Wednesday, April 28, 2010

jsut pics from last few days...

kinda a crap morning. woke with a bad headache and general body aches...guessing between swimming, walking and yardwork i kinda overdid it. so today i just took the girls around the bog and the neighborhood. i slept in quite late. oh well. above is a moose from yesterday on rovers run. we saw 3 moose on the trail, no bears.
this is what the bog is looking like these days. like a bog. i generally head there for spring hikes, but eventually the mosquito's win and i avoid it for several months in the summer. saw a few mosquito's out there already. fun to watch the birds come in over spring though. we were held up on our walk as we ran into a kid who just had to pet rio. i always try and indulge kids who want puppy love...i figure they probably need it and my pups are pretty good at accomadating kids. today it was rio's turn. she was very sweet and gave him loads of snuggles and kisses.
thought i'd post a few more sea lion pictures from yesterday. we thought the sea lions at the top here looked to have been marked, but couldn't tell til i got home and looked on the computer. there was also what looked like a camera up in the area. i suspect it's some sort of research. the sea lion population in southeast alaska is doing fine, but the sea lions out this way have had decreasing numbers.
never tire of whale pictures so here is the mom diving and the tip of the baby's fin.
shore birds from my drive to potters monday.
and another picture of the sandhill cranes from monday as well.
loved the clouds yesterday as i headed to rovers run. not sure what sort of clouds they are. i remember seeing some little guide about clouds. i stopped by the bookstore to see if i could find one, they had a little guide thing, but i don't think it's as good as the one i saw and didn't buy years ago. would love to learn more about the different clouds and thier meanings.
here is a view from the boardwalks at potters marsh. it's just a nice place to view birds just south of anchorage.
some signs of spring below. sandra and i saw this on our walk monday of potter to mchugh.
also from monday...blossom sinks in for a mud bath...
isn't she adorable with her new mud do!!
so this week i've been bad at my swimming. only one day. i did get 35 laps in that day, maybe i just overdid it on the breast stroke. that is a bit more work than the regular crawl thing. i have been collecting a list of things to maybe hire a handyman for. tonight i fixed a few things on the list on my own and both were quite easy to manage. so this inspired me to try and work on a few more items from the list. that meant a trip to lowes for some stuff for said repairs. not sure i'm the best homeowner due to my lack of handyman skills.
watched a movie last night, "lions den". not very good. i have heard of several other places that allow female prisoners to keep babies until the kid reaches 5 years. not sure that is the best environment for a kid...i suppose it depends on how it is all handled. probably does help the mom focus on her future a bit.
also finished a book, "change of heart" by jodi picoult. her books are always just good reads. not sure she always addresses the details of her book very well, but she can tell a tale that keeps you interested. trying to do some spring cleaning here and there. really need to haul stuff off and out of here. i hate to just trash stuff if i think i can find a use for it, but that means all this crap collects here. i need to call big brothers for a pick up of clothes and such. clutter just starts to weigh down on you. i'd really like to clean it out so that i can more easily put new flooring in my two other rooms and paint and organize a bit. most important though is finishing the bathroom upstairs i've started and then getting the insulation stuff done so i can get government money back for that. i only have so much time for that. it's not fun though like decorating is.

Monday, April 26, 2010

more pictures from the cruise out of seward

random pictures from the cruise yesterday. the picture above is of some of the many kittiwakes we saw. they were riding out the rough weather on the seas. actually difficult to get a feel for the size of the waves in this picture. probably cause we are at the bottom and tipped over...oh well.
the water didn't get rough til we got out past this point. i mean there were waves but nothing too big.
there was a spit of land that jutted out. thought it looked cool with the dead trees on it. behind that spit lies seward.
you can just barely see a black bear at the base of the slide area. closer up pictures later.
sandra tries to act all casual as we attempt to get pictures of our handless captain steering the boat. yes, i realize this makes us truely heinous people and on my defense i was unable to do this with any success as i was too fearful of getting caught. just never thought you could really manage a boat without your hands. partly i was impressed and partly i was happy there was a co-captain. i once was steering a friends boat out of ketchikan. it was a live-a-board so a pretty decent size. the water got rough and i was being pulled into a big rock. i needed both hands to attempt to steer away, but still the boat lurched toward the rock...destined to hit. the boat owner was woken from his nap and with all his might was able to steer us off danger. so you can see how i could be nervous of such a thing.
our cruise really got rolling once we hit the big water and crossed over to the other shore before returning. i had been outside taking pictures when we turned sideways with the waves hitting us broadside. i can see how in the really big waves that could just roll a boat totally over. recently, a boat sank off of montegue island in prince william sound. i don't think seas were too bad, but the crew had been concerned with the load and how it was distributed. it was thier demise. a mayday was called and apparently the captain went back for his beloved cocker spaniel. he and the dog both perished. apparently, the captain hit his head while trying to get off the boat in rough waters. the other 3 crew survived.
typical scenery in alaska here. a kayak would bite as it was obviously high tide and there was no place to try and pull up to get out of the storm. i would not like to be in a kayak on a day like this day. with the tides entire beaches come and go so you really must be mindful of tides as you paddle.
as we watched for a whale to come up from it's dive in the distance, it turned out it was a mother and baby and they came up right by the boat. here they are before i switched to my bigger camera with no zoom...apparently i didn't need it for these guys, they were maybe 30 feet off the starboard side.
a rare treat is mountain goats so close to "ground level". usually you need the binoculars to see them as they are so far up the mountain. we saw several out there sunday who were fairly close. we also saw goats coming/going to seward. they are often sighted at windy point along turnigan arm outside anchorage. saw them today as well on my drive.

