Tag Archives: wildlife

Autumnal Equinox

The peak has passed in the Interior

It’s the first day of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, although to be perfectly honest, we are well underway up here in Interior Alaska. The colors have definitely peaked already, and over half of the leaves are now on the ground.

I had an unscheduled day off on Monday. A job cancelled on Friday, and there wasn’t enough time, or ambition, to schedule something else in its place. It’s unusual for me to get a nice day on an unscheduled day off, and Monday was an absolutely beautiful fall day up here.

So I spent the afternoon hiking the seemingly, endless system of trails that start at my deck. I saw only one other person and her dog at the start of the hike, and after that it was only the grouse, red squirrels, a couple of moose and myself.

The woods were mostly silent, with only the occasional scolding from a squirrel, or the pre-flush clucking of a grouse. Even the trail, loaded with a carpet of leaves, allowed me to pass with barely a sound: Only a faint rustling was left in my wake.


The end of the run…

Tundra, by Chad Carpenter


Alaskan Standoff: Grizzly vs Caribou

Film Friday:

A lone grizzly toys with a massive bull caribou

I had picked up one of this summer’s Pandemic Road Lottery ticket into Denali National Park. In normal years, the road lottery would be taking place this weekend in Denali. This year, due to Corvid-19 and the lack of visitors, The Park had five additional lottery weekends.

I had two teenagers in Alaska for the first time, and we ventured deep into the park one Sunday. We covered the gamut in wildlife viewing, but the most memorable took place on our way out.

It was late in the day, and few others were still out on the Park Road. And no rangers nearby either! The grizzly meandered around the field in the photo, slowly getting closer and closer to the bull caribou. After a while, the bear would back off, and increase the distance between the two rivals, only to shorten the distance a few moments later.

We watched the dance between bear & caribou for about 45 minutes. The boys were looking for a fight, but I knew that the caribou did not get those large antlers by not being able to judge distance.

The grizzly broke the caribou’s comfort zone, and the bull was immediately on its feet. The game was up, but the bear refused to acknowledge that fact. After another ten minutes, the bear tried once again to close the gap, but the caribou had tired of the game, and he trotted off with his head held high.

Camera: Minolta SRT201; Film: Kodak 35mm, Ektar100


Season of the Moose

Tundra, by Chad Carpenter


Watch the Arms

Seward, Alaska

A low-keyed eyeballing

Life at the Alaska SeaLife Center


Fishing Resurrection Bay


Stud Puffin

Alaska SeaLife Center


Alaska Wild Salmon Day

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Alaska’s annual day to celebrate all things salmon, is still on, but it’s going virtual this year.  No salmon grilling open to the public this year, but you can always grill up some Alaskan sockeye in the privacy of your own backyard.

Cheers


Salmonfest 2020

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Salmonfest is an annual event here in Alaska.  This year, even those Outside can take part in the festivities, as the music festival will be streamed.

The event takes on additional urgency, as Alaskans overwhelmingly protest the fast tracking of the massive Pebble Mine at the headwaters of Bristol Bay.

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Toad River

A Pandemic Roadtrip: Part Five

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Looking out my cabin door; Toad River Lodge

I pushed the mileage to just under 650 on this day, getting to Toad River at around 8pm.  A shortcut on Highway 29 meant that I could avoid Fort St John, but there was a major construction project on 29, so I doubt it cut off much time.  Still, it was a highway I had not driven previously, and it’s always good to get in some new territory.

Overall, this part of B.C. is just stunning country, and there was wildlife galore.  Black bears and bison, for the most part, but I did see a couple of moose.

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Inside the Toad River Lodge: They collect hats.

My usual layover in this part of British Columbia is at the Toad River Lodge, and I swung in here once again.  I’ve written about this lodge on here before, but I can offer a quick refresher.  On my second drive to Alaska, I was driving a slightly older Chevy pickup, pulling a UHaul trailer.  I don’t believe I had anything in the trailer, it was full of stuff a buddy of mine talked me into hauling up for him. I did make use of the trailer roof though.  I pulled into the Toad River Lodge on that trek to Alaska, and watched a single engine aircraft land alongside the Alaska Highway, and then promptly taxi down the highway, where it pulled in front of the Toad River Lodge.  They landed for some breakfast.  I knew this was my kind of country at that moment.

They are currently doing a lot of work to the lodge.  The old, and probably original cabin I stayed at, is no longer standing.  Several new cabins, with running water even, now stand along the lake shore.  I rented one of those new, fangled cabins for the night.  Not as cozy, and without a bit of atmosphere, but I had a sound night of sleep.