Category Archives: wildlife

Moose Crossing

I finally made my return to the Last Frontier. On the drive home, I saw three moose. It’s good to be home.


Mmmm… Crunchy

This armadillo walked right up to me. It was almost on my boot, when I suddenly moved my foot side to side, startling the little guy. Keen eyesight is not one of his strengths, I would guess. He fled about three feet, and then froze. I walked away, and had not gone 5 feet, when the armadillo was back to scrounging for munchies.


Good morning

Young bull moose

When I pulled back the drapes this morning, this young, bull moose, with buttons on his forehead, was looking directly into my kitchen window. I assume that he had heard me moving about the cabin, wondering what the noises were behind the black hole in the wall, because his nose was inches from the glass when I parted the sunlight-blocking, window coverings. By the time I grabbed a camera, he had started to move towards a tree to munch on. Mama moose is further back, and to the right, eating heartily.

In the end, I had to shoo them both off, in order to have a peaceful visit to the outhouse.


“The crane is wilderness incarnate”

The Wisconsin River near Baraboo has become a late season congregation point for the sandhill crane. As many as 10,000 cranes converge here to rest and stock up before heading to their wintering grounds. It’s an impressive wildlife resurgence.

The sandhill crane had all but disappeared from the upper Midwest by the early 1930’s. The last of the breeding populations were gone from Illinois in 1890, Iowa in 1905, South Dakota in 1910, Ohio in 1926, and Indiana in 1929. By the 1930’s, there were only a few dozen cranes left in the state of Wisconsin.

I have a thing for cranes. Their lonely bugle call from the swamps always stops me in my tracks. Their migration in and out of Alaska is a bi-annual highlight of living in Alaska. Luckily, the population has been growing since the 1980’s, and this section of the Wisconsin River has been vital for that to happen.

The Aldo Leopold Foundation offers viewing tours along the Wisconsin River, behind Leopold’s Shack in November and December.

“When we hear his call we hear no mere bird. We hear the trumpet in the orchestra of evolution. He is the symbol of our untamable past, of that incredible sweep of millennia which underlies and conditions the daily affairs of birds and men.”
— Aldo Leopold

The Aldo Leopold Foundation offers viewing tours along the Wisconsin River, behind Leopold’s Shack in November and December.

The video and statistics come courtesy of The Aldo Leopold Foundation. The title quote is from Aldo Leopold’s “Marshland Elegy”


Bear on the run

A black bear led Anchorage police officers on a high speed gallop through downtown the other night. It took 3-1/2 hours to corral the male bruin in the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery.

The 200 pound black bear was tranquilized by Alaska Fish & Game officials, and then released outside of the city at “an undisclosed location”.

According to Fish & Game spokesman, Ken Marsh, “It found itself downtown and probably was a little confused. He was doing his bear thing, and before he knew it he was in the city.”

The above video was posted by the Anchorage Police Department on their Facebook page.


Neighborhood Grousing

Grouse

This spring’s grouse chicks are all grown up. There were actually 6 of them hovering about my drive, but 5 turned out to be rather camera shy.


Spot the leopard

Where is that leopard

This one is pretty easy.