Monthly Archives: October 2013

Buy a Spectre a Drink

Headless Horseman

Happy All Hallows’ Eve

“All the stories of ghosts and goblins that he had heard in the afternoon now came crowding upon his recollection. The night grew darker and darker; the stars seemed to sink deeper in the sky, and driving clouds occasionally hid them from his sight. He had never felt so lonely and dismal. He was, moreover, approaching the very place where many of the scenes of the ghost stories had been laid.”
–Washington Irving “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”


Early Overflow

Overflow


Tamerack Needles on Ice


Generations Past; Oil on Canvas

“Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.”

—John Muir, “The Mountains of California”

Painting of Lolo Pass: “Generations Passed” – Oil on canvas by John Potter


Gopher Football

cst UM vs Nebraska football  5528

A shout out to the University of Minnesota football program who beat ranked, and heavily favored Nebraska 34-23 on Saturday at TCF Stadium on the U of M campus. The last time Minnesota beat Nebraska was in 1960, a period that includes 16 games. The 1960 Gophers were the seventh, and last National Championship team in football for Minnesota.


They Call That a Comeback

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In honor of throw back weekend at the UAF campus, I thought I’d post a photo of Don Lucia when he coached the Nanooks. Lucia would go on to coach Colorado College, and he is the current coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Lucia also coached the Nanooks when their home rink was the Patty Ice Arena on campus. Alaska returned to campus to take on Mercyhurst this weekend, and the team sported throw-back jerseys from the 1980-81 team, complete with the old UAF logo and the walking bear.

It’s definitely old school at the Patty. No replay… for fans or officials, no big screen, no out of town scores, and no shots on goal posted either, which was the only thing that frustrated me. Still, it was fun to see an actual game there.

The Nanooks came out strong, taking a 1-0 lead and the arena was rocking. Then it got ugly. Terrible play and costly turnovers by Alaska gave Mercyhurst a 4-1 lead that was eventually cut down to 2 by the end of the second period. The game was chippy, and the Nanooks seemed to be having trouble with the downsize from the Olympic size ice of the Carlson Center.

In the third period, it got interesting. Alaska’s first line of Colton Beck, Cody Kunyk and Nolan Huynsmans took control of the game and completely dominated play. They scored a short handed goal, a power play goal and an even strength goal in the final period to take the lead with 1:39 left in regulation. Beck had 4 points on the night, and Kunyk had 3. The three linemates were the 3 Stars of the Game. Although, I thought a Mercyhurst player deserved to be in there considering they led for much of the game.

A crazy night of hockey at the Patty.

Photo courtesy of Alaska Nanook Hockey


Rat Island

Aerial of the Island Formerly Known as Rat

A Japanese shipwreck in 1780 led to the introduction of rats to this island on the Aleutian Chain. The rats thrived, and by 1827 when Russian Captain Fyodor Litke visited the Aleutian Islands, the rats had so overwhelmed the island that he gave it the rather obvious name of “Rat”.
With no trees, the ground nesting birds had no chance, and the island became barren and silent. Even sea urchins who came upon shore were devoured, and the rats ended up going cannibalistic to survive.

In 2008, several conservation groups teamed up with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to eradicate the rats. The island was bombarded with 46 metric tonnes of rodenticide. By 2010, the island had been declared rat free.

Puffin on Hawadax

The sea birds quickly returned, and now they are once again thriving 233 years after the rats took over the island.

The island has officially been renamed Hawadax Island, using the Aleut word for “entry” and “welcome”.

Red-Faced Cormorants

Hawadax Island, which is unpopulated and covers just over 10 square miles of surface area, lies within the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. There are currently 16 other islands in the Aleutain Chain with invasive rat populations.

There were casualities other than the rats. 46 bald eagles were found dead on the island after the poison drop. Of the eagles tested, 75% had lethal levels of the rodenticide brodifacoum. Also found were 320 seagull carcasses and 54 carcasses representing 25 different species of birds.

Rats are not native to Alaska, and the 1780 shipwreck is the first known introduction of the species to the state. The State of Alaska has very aggressive anti-rat policies in an effort to limit the invasion of the species. In the city of Anchorage, which is still believed to be rat-free, it is illegal to possess any kind of rat, outside of research facilities which have to apply for a permit.

Photos courtesy of Island Conservation