Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sunrise and moose

When I left my first account this morning I looked to the east and saw the sky on fire. Now my mission was to find a place to break out the camera without obstacles like light poles and telephone wires and stuff in the way of the pix's. I made it to Frontage Road and about 70th before I had what I thought was a good place to take some shots. I was a little closer than I would like, but OK.

So I'm taking a few shots and mumbling under my breath about street lights and background noise and stuff when I hear a grunt. I drop the camera from in front of my face and guess who's 10 feet right in front of me.

Excuse the pictures, I didn't have time to make adjustments. I was all set up for distant landscapes and stuff. He looked at me for a second or two longer and then headed on down the road.

From there it was coffee and danish time.

Click on pix's to enlarge

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sunrises and duckies

Thankfully we have been getting some nice sunrises this week. With the warm temperatures the snow has melted and we've gone back to a dreary gray most of the time. Sunrise is about 9:30 AM now and I get to see them while I'm at work. This time of year is a little challenging though because you go to work when it's dark and come home when it's dark.

There are still plenty of ducks hanging around. With the warm temps the lakes have opened up. With more open water they have more room to hang out. People are still feeding them also. I don't know how the ducks survived before humans came along.

I do like the coloration of the males. It's so opposite of us humans where the male ducks are the prettier ones. Not that the females tempers are the best. There was a lady duck fight while I was there. I don't know who won. When the fight was over they both blended in with the rest of them just fine.

We need some snow!

Click on pix's to enlarge

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Last Wednesday

It was an extremly slow day at work last Wednesday. I went by West Chester Lagoon where I ran into the trail groomers taking a break. They can take a long break now. The temps got into the 40°'s over the long weekend and there's no snow to speak of.

From there I headed out to the airport. There all kinds of things to look at around there. With the sun coming up later in the morning I got to see a decent sunrise.

On the way to an account I saw this moose eating along the fence line. Cars speeding by just a few feet away didn't phase him at all. Notice the tag on it's right ear?

If you want to see some neat moose pix's, go to Trixie's View. She even has some snow up at her place.

Click on pix's to enlarge

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving everyone

Here's hoping that everyone has a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving! We'll catch up with you later this week!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

More snow and more moose

Today was another day that Ruth and I decided we just had to get out. It had been snowing since we got up and had that fresh blanket of snow look and feel. We had our usual breakfast at Peggy's Restaurant, came back home and dressed for 23°.

First stop, West Chester Lagoon on the north side. It still has some open water and some ducks looking for a hand out. We walked up the trail for a bit when Ruth spotted three moose running on the trail across the creek from us.

Something had spooked them. They calmed down, circled around for a bit and then decided that was a good place to take a nap. Mom and two calves, again. I'm not sure if they were the same ones from the other day, but it was about a mile away I saw the ones from the Moose for Meggie post.

Things had calmed down so we decided to go over to the Cook Inlet side of the lagoon. It was pretty busy with skiers and their dogs, joggers and hikers. There were lots of Ravens out enjoying the fresh snow. Those birds know how to play.

From there it was to Kincaid Park. We figured it be busy with skiers and sledders and we were right. There has to be a lot of tired kids and parents tonight. They seemed to having a blast.

We hiked down to the inlet. All along the way the fresh snow was still coming down. The spooky looking old cottonwood trees looked like they just stepped out of a holiday card.

We headed back to the truck all covered in snow. It sure was a pretty day. I was tuckered out when we got home.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Moose for Meggie

A couple of days ago Meggie asked if I ever ran into moose. Well, on the way home for lunch there were 4 moose crossing the road just down from the house. Twin calves and Ma & Pa Moose. By the time I could safely stop Lucille and get out with the camera, Ma & Pa were in the woods.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

and then there's more snow

Today was day 2 of the first snow storm for this winter and we're headed to one of our favorite city's in Alaska, Seward. Traffic wasn't bad on the trip down, but coming back, well we won't talk about that.

First stop was Bird Point. The bathrooms are kind of new and clean so Ruth likes to stop there. We were the first ones back in there on this snow fall. It had that blanket of silence and the smell of mother nature clean. We were on a mission for Bird TLC and I wanted to make it back home by sunset (4:20 PM). I should have known we would be back later.

Our next stop was at Turnagain Pass. For most of the trip it had been snowing and foggy. Most of the pix's were not so hot from up here.

We got a few shots of a couple Trumpeter Swans at Summit Lake. They'll be moving on soon. The lake is freezing over pretty good.

Next stop, Seward. Holy cow, the wildlife was out in Seward today. We saw Harbor Seals, Otters, gulls, ducks, Ravens, Crows, Eagles, you can just about name it for the winter wildlife. They were enjoying the fresh snow and the nice

+32°F temperature just like we were.

I wanted to make it home before it was too dark and the roads would be real bad, so we started to head back. We stopped outside of Seward near an old gravel pit and took some shots of a railroad trestle. The snow was still sticking to it and it made some great pix's.

