Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The moose is loose

The rain has taken a break finally. But the forcast says it will be cranking up again real soon. Everything is green and the moose have plenty to eat. The little guy in the first picture couldn't have been away from mom for too long. He's a little one for sure.

The one in the second picture is a little older and bigger. It was also more shy. Earlier I ran into a mom and young calf. Go figure I ran into them when I needed to change batteries.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Goodbye Clare

A long time blogging friend is shutting down his blog. Clare at The House and other Arctic musings is calling it quits. Clare has a lovely young family at the beautiful Kiggavik B&B he ownes and operates (which is what the blog was started about) in his little town of Arctic Bay.

I didn't post often to his blog but I spent many a times reading his post. I have never met him in person, but if he knocked on my front door, I would know who he is. You would also if you had the pleasure of reading his blog. Over the years he told us about building his B&B and when it was done he told us of some of the people who stayed there. We found out what a fine cook he is, which his customers were lucky to find out in person. He told us stories of when he was in the RCMP, some funny, interesting and sad. He told stories of his families history like going to war during The War to End All Wars. He also told us of the very interesting life he lives in the High Arctic and the wildlife around it. We shared an admiration of Ravens.

But his real love is his family, his wife Leah and children Travis and Hilary. It's not hard to figure out if you read the frequent post about them. It sounds to me like that is part of the reason for the end to his blogging times. You know what? That's a darn good reason.

So goodbye Clare. It was a lot of fun reading your blog. You'll be missed.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Its been a disappointing summer so far

Weather wise that is. In Anchorage we haven't reached the 70° mark more than 3 times this summer. We've had a lot of cloudy days and then recently a lot of rain.

I know, quit complaining. Back east the story is different. All hot sunny days and no rain. I guess I got spoiled the last couple of years with the really nice summers we had. But I like being spoiled.

Forest fires have been at a minimum. They even shipped the smoke jumpers outside to help in other states.

Everything is green and growing. Tourism has been lite. But that's not because of the weather. Gas prices have left most RV's outside. That hasn't stopped the cruise ships though. Allergies either. This has been my worst summer for them.

I guess it's been good for wildlife and photography though. The wildlife has been very abundant and the cloudy weather is good for the reflection shots I like so much.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A few friends dropped in unannounced.

Megan, a friend from TLC, and I were out on Camp Carrol on Friday. When we were leaving we heard these real loud helicopters that sounded like they were almost right overhead. We looked to see what was going on and all of a sudden there were a few unannounced visitors. It was a guard weekend and they were practicing their stuff.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine

I like all kinds of music. If you look at my cd collection you'll find blues, jazz, old rock, new rock, country and southern rock. Like most people I have my favorite songs.

Tom T. Hall is an American country balladeer. Several of his songs are on my favorites list to include I Care, A Week in the County Jail, I like Beer, Ballad of Forty Dollars, Faster Horses and Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine. He was voted into the Country Music Hall of fame this past February.

When I was younger I drove an 18 wheeler based out of Florida. From Tom T's song "Faster Horses", I had painted on the side of the truck "Faster Horses, Younger Woman and more Money". That was thirty years ago and I've changed a bit since then, but I still like his music.

How old do you think I am he said I said well I didn't know
He said I turned sixty five about eleven months ago
I was sittin' in Miami pourin' blended whiskey down
When this old grey black gentleman was cleanin' up the lounge
There wasn't anyone around 'cept this old man and me
The guy who ran the bar was watching Ironsides on TV
Uninvited he sat down and opened up his mind
On old dogs and children and watermelon wine
Ever had a drink of watermelon wine he asked
He told me all about it though I didn't answer back
Ain't but three things in this world that's worth a solitary dime
But old dogs and children and watermelon wine
He said women think about theyselves when menfolk ain't around
And friends are hard to find when they discover that you're down
He said I tried it all when I was young and in my natural prime
Now it's old dogs and children and watermelon wine
Old dogs care about you even when you make mistakes
God bless little children while they're still too young to hate
When he moved away I found my pen and copied down that line
'Bout old dogs and children and watermelon wine

I had to catch a plane up to Atlanta that next day
As I left for my room I saw him pickin' up my change
That night I dreamed in peaceful sleep of shady summertime
Of old dogs and children and watermelon wine

That's Aggie, our old dog and of course Tripp.

