First Bird Flu case in U.S. bear

A black bear cub in SE Alaska, although not the cub in question.

A bear cub recently tested positive for Avian Flu. The cub was seen struggling to keep up with its mother and siblings and Alaska Fish & Game officials euthanized the bear cub. Tests came back positive for a highly contagious strain known as “high-path AI.”

The bear cub, found in Bartlett Cove, within Glacier Bay National Park, would have died within hours if it had not been put down, according to wildlife officials. Since the virus does not jump from bear to bear, it is believed the cub scavenged a sick or dead bird.

One female black bear in Quebec had previously been diagnosed with Avian Influenza. In Alaska, two foxes, have tested positive.


Comic by Reynolds

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Ethel LeCount Photo Album

Photos by Ethel LeCount:

A black bear peers into the Erie Mine Bunkhouse, Kennecott Mines, circa late 1930’s

Ethel LeCount was a nurse at the Kennecott Hospital at the Kennecott Mill Town in 1937-1938. LeCount shot many rolls of film during her stay out at the old copper mine. The National Park Service has posted some of them online, under the banner: “Ethel LeCount Historical Photo”s on the Wrangell-St-Elias website.

Kennecott by Moonlight

A link to the album is below:

https://www.nps.gov/media/photo/gallery.htm?pg=858465&id=3CD7A309-1DD8-B71C-0718429D9FBE52EB


Soldotna Break In

The break in point

There was a break in at a Soldotna, Alaska residence recently. The culprit broke a basement window to gain entry.

An area youth was caught red-hoofed at the scene. Witness accounts varied. One neighbor woman claimed the youth fell into the window well, and couldn’t get back out, so the youth broke the window. “What else was the poor thing to do? Bellow endlessly into the night air? Who knows what that could have brought in from the shadows…”

Another neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution, would have none of that argument. “Don’t let those doe-eyes fool you,” he stated. “The very same hoodlum was seen eating pumpkins right from that front porch there just a few weeks ago. I think the intruder smelled the fresh baked pie that was inside, and there was no holding the scoundrel back. These brutes think they own the woods around here; it was just a matter of time. No sooner do I clear the snow from the walk, and they are using my walkway like it is their own personal trail. They leave these huge piles of pellets behind, and when they freeze and the snowblower hits them, it’s like grape shot flying out the chute. These are rough times.”

Soldotna firefighters and U.S. Fish & Wildlife officers responded to the scene and escorted the intruder out of the residence. By all accounts, the alleged trespasser offered little to no resistance to law enforcement.

According to a Fish & Wildlife spokesperson, the youth was released to the backyard, when the homeowner refused to press charges. When asked how the homeowner was dealing with the stressful situation, the spokesperson responded, “The homeowners are doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances, although they are both a bit miffed that they have to bake another pumpkin pie this close to Thanksgiving.”

Photos credit: Soldotna Fire Department


“Aurora Chaser”

This is a brilliant, short film by Vincent Ledvina of the Aurora Borealis in Churchill, Manitoba. He has some incredible footage on his youtube channel of the Aurora in Alaska, as well.

I recently came across his photography, because of the above time lapse video, and I thought I’d share his work here on Circle to Circle.

Even after all the years I’ve spent in the North, the Northern Lights never fail to stop me in my tracks. Looking at these images, I think it’s pretty easy to see why.

Don’t forget to look up.


Cranes

—Aldo Leopold


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“Every Man Knew” by David Conklin; Photo credit: Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum
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Election Day


Ice Safety

Now that the ice has formed on area lakes, and the rivers have at least some ice forming along the banks, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Fish & Game have released their annual ice thickness chart.