.
 Macy and I enjoyed the small pond that the house overlooks. A neighbor and her niece came along and we talked for a while. What a nice peaceful place. It overlooks the Chugach Mountains and the Matanuska River and the Palmer Hay Flats.
I didn't put any links, you won't find much. The state hasn't taken good care of the property, but Henry and Ester did a good job. It's still standing. Walking around you can imagine their life there, some of the hardships because of weather and such. But a beautiful property with a beautiful view.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Beware of October

Two tears ago today, my son Uryan brought me home from the hospital to recover from an operation that not only saved my life, but also drastically changed it. It changed it in a good way. If not for this operation I wouldn't be here for one and for another it changed the way I look at life and the appreciation of people and things in it.
 Wildlife and specifically wild birds are something I really appreciate and respect. I've been fortunate to be involved with the rehabilitation of sick and injured wild birds and the education of the public about them for over 10 years with the Bird Treatment and Learning Center in Anchorage. I have a friend to thank for that, btw, she's my ex-wife.
 I'm fortunate to live in Alaska. Besides my regular job and my photography hobby, I'm also very fortunate that I get to travel all over Alaska doing what my friends call "My bird thing". I've meet some really awesome people, some of which are my closest friends and some are my feathered friends.
 Some are more than that.
 For the past few weeks, my closest 4 legged friend Macy has been having a hard battle. A battle that we're not sure what we are fighting. It started with an abscess on the right side of her face, than it was pancreatitis, then her immune system was failing and she wasn't eating. She lost 5 1/2 lbs. which is quite a lot for a dog that started at 27 lbs.
She's under good care from Far Country Animal Hospital and a handful of doctors and me at home. She's making a comeback, but still has a ways to go. What I've missed the most is her looking out the window when I drive up the driveway from work. She had been too weak to do that. Well, yesterday I was driving up the driveway and saw her in the window. That was the best feeling I've had in several weeks. She's also eating on her own now.
I've been keeping people updated on Facebook. It amazes me how much attention she has gotten. I've got emails and messages from people I don't even know. Thanks for everyone's prayers and well wishes for Macy.

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.