We continued on back to Anchorage without anymore stops. The traffic was heavy and people either driving too slow or way too fast. Oops, I said I wouldn't talk about that. All in all it was a good day!

Click on the pix's to enlarge
Click on the pix below to see the whole album.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

We got snow!

Not a lot, but we finally got snow. Heck, it was in the low 40's the last couple of days. But today I woke up to snow. So it was time to go take some pix's of anything that was not gray.

First stop was East Chester Lagoon. It was full of ducks and geese. I tried to tell them that they needed to head south, so they headed for me. That's what happens when you feed the wild birds at the lake. They get use to it and won't leave for warmer climates when they are suppose to. The water will freeze over soon and they will have to move on or else.

At Inlet View Elementary a few kids were trying to make the best of the little bit of snow we had got so far. Be patient. I'm sure there's more on the way.

I went over to West Chester Lagoon. It's where the Trail Watch program all started. Volunteers receive safety training, agree to carry cell phones reporting suspicious activity, post incident reports on the Trail Watch website and wear distinctive arm bands. Through this highly visible presence, crime is discouraged and residents feel safer as they use the trails to run, ski, walk their dogs, ride their horses, bike or commute to work.

There was one trail watcher sitting in a tree just watching things go by and enjoying the snow.

Nobody was sitting down on the benches taking a breather though. There were plenty of people out enjoying the trail, but they all kept moving.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

My mind was everywhere's today

I do a lot of in town driving for my work. In between accounts I stop at some of my favorite places to write down notes or just clear my head. Today the head was clogged.

Bohemian Waxwings were going crazy by the Lousac Library. They were swarming all over the place looking for those berries.

After I left there I was just driving back to the store. You always see a Raven on top of the lamp post. I've driven down some streets where there was a Raven on top of every streetlight. However, today I saw two on top of a lamp post. That was a first for me. I turned around and pulled into a parking lot, got out and was shooting pix's. People probably thought I was nuts (there's a first).

Hey, if you would, think good thoughts about my buddy Aggie. He went in for exploratory surgery today. They found a 5 pound mass next to his liver. They removed the mass and they think he'll be alright. He's awake, but he's real groggie. We'll bring him home tomorrow.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Finding Saturday

Saturday was suppose to be another cloudy day. But as the sun rose I figured out that Jackie at Channel 2 Weather had made a mistake. So I got some of my chores and errands done and I started to get that itch. Ruth was at work and everyone else was busy doing whatever, but I still needed to go do something.

So first stop was Potter Marsh to see if there was still life there. The water is starting to freeze over, but there was still 3 Trumpeter Swans there taking in the sun. Sorry there's no picture. They didn't turn out well. They were just making an easy day of it before they migrated, I guess.

I'm not exactly sure what Alaska Railroad was doing. It seems this train went back and forth every few minutes. I need to go on another ride with them next summer.

From there I went to Lake Hood. Operating continuously and open to the public, Lake Hood is the world's busiest seaplane base, handling an average of 190 flights per day. There's over 700 planes kept there, almost all of them are single engine and privately, or small company owned. Right now I think they are getting most of them ready for winter

From there I went to the big planes at Ted Stevens International Airport. It is a major cargo hub and, as of 2005, ranks as the world's third-busiest airport by cargo traffic, after Memphis and Hong Kong.

Remember Southern Air, Ron Regan and the Contra's? SA is still around and has bigger planes now. You'll find carries from all around the world. UPS, FedEx, Northern Air Cargo, JAL, China. Just name it and they probably go through Anchorage to places in the west.

I've decided to make it easy on those of you who are looking for that special Christmas present for Dave. Look no more. It's at Lake Hood.

Check out the album link for more and as always
Click on pic's to enlarge


Saturday, November 3, 2007

Bye-Bye Maggie

In 1983, the Alaska Zoo acquired Maggie, a baby orphan elephant originating from Zimbabwe, to provide its solitary Asian female elephant, Annabelle, company. The two were housed together until Annabelle's death in 1997. Since then, Maggie has been the lone elephant at the zoo. She is 24 years old and should live another 40 years.

In the past few years it had become a concern if it is best for Maggie to live in Alaska in a climate that's not natural for elephants. The answer to that I don't know, but I can tell you she has had the best care possible while she resided at the Alaska Zoo.

Maggie has moved to San Andreas, CA to live with an organization called PAWS, Performing Animal Welfare Society. At their expense they moved Maggie from the Alaska Zoo with the complete approval of the Zoo, it's directors and many of her friends in Alaska. Everyone involved with Maggie here in Alaska love her and want the best for her.

To see Maggie and the other elephant at PAWS, check out their web cam.

To read updates at the Alaska Zoo, check out their website.

Maggie, we will miss you but do wish for all the best in your new home.

Photo credit: NY Times