Monday, April 21, 2014

coulda, shoulda, woulda...

 the sun was shining here in Anchorage, but i ended up headed towards Seward for the day.  the rain started close to Girdwood so i opted out of Seward run.  slept in anyway.
 i know it's sideways, but this was todays shower inspiration.  was thinking logo for WARIS and came up with this.  of course, i'll need to see if i can find someone with more artistic ability than myself to clean it up a  bit, but i think it has potential!!  people can tell that it's a puffin/walrus and fox so i didn't do to badly!!
 headed to the cross pass end of winner creek.  there were some pretty icy bits which turned out to be a bit much for miss Rio so we didn't go very far.  Blossom did get to chase her tennis ball though so she was happy...above her tennis ball has dropped into a hole from the tree roots...she made several attempts to fetch it out herself, but in the end i saved the yellow god.
 ground is mixed as you can see.  some easy to walk on, some still working it's way out of winter.
 clearly a bear track...at least that is how i interpret it.  drove by bear tree but she's still sleeping.  past potters and could tell there are already more birds out there.  several groups of canadian geese flying over head this morning as i loaded the car up.
 sure signs of spring approaching....just have to get through break up first.
 since the dogs were walked i went ahead and hit the conservation center...i was almost there anyway.
 they were feeding the animals colored Easter eggs.  Happy Easter by the way. not  a big holiday for this agnostic sort of person.  i remember one sibling said being agnostic means you don't care if there is a God.  i don't think so.  for me there may be a God, there may not be a God.  it takes as much faith to be an atheist than to be a believer.  being unsure of something as large and unprovable as a God seems prudent.  
 i still try to live my life as a good person.  seems like a good idea to just be a good person, it shouldn't be "i'll be good because if i'm not i could go to hell" kinda thing.  i think all ways of thinking pretty much have valid principles and all ways of thinking have bull crap.  it's up to us to come to our own decision about what works for us.  nature/outdoors, that is where i feel closest to whatever power exists.
i don't live a religious life, but that in no way means i don't live a spiritual life.  websters...agnostic...a person who believes that the human mind cannot know whether there is a God or an ultimate cause.
 loved this mother and daughters Easter/rain/Alaska outfits.  loved that the little girl included bunny ears.
 not knowing leaves me more open to explore all the options and beliefs and decide what works for me.
 this guy lives at the conservation center.  as you can see below he's got an issue with the one eye...also he's missing a wing.  you don't really notice it at first.
 the moose were in the barn and you could pet them, they were sniffing the people.  there were actually quite a few folks out there today.
 while i was there only the one bear came out to eat the easter eggs and whatever else they had today. they do that, feed them stuff for certain holidays.  pumpkin the fall, guess they love that. they also get all the jumbo sized veggies from the state fair when it's over.
 the one bear was fun to watch though...they always are. they have the largest bear enclosure in the United States, 18 acres at least so you may not always see the bears...they do know when feeding time is, they aren't fools.  there were a few baldies who came around as well.  not as exciting as last time i came...i think the rain put them all in a less active mood.
 she was hanging by their little log cabin.

 overall a lazy day for me i guess.  got some laundry done, cleaned out the fireplace...end of season stuff begins.
 the wood bison are not very exciting but they are cool looking.  several were running when the food came around...everyone loves feeding time.

 these trees are budding out all over...not much else yet though.

 the elk were nearby as well so i went over to them.
 love the velvet on these...so pretty.
 this guy just looked nervous...poor guy

 and how cute is this face...
 these guys were all bunched together...elk travel in packs.
 does facebook make people feel badly about themselves?  i guess it can be a place where folks only post the positive/exciting stuff.  on a grander scale than the old annual Christmas letters.
 i suspect that happy people stay happy and unhappy people are maybe made more unhappy. it doesn't do you much good to spend too much time comparing your life to others.  too often the lives people present isn't the life they live.  i discovered that years before facebook came out.
 can't believe how many families/couples/individuals that i thought had it all perfect turned out to be totally f'd up if you know what i mean.
 my life isn't perfect, my house needs some major remodeling, there are always a few more bills to pay and there are always days when i wished there was someone else here with me, sharing this experience of life, laughing, just someone to hang with and tell me it's gonna be okay....
 but every day you decide to be happy with the life you have and every night you go to bed grateful for the fact that you have way more gifts than things you lack.
 it's only complicated if you make it so.  i try to take a lesson from the animals out there. as long as your basic needs are met you can goof off!!
 if someone ticks you off confront them or walk away.
 a few swans on the drive out to the conservation center.
 and a juvenile eagle sitting in the mud of turnigan.
 stopped to watch the kite boarders.  i think that is what they are called.  lots of wind out there today for that.
 hot flash..

 not sure i got great shots, but it was fun to watch them.  there were also some rock climbers out there...just a lot of folks out enjoying the day.
 catching air
 and churning up the mud
 beautiful as i returned back to Anchorage.
 a few from the walk in Girdwood.
 happy i didn't attempt the long drive to Denali today.  nice to get home at a reasonable hour.
 the sunset looked nice and i almost got back out to get some pictures of it...but laziness had taken over me.
grateful for....1.  raindrops instead of snow, i'm ready for spring 2.  my simple life, that i can pick up and go and waste time just looking and being in nature 3.  leftover homemade turkey gravy!!  so tasty...thanks for teaching me to make it mom!!   good night

Sunday, April 20, 2014

spring/break up means sloppy trails..