here is a better view of that black bear. he looked up as the boat tried to sneak in closer to him. thought he looked cool along the waters edge. i prefer to always see my bears from a boat or car. we hiked potter to mchugh today. a note at the trailhead said a sow and 2 cubs had been spotted there the other day. it's usually the first place bears show up in these parts.
here he walks along the base of the slide. not sure where he intended to go...looked a bit trapped there on shore till the tide resedes. our luck.
several cormorants hand out on a rock.
on the other side of the rock with the cormorants were several rocks with several sea lions hauled out.
this was when i determined i needed a smidge more zoom. found a 70-300 today on amazon that is basic and less than 200 bucks. will do til i'm independantly wealthy enough to spend thousands of dollars on such stuff. for the places i take my lenses though i'm not sure i want to pack totally pricey stuff. i mean my camera's hang out on the decks of kayaks, in back packs...not to mention the added weight that comes with the fancier gear.....if i buy all the gear i want i'd need a personal assisant to help with lens changes and then maybe a few camera that paragraph i just spend like $20,000.
lots of these little guys around. black guillemots. these birds are alcids, which means they use thier wings to swim under water as well as flying. murres, auklets and puffins are in the same group.
we saw a few whales...all humpbacks. here is another one diving.
below is the mother and baby humpback before they dove back down. actually they were fairly far off and until i got the pictures on computer last night i didn't realize i'd gotten both on film. you can see the spray from them. that is usually how they are first spotted off in the distance.
before the whale dives it makes a big hunch with it's back as seen below. when you see this get your camera ready...the next thing you'll see is that tail...and everyone wants that shot. it could be another 10 minutes before they come back up again.
took the geese out at potters marsh today. they were there along with a pair of swans and many other shore birds.
a group of sandhill cranes are hanging out at the turnoff for girdwood. they aren't usually hanging there. i've seen them in homer and up at creamers in fairbanks. they must just have decided to stop here during thier migration. we'll see how long they linger.
we'll for fear that i'll start posting repeats i'll stop there. i took several more, but i think that's a good enough start for the day. the pictures were loading slow today.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

out to seward for a boat ride..

this is a mom and baby humpback. we'd been watching them from afar when suddenly they came up right next to our tour boat. i told sandra, who was with me, that the mom just told the kid...lets come up right by the boat, the tourists will get thier pictures and then the boat will leave us be. they came up suddenly so i didn't have time to react. after doing this trip i'm missing my zoom on my film camera. the zoom that came with this camera only goes to 250 and my old zoom went to 300. may have to find a way to rectify that.
we decided to head to seward for thier spring grey whale migration boat trips. we didn't see any grey whales and suspec they often don't, but we did see at least 4 humpbacks, a few otters, seals and a group of sea lions. in addition we passed some mountain goats that were settled fairly low on the mountain, a black bear who was out wandering the shore and of course, eagles, puffins, cormorants and guilliants. (that last one is spelled wrong)

there was some rain and some wind. the water wasnt' too bad in parts and at one point it was really bad. we were rolling pretty good. i just sat on the deck...a bit worried i must say. our captain had two hooks for hands. not sure what happened to his original hands. i gotta give him credit for piloting a boat with fake hands. admittedly i was happy there was a co-pilot. the eagle above was seen as we returned to seward. it was hovering in the wind.

here it hovers over an immature eagle. there were several out there, eagles i mean.

pictures are loading slowly so that is all i'll load for now. will try again later so that i get the bear and sea lions posted as well. despite the poor weather it was great to get out on the water and a great way to start off, "summer". the only other drag was that the kid next door didn't come over to let the dogs out like he'd promised when i had gone over the day before to ask. grr..pool pups were stuck inside all day. i did walk them 1.6 miles in the hood before i left, but it really isn't enough.

