Tag Archives: ducks

The Beaver Cam

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I recently pulled the SD card from the trail camera that I have looking out over the beaver lodge.  It had 747 images on it.

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741 of the images were of ducks.  Sometimes in pairs, sometimes solo, sometimes the ducks had a large party and ignored all social distancing.  I have ducks swimming, ducks scratching an itch (like above), ducks taking off in flight, and ducks preening for the camera.

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There are four images that contain at least one duck and one beaver.  The beavers are quite active, but have not been overwhelmed by the urge to cut down any trees.  They seem to continue to eat on the supply they cut down late last summer and early autumn.

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There are only two images of a beaver without the photobombing ducks.  Personally, I think the Beaver Cam has gone to the beavers’ heads.  Now they just slap their tail in order to get attention.  Once you start to ignore their swimming about, the aggrieved beaver fires off a tail slap.  Who knew beavers to be such prima donnas?

The big male seems to have grown quite a bit since he last showed himself.  The female remains in shape; she’s quite svelte in appearance.  There is at least one kit, that I have seen.  There certainly could be two, but only one has shown itself at a time.


The sound of moving water

Welcome back


The thaw has finally come to the north.  Running water, which has not been visible for several months now, can be found at every turn.  The change of seasons, so dramatic towards the ends of the earth, is an adventure to experience every year.

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The melt is slowly crossing The Pond

The transition season in Alaska’s Interior is a quick one, as a friend recently reminded me.  As I wrote earlier, it has been years since I experienced the spring thaw in its entirety.  I’m enjoying break up, even though boots are often required to experience the melt, close up and personal.

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Creamers Field

The snow is all gone out at Creamers Field, the local waterfowl sanctuary.  The field was loaded with geese, ducks, a few sandhill cranes, and more trumpeter swans than I usually see out there.  The swans arrived early, and are taking advantage of the retired dairy farm.  I took the Leica out there, so we will eventually see if anything will come out of those pictures.  The swans were putting on a show that day, so hopefully I captured something on film worth sharing.


Spring has arrived to the Last Frontier

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The melt has started

The temperature on Easter Sunday reached 56F degrees in Fairbanks.  The last time we broke the 50 degree barrier was on September 30.

My daily hikes have been taking place in the morning now.  Partly, because the day is usually wide open for interpretation, but mainly because the snowpack is still firm early in the day.  Breaking trail gets old in a hurry.  The mukluks will be retired any day now for the rubber breakup boots.

Our length of day has surpassed 15 hours.  In fact, length of visible light, has gone over 17 hours.  The northern lights have been out, but they are already faint, unless they put on a show around 2am.  Soon, we will not see them again, until late August.

Rabbits can be seen morning & evening, bounding over the massive piles of snow with ease.  Already, the new brown fur is mixing with the white of winter.  An owl can be heard at night, hooting off in the distance, and I have seen the tracks of lynx, but the wary cat has evaded my camera traps.  Neither the owl nor the lynx seem to have put much of a dent in the rabbit population.  The frisky bunnies seem as numerous, if not more so, than last year.

Plow it, and they will land: 

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Creamer’s Field on Wednesday

At the end of last week, the annual plowing of Creamer’s Field happened.  The old dairy farm is now a migratory waterfowl refuge.  The field is used to tempt waterfowl away from Fairbanks International Airport.  Fairbanks has an annual lottery on when the first Canadian goose lands at Creamer’s.  It’s not as widely bet on as the Nenana Ice Classic, but it may be as closely followed.  Creamer’s saw its first arrival on Sunday the 12th.  However, for only the second time since 1976, it wasn’t a Canadian honker that landed first, but a pair of trumpeter swans.  When I was out there on Wednesday, the swans were off in the distance and ducks were flying in, and landing on the puddles.  The woodchucks are also out and about at the refuge.

This is the first month of April that I have spent in Alaska since 2003!  I always leave around the end of March, if not earlier, to get some traveling in, and head to the Frozen Four Hockey Championship, wherever that may be held.  It’s a bit odd for me to be here to watch the snow melt.

With the above average snowfall this past season, and the quick upturn in temperature, we are in for a very messy breakup with winter.


The draw of water

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Peter Pan Cannery on the Naknek

When in Naknek, I spent as much time as I could down by the water.  Hiking along the shore of the Naknek River was a favorite way to spend my off time.  The ice pack was solid enough to keep me from sinking too much in my mukluks, so I hiked as far as time allowed.

The hiking was peaceful, with the slow movement of ice down the river, and the constant flying of ducks, as they skimmed just above the water, their beating wings making small ripples on the glass like surface.

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Hiking along the Naknek River