 today i went to jodphur trailhead for my sloppy trail hike.  mixed slush, ice, mud and puddles. blossom enjoyed the puddles.  i really liked this shot above.  wide angle and black and white...my favorites...well for tonight anyway.
 i took the coastal route back which is always a bit anxiety inducing with Rio.  blindness on thin trails with a drop off...not the best.
 spent some time on the computer today.  started to set up a web page.  it will be a bit more time consuming than i figured.  blogs much easier to set up. got started but decided i need some more study time about walrus and the issues in order to better design my web page. i have the name selected though so i hope it's an okay name...pretty much came to me in the shower.
Walrus Advocates of Round Island Sanctuary (WARIS)  this kinda sounds like walrus and walrus and round island are searchable. i figured friends of round island...doubtful it would hit the search engines very often.  so i took  a break from working out the web page and set up a facebook group page instead.  i'm pretty green at this project so i know it will take some time
 i think there was some study group on the dunes...looked funny them all lined up as i walked past on the trails below.
 did get my we ain't got no funds letter from the office of the Govenor.  at least i'm writing letters and getting responses.  not sure they do much especially when i fear i'm one of only a few writing these letters.  less than 50 people visit the place every year and even less are willing to write letters...doesn't bode well for making it a place that gets a lot of attention.  it's a start though. wrote a few notes back to others who i know care about the island...at least we are talking a bit.
 over 80 young women from a boarding school in Nigeria were kidnapped this week.  the kidnappers came in dressed in military uniforms and told the head mistress that they needed to evacuate...they helped get the poor girls loaded on buses and then turned the guns on the staff i guess...sounds like a group of girls were able to escape but that staff must feel terrible being tricked like that.  just another sad tale in this big world of ours.  i'm always surprised at how people here complain about their lives...really?
 Rio is tired, but she is in great shape, considering.  she may outlive us all...haha.
 another sad story in the paper today was that at least 13 sherpa's are dead after an avalanche took them out on Everest.  the sherpa's do all the heavy lifting, carrying gear, setting ropes...all for $125 per run up the mountain.  it seems to me that having someone carry your load and prepped your route up means your success on a climb is tainted.  at least in my mind.  carry your own shit and then bring it back down yourself too.
 driving around i pass places that remind me of Lesley.  Long Branch Saloon with it's burgers and the place where she and Larry were married.  i was at the pet store yesterday when a song from Mamma Mia came on.  she had gotten her older daughter hooked on the music and took her to the play when it came to town...her young daughter was too having too much fun at the play and they were asked to leave...man was she ticked off.  haha. the promo's had encouraged you to sing and dance along, guess they weren't really serious.  i know she's like that i'm attempted to help the walrus.  being from South Africa originally she would post things on facebook about the rhino's and the poaching that was happening, it angered her to no end.  she was a spitfire, had opinons..i love people with opinions.  so much more interesting and fun to talk to.
 these are the dunes...of course, i always think about what a terrible place this would be to be at if the  big quake were to happen.  it would be like quicksand and they'd never find you, you'd just get sucked under.
 cruised out to Potters Marsh just to see if there was any activity.  not much.  a few geese but this place will be going nuts in a week or so, birds will be flying in from as far away as Antarctica.  it's crazy!!
 many villages in Alaska have no police force available to them, instead they have unarmed village safety officers and police are on call to fly/boat in if weather allows.  a bill just passed that will allow these safety officers to be armed after some training.  one was recently killed and had no means to defend himself due to current rules
 i walked the boardwalk though as it was a nice day...best to enjoy the great weather.
 redoubt in the distance..from the coastal trail in kincaid.

 did read a blip that Japan plans to reinstate it's "whale research".  so annoying.  they have whale meat stockpiled as most of their citizens no longer prefer it anyway.  just a total waste!!
 a few shore birds have arrived.  nice to hear the different sounds of birds returning.  there was a rumor of sandhill cranes being sited. if they were it may have been on the other side of the highway.  i didn't hear any though. they are usually pretty loud.  saw a few canadian geese, but they flew off.
 i also cruised past the bear tree, she's not out yet...always someone there waiting and hoping they get the first sightings.
 catching up on the papers. haven't been as focused this past few weeks on the news.  it's mostly bad anyway.
 moose prints in the snow...
 watched this early bird get the worm...or small fish as it were.
 when i was in the bog the other day the magpies were doing their usual squawking..i suspect they try to establish their territories before all these migrating birds come up and set up their nests.  the bog will fill up soon with birds as well.

 a few ducks...but really i saw very few birds out there today.  still always a nice place to stop by...good idea to stop by these places more this time of year...all those birds are great fun to watch and photograph.  some times you get lucky.
 a few more from my wide angle out there.  always love the trees in certain parts of this trail.
 thankfully this park has a lot of advocates, but all the natural area's get inched in on anytime those politicians can sink their teeth into them.  they can't be trusted.
 one day i'll be dead and the walrus will be gone and what will it all matter...that seems to be the mentality, that these things don't matter.
 we are all related though and how we treat the plants and animals we share this earth with is a reflection of who we are.  i tend to think if some one person created this earth and the animals in it, that creator invested a great deal of time in all the details and i suspect that creator is not going to look to kindly on those who seemed hell bent to destroy rather than protect.  i'm just one voice though.

every so often the earth speaks up, a big quake, a mudslide, a tornado or some other disaster, just to remind us we aren't as in charge as we seem to think we are.
thankful for...1.  a sun that is feeling more warm than cold, i'm ready for the change 2...the opportunity to help a place i love, even if i only help a tiny bit.  3.. the return of the migrating birds..welcome back!!