Tag Archives: video

Chunk is back

Chunk, also known as Bear 32, has made his appearance at Brooks Falls. As usual, he is one big bear.

Fat Bear Week, the annual bruin celebration from Katmai National Park, starts this year on October 5.


Water meets Gravity

The disappearance of Harry Potter Lake:

Harry Potter Lake and Judy Kayaak Creek in 2018; Photo credit: Chris Arp

An arctic lake, with the amusing name of Harry Potter Lake, undertook a disappearing act this summer. The lake was large enough that someone standing on one shore, could not see across it. Running within 30 yards of the lake, and ten feet below it in elevation was Judy Kayaak Creek. Scientists were working in the area because oil companies were interested in developing it, and they noticed that the dam was about to break.

Setting up trail cameras and watching via satellite, the lake did not disappoint. Once the strip of tundra between the lake and creek was breached, gravity and the power of water took over. Within 24 hours, most of Harry Potter Lake was rushing towards the Arctic Ocean.

At the height of the rush, Judy Kayaak Creek had an estimated 100 times its normal volume. The village of Nuiqsut had been warned of the potential flooding, but no ensuing damage was reported.

Harry Potter Lake and Judy Kayaak Creek after the breach; photo credit: Allen Bondurant

Sources: UAF Geophysical Institute/Ned Rozell


Flying Solo

Mack Rutherford

Mack Rutherford, a 17 year old pilot, is attempting to become the youngest person to fly around the globe solo. Rutherford left Sophia, Bulgaria on March 23.

He recently flew his Shark ultralight plane down the Aleutian Chain, landing at Attu, Shemya Island, and Adak. Rutherford arrived at Unalaska on August 1. When I last checked his online tracker, Rutherford was in Ketchikan, following the coast down to Mexico. Although, by now, Mack has no doubt moved further on down the coast.

The young, Belgian-Brit Adventurer is expecting to complete his circumnavigation by the end of August.

Mack Rutherford arrives in Unalaska

To follow along with Mack’s global flight, his website is: http://www.macksolo.com


Ten Years of Bearcam

The Katmai Bearcam; Image credit: explore.org

This week is the anniversary of the Katmai Bearcam. It went online 10 years ago as a partnership between The National Park Service and explore.org.

This access to the Brooks Falls Bears has led to the worldwide celebration of Fat Bear Week, and has certainly brought awareness to the rather independent lives of these bears of Katmai.

15,393 people went through NPS orientation at Brooks Falls in 2021. That same year, 10.9 million people tuned into the bearcam online.


Bear Falls

A collection of fishing bears at Brooks Falls:

Brought to our attention by The Curator


High water on the Copper

Flooding along Alaska’s famed Copper River has been pretty severe this spring. The heavy snows have begun to melt, and the Copper, like many other rivers throughout the state, are at flood stage.

The video above shows a home floating down the Copper River after the bank eroded and gave way. As many as six other homes are in danger of being swept downstream.


“Who do you love”

Ronnie Hawkins and The Band; The Last Waltz, 1976:

Ronnie Hawkins, the brash, “King of Rockabilly” died over the weekend. The Hawk was 87.


The Akiak Dash

Dog mushing season is in full swing in Alaska, and the big races have started up. This past Friday, the Kuskokwim 300 had its start time, and that race wrapped up on Sunday.

On Saturday, the Akiak Dash had its annual run. The Dash is a dog mushing free for all on the Kuskokwim River. Dog teams line up on the river, and make a mad dash from Bethel to Akiak and back. 17 teams ran the dash in 2022, and Jackie Larson, of Napaskiak, repeated as Dash champion.

The 2022 Akiak Dash

Video credit goes to KYUK and the students of the Lower Kuskokwim School District.


Hunga Tonga Eruption

An undersea volcano erupted Saturday near the island of Tonga. The satellite imagery above is pretty intense, and the ash plume reached 20km above the earth.

Tsunami alerts were put out almost immediately, and the island of Tongatapu had waves flooding into the capital.

Courtesy of NWS/NOAA

The tsunami reached Alaska’s southern coast this morning, with King Cove recording the highest waves at 3.3 feet.

Air pressure change

That wasn’t the only wave to hit Alaska from the eruption. The shock wave of the event caused a drastic air pressure change over the state as well.

Courtesy of the NWS and NOAA

Can you hear a volcano erupt from almost 6000 miles away? It turns out that you can. Many people, who were up between 3:30-4:00 am on Saturday reported hearing a sonic boom. It’s telling that many Alaskans initially reported being awaken by a large boom, and most of them assumed it was a “moose on the porch”. Various infrasound recorders placed around the state by Alaska Volcano Observatory confirmed that the sound heard was the volcanic pressure wave, not a moose.

I find that absolutely fascinating.

A second eruption pressure wave traveled over Anchorage 19.3 hours after the first wave, traveling in the opposite direction.

As of this writing, details of the damage remained sketchy at best. It is known that waves entered Tonga’s capital, and that a thick layer of volcanic ash was dumped on the island. No deaths have been reported at this time, and it is not known how many islands have seen damage from tsunamis or ash fall. Tonga’s internet service, much like Alaska, is served via undersea cables. It is thought that those cables were damaged in the eruption.

New Zealand has sent military aircraft to Tonga to assess the damage.


The Pupmobile

A dog team pulling a pupmobile on the Seward Peninsula; Library of Congress

Mostly used out of Nome on the Seward Peninsula, the pupmobile, was a small railroad car that was pulled by a team of dogs. It was common practice in the first 2-3 decades of the 1900’s, as most of the railroad tracks had been abandoned, and sled dogs were the main mode of transportation.