Tuesday, March 16, 2010

coastal wildlife refuge, the end of iditarod and whatever....

just a few pictures from the bog walk this am. above is the moose rio sniffed out and below was a snow angel made by a magpie. of course, that is a guess. obviously a bird of some sort.
spent the afternoon at the anchorage coastal refuge. very beautiful day out there. drove a bit of the turnigan highway as well. could have driven to homer on a pretty day like today. too bad i'd left rio behind.
so, as usual i took lots of pictures.
i think that is kincaid park and behind is the alaska penninsula...well part of it.

blossom enjoys a roll in the snow.

still adding more pictures..hopefully, but this morning i went to the bog with rio and blossom. rio's leg seems much better but i don't want to push it. she seemed to quite enjoy her walk today. she spotted one moose so that is always a highlight for rio. the sun was shining as you can see. above and below are pictures i took later when i went with blossom to the coastal refuge and then drove a bit down towards girdwood.

you can see the tracks. tourists run from anchorage to seward during the summer catching buses and cruise ships to other parts of alaska. the train ride is supposed to be quite pretty though. as you can see, the scenery ain't too shabby through turnigan arm most days. the tide was really working it's way out. i should have attempted video. not sure what to do with the video once i shoot it, but all those chunks of ice were being moved around at a pretty fast rate. wont' see that in the summer, well, not in turnigan. you can see ice in the water near the tidewater glaciers all year long.

i was fascinated with the big chunks of ice that have been deposited on land. they were dripping and melting fast. we are in the season we call "break up" here in anchorage. it's a mess. with the days lengthening the sun can heat up the joint and meltage occurs through the day. the streets are full of puddles and small ponds, mud is everywhere, dirty snow caked with the road remnants of the past 5 months, ice under the ponds of water, slushy snow....it's a total mess. it will become a challenge over the next several weeks to get the walks in. you are either slipping on the huge ice patches that form of post-holing it into 4 ft of soft slushy snow.

one year i was chased by a moose into the slush....lost my grippers, another time i was carefully walking across a large stretch of ice downhill without my cleats and when i had finished the ice patch i looked up to see i was standing by a moose. it looked as shocked as i was. what that moose must have been thinking as i walked closer and closer. wild animals are really quite tolerant of us...much more tolerant than we are of them.

this can be witnessed by the very fact that out in chignik lake wolves are being hunted any way possible. a young teacher was taken and killed by a pack of wolves. this is not something that ever happens. so either the wolf population out there is desperate or rabid or who knows. she was stupid to have been out running alone with headphones on. i know it's not nice to speak ill of the girl, her death had to have been horrific and nobody deserves that. i just always get annoyed by anyone i see out there running with headphones on. this is alaska and we live with large, wild animals. you should always be aware of your surroundings. not even just for large animals....this state has a very high rape rate. it's best to be alert out there.
these next few are out in the coastal refuge.
we've had some winds last week so the snow was blown in some cool patterns. when i get home from these little photo outings i am always thinking of how i could have taken the pictures different, better.
i think these still came out pretty cool. i just am lucky to live in such an amazing place with so much opportunity to get out and enjoy the beauty of it all.
these straggly trees are just so stark to me. last time i was out there was in that fog.
so today was such a contrast to that day. i could see a few volcanos from there and the alaska range i believe it is. denali was clearly visible from town.

killed the garbage disposal tonight...may have to get out the book or call someone with actual knowledge of such things.
below is blossom at the anchorage coastal refuge. i think she had a blast out there. we went pretty far out and she was able to slog through actual water and muck. got herself nice and dirty. always a thrill for a doodle.
and the winner is....lance mackey. wasn't a record time, but was just under 9 days. the record was that he has now won the iditarod 4 times in a row!! hans gatt, who just won the yukon quest came in maybe an hour later and jeff king came in third. it was kings best time ever. he says he'll never run again, but wants to stay involved in the iditarod and mushing in some capacity. he's a class act in my book and i'm sad that he won't be out there again.

they found the missing dog, whitey, and so far so good on the dogs. a total of 15 mushers have dropped out. they should be trickling into nome over the next few days. they usually have thier banquet before everyone is done.
off to bed. or to watch more episodes of this "chuck". my sister sent me the first season. so far...not bad. i was confused on the first episode.

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