Tom T Hall - Old Dogs, Children, Watermellon Wine

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Utility fined for destroying nest

The Associated Press

Published: July 16th, 2008 04:58 PM
Last Modified: July 16th, 2008 04:58 PM

Juneau's electric power utility has pleaded guilty to destroying a bald eagle nest.

U.S. Attorney for Alaska Nelson Cohen says Alaska Electric Light and Power destroyed the nest during construction of the Dorothy Lake Hydroelectric project.

The federal Interior Department had denied the utility permission to cut down the tree with the nest but it was destroyed during blasting.

The utility was fined $50,000 and ordered to pay $50,000 for raptor rehabilitation in southeast Alaska.

Cohen says the company will pay another $25,000 in restitution to the U.S. Forest Service for destroying a historical cabin during blasting.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


We went to check out the Alaaka Bird Observatory, but it was closed for the weekend. So our next stop was Creamer Field, formerly Creamers Dairy. It hasn't been an operating dairy since the mid-sixty's. the community raised money to ensure the farm fields were preserved so the birds would continue to stopover along their migratory route.

The farm is now managed by the state of Alaska as part of the 1800 acres that make up Creamer's Refuge. The structures are the only surviving pioneer dairy buildings in Interior Alaska and were admitted to the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

Sunday was cloudy but with no rain when we started our walk through the refuge. There is a well layed out nature walk map available at the Visitors Center. The staff was very helpful also giving us several tips.

We only could stay about 2 hours because of other commitments. But during that time we saw Sandhill Cranes, Robins, Cliff Swallows, Sparrows, Yellow Warbler, Waterthrush, and Chickadee's.

We definately have to make it back again when we can stay longer.

Check out Friends of Creamer's Field and ADF&G Creamer's Field
Migratory Waterfowl Refuge.

Friday, July 11, 2008

You ought to see Potter Marsh

Ruth and I went to the newly reopened Potter Marsh last night. Wow! It's nice and the new boardwalk is loooong.

I'll write more about it later. We're packing for a weekend trip to Fairbanks in the morning.

Speaking of trip, is that Tripp in the last picture?????

Saturday, July 5, 2008

WOW, what a 4th

Ruth and I went out for dinner at Lone Star probably for the last time. There's something about lousy service and food not cooked the way you ordered it. That place has changed over the years.

Afterwards we had nothing planned so I suggested we go take some pix's. We seldom agree on where to go, but I think she's happy that we went where I wanted to this time. Elmendorf AFB is a large base. On the backside of the base there are many lakes, a float plane base, camping areas and all kinds of wildlife.

We started off at Green Lake. There use to be an old cabin there, but the AF probably had t torn down for safety reasons. However they did leave the chimney. Right off the bat we see a Bald Eagle scanning the lake. He was able to elude us taking pictures until it perched because of where we were and the obstacles in the way.

We decided to mosey up the road a bit. When we pulled out on to the main road, we had a red visitor cross our path. So we headed back with him towards the lake. If we kept our distance, it didn't mind us taking all of the pix's we wanted, so we did.

While we were watching this guy Ruth spotted what she thought was a Goshawk at first. It gave us a better chance of identifying it by scanning the lake right in front of us. It was an Osprey. They are supposed to be rare in this area. He flew off and we turned our attention back to the Red Fox. While we were observing our sly little friend we both looked up just in time to see the Osprey take a swoop at the bald. The bald never left it's perch but the osprey swooped real close and all we could hear was it's powerful wings whooshing as it got near the bald and turned and flew away. After it left the bald told it what it thought of that with a "cawk, cawk, cawk".

While this was going on, a beaver swam across the lake towards its den. I don't think he was as impressed with the two big birds as we were. We turned to go back to the truck and this little red and black guy I say is an American Robin, Ruth says no but she's not sure what it is, was just sitting on a bench staying out of the way of things.

Things calmed down and we decided to leave and drive up the road a bit and see what else was around. We hadn't got far when Ruth spotted a moose mom with two calves. The grass was so tall all you could see of the babies was their ears.

Time was running out so we moved on. We made it to Six Mile Lake where everything was so calm. The float planes were bedded down for the night. It was so quiet you could here the grass growing.

My camera battery was on its last legs. I have misplaced my back up and I haven't replaced it yet. The sun set was the last shot I was able to take. We had a full evening and it was time to go home. I think our batteries were running low also.

Check out more pix's at the album link below.