off to start another day....hopefully do a walk at potter to mchugh with sandra and maybe head down the road towards girdwood. we saw sandhill cranes out there coming to and from seward...sandra didn't want to stop. maybe they'll still be there. probably resting en route towards fairbanks. have also seen a swan this week at potters.
i'd also like to swim....still a bit sore from my week but good to get out there. did 35 laps again, several with the kickboard to focus on my leg work.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

spring, winter, spring, winter, spring, winter???? this was my favorite picture of the day. i just was digging the blue skies and cool cloud formations. i'm easy that way. i walked the dogs up gasline to powerline to tank another season it's an easy walk, today it was pretty slushy out there. it's slushy everywhere now. makes for an added work out even with cleats on. i overdid it tuesday with the slush in kincaid. felt almost ill much of wednesday. just muscle achy.
thursday when i woke up from my sleep at was snowing. not little snow...big flakes of it. we got maybe an inch or more. it was melting off as it was snowing.
was sure i'd be in nicu both nights i worked, but the nicu fairy didn't come and instead i was out on peds for a few days. always a bit crazy out there til after midnight and then it tends to settle down and i feel all out of sorts at that point. in the icu's it seems like there is jsut more to do hourly whereas on the floor it just settles and they actualy encourage kids to sleep at night.

aside from the 3 your old f-bombing me it was a quite pleasnt stretch at work. i must have been incredibly innocently raised. the first time i even knew of that word was in 4th grade. my mom was keen on "hells bells". stupid was also not a word we were encouraged to use. my mom also seemed quite opposed to "hate". i was always corrected to "strongly dislike" or some such thing. i also feel that these parents whose kids are that out of control at 3 are in for it as those kids hit thier teen years...i mean if you can't control a 2-3 year old...dicipline is a lost cause. i generally just let the parents deal with thier out of control kid...i mean why should i get ibuprofen spit all over me or get hit and called names when they are the ones who created this situation. i find silence is an effective tool.
despite the snowfall this week, it feels more and more like summer coming. the sun is out longer and longer and it just feels warmer. i swept the back deck and may get the deck chairs and such out tomorrow. i love to read the paper out there in the mornings when the sun hits it. mufasa even decided to venture out to the yard. my friend calls her old cats "flat cats" which totally fits him. he's so thin. he's looked outside several days, but today was the first he went out. he just wanders the yard for a few and comes back in.
blossom enjoys the deck year round, but she looked happy out there enjoying the "warmth" of the day.
was visiting with anita tuesday so no laps. i did get there today and did the mile. am trying to self learn the breast stroke. not sure how close i am, but it is a tiring stroke and i think i look like the other people i watch out there. i think i sink more though.
spoke to my brother jeff and he got admitted this morning in california for kidney stone issues. he's had tons of stones, but this one's been lingering a month and i guess it's made itself comfy in all the scar tissue of his ureter. it is now causing the kidney some concern so tomorrow they will take him to surgery and go after it. hopefully, all goes well and he's feeling better by tomorrow evening. bites though.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

vet visits and friend visits...

started the morning at the vet office. very young vet there now. i must be getting old as these college graduates really look young now. most of the time i'm in denial of the aging process..oh well. they took rio to the back and expressed her anal gland that hadn't burst open on it's own. not sure what happened, but when she returned she was limping...on her bad knee. of course, i stupidly took her to kincaid park for a walk. we did the loop off of jodphur that i frequent in the summers. wasn't sure what i'd find when i got there today. was actually lots of snow coverage still. was nice to see exposed actual ground in places though, as above, and some grasses, below. soon the green will return and winter will be a memory.
winter was actually very nice this year, very few days below 0 f. this spring is also going fairly well. not too much for the nasty ice patches. it's melting back well. takes awhile to get through all those layers of snow. blossom had fun busting through places to get to the big puddle/ponds.
we only saw one moose in the park on the walk, saw two more right before we entered the park. denali showed up for a bit. i saw it while i was driving from the vet.

after i got home from the walk i settled rio in and blossom and i headed off to pick up my friend anita. it was turning into a pretty nice day so i figured we'd take a little drive. first we went up to flat top trailhead to get a look at the city. always a good place for a view. it was pretty, but a bit windy.
the wood fencing was supposed to guide you on the little trail to the view. not sure it was as helpful as it could have been. but i always love the look of this type of wood fencing.
subsequently, anita went off trail and postholed a bit. i think she was wearing dansko's so not the best shoes to posthole in. she's a good sport though and just laughed.

after we got the view in we headed down to the turnigan arm to see what we could run into. there were 3 moose at potter marsh but they were pretty far back. there was also a swan. another sign of spring.
we went to the snow goose after our adventures and enjoyed a decent meal. not as good as the glacier brewhouse the night before, but it was nice to just chat and catch up. it's always amazing how you can just pick up with friends like you see them all the time instead of having gaps of years between visits. i have been very blessed with many wonderful friends to share this experience that is life together.
anita wanted to try something alaskan so she went for the caribou meatloaf special. i went for surf and turf. came with a few crab legs. the crab was slightly dry. just not as tasty as the legs at the brewhouse always are. the steak was flavored nicely.

last picture was a mountain goat near windy point on the ride down turnigan. they can often be sighted in the area. amazing to watch them manuever the rocks. just noticed that it's after 1 am. i wasted time trying to watch the acts from tonights american idol. took too long to load and then wouldn't let you watch it a second time through without breaks like most videos do. of course, that inspired me to listen to simon and garfunkle...which then got me listening to mary chapin carpenter. i love "this shirt" and "down in mary's land".