Wednesday, May 26, 2010

eagle lake trail...

went for an 8 mile hike with tanya, maddie and maureen on monday. it was a beautiful day and we all had a great time. since we're not doing the monday walks, i now post a longer monday walk every other monday on facebook so we can get together for some fun hikes. in the summer it's better to travel in groups due to frequent bear sightings. with 3 dogs and 4 people not much chance of bear sightings, which we were all fine with. we wouldn't have minded seeing one across the valley though. we did spy a big moose up on the mountain slope and this cute marmot below. he was sure squawking at us. the spring is behind there so there are these cute little tiny green evergreens that really stick out in all that brown.
the marmots stay pretty far off so hard to get really good pictures of them with my 300 even, though i've had much better luck with that up artic valley...the marmots are thick there.
indy shakes off water from one of the many water spots along the trail. i love when dogs do the shake thing, love it more when i can kinda capture it.
maddie is an excellent hiker, didn't hear her complain at all...just seemed to enjoy getting out and looking at all the stuff out there.
such beautiful weather we are having this week. ran into some tourists last night in town and they were so excited to have seen denali. in the background of this picture you can see the faint outline of denali. looked much clearer when we were hiking. such a huge mountain though, still a 5 hour drive north, but it sticks out there. we've really been blessed this year to have seen it many days. hope the summer weather continues like this.
3 tired pups after thier 8 mile adventure. i love eagle lake trail as there is so much water for the pups, it's not a killer hill wise either which i like. blossom was still a bit muted today. we eventually got out to the bog and after my swim i took the pups up patterson road for a walk. she wasn't her usual totally hyped out self. the pet sitters came, my friend gails daughter and fiance will be taking care of them in between wedding planning. i think the wedding is coming up soon.
the spring hasn't quite come to the valley there. it was quite brown. you could see the starts of sprouting of new growth, but nothing like anchorage is right now. feels like summer already. did love these old dead trees though against the blue skies.
speaking of sky...isn't that beautiful!!
indy actually had a look of intelligence. not his usual dopey dog look.
part of the trail is still covered in snow. we had initally planned to hike back to the lakes, which are supposed to be beautiful. i think i've been to the first lake, but not beyond. the boulder hopping was going to be a bit more trying with the snow out there and the lakes are still frozen. we got a report from some people coming back from camping out there.

we opted to take lunch on the rock, which you see behind me in the next shot, and head back. that is a 4 mile walk so 8 miles with return trip. they just upgraded the trailhead. hadn't heard that so was a bit surprised. bathroom and everything there. wow. the made the parking area larger, which is great as it gets really crowded there. very popular trail.
so yes, this is me. not my most attractive shot. my arms look pretty white, but ended up quite burnt after being in the sun for over 4 hours. my arms are improving with the swimming. had to bail yesterday as was meeting lesley, sandra and sharon for dinner at orso's to celebrate a few may birthdays. happy birthday to me come friday. i ordered king crab, of course, and had a nice molten chocolate cake dessert. orso's was super sweet and gave all 3 of us birthday girls free dessert last night. nummy! i ordered a glass of gewurtztraminer which i hadn't had for quite some time. sharon ordered the same after tasting mine. it is a sweet wine, very tasty.
here we are resting and lunching on the rock. tanya, maddie and maureen resting. that dog, indy, kept jumping up and down off the rock. have no idea how he was able to do that so easily. the other two dogs waited below, unable to make the leap. indy made it look easy. you can see blossom pouting below.
it's a pretty big rock. we had to help each other up there. maddie is only 7, but i must say she did great on this long hike. i told her that when she got to the rock she just had to run around it 3 times and think of oreo cookies and they would magically appear on the rock. she devoured them. she then noticed i had m&m's as well. i told her she could have the rest of those for the car ride home once she got back to the car. i'm sure tanya appreciated the sugar i was giving maddie. i guess maddie ate those and immediately sacked out for the rest of the drive. the cookies and m&m's were leftovers from my oreo salad from the bbq the night before. such a social girl this week. shocking!
random rock shot. maureen, tanya and maddie.
indy makes it tough for maureen to get a mini-nap in.
there is the valley.
random picture of maddie hiking with the dogs. taking lead and kicking the tennis ball for blossom. we lost one out there, but they were well used by blossom. boddhi tends to snag it then forget about it somewhere.
yet another shot of the valley.
the creek and bridge, below, are 2 miles in. also a nice place for a break and turn around if you don't have all day for hiking. the creek wasn't as full as i've seen it. there are already fires burning in parts of alaska. the hospital has been hopping with trauma's from what i've heard. they keep calling me, which makes me know suspect i'll not get an on call these next 2 nights. bummer as i really could use the time to pack. it's only 2 nights though and i have bought plenty of food and a box o wine.
the dogs got to the bridge before any humans did...i suspect they remember that water!
maddie takes a snack break part way in. i don't think i took any breaks today. i tried to convince myself the weather was lousy, even though it was beautiful again. i finally arranged for the carpet cleaner to come tomorrow morning. that meant i had to locate the carpet throughout the house. still missing in a few spots...i'm sleepy though. lots of laundry done, lots of stuff trashed, lots of recycling. sadly, though, i will now have to go back and empty out the closets after the carpet cleaner goes. this is why i've put it off so long. i really should do it annually at least with my pets. one day the carpets will be gone mostly. can't wait.
my king crab came with 4 huge legs. my table mates always tease me as i never finish anything. they thought it horrid that my pets would be eating king crab for a snack that night. they all quite enjoyed it though, i must say. orso's chefs do fine work.
did get my laps in today. the water aerobics class was going on so it was a bit rough going in the water. it really gets a wave going. i did 70 lengths, so 35 laps. i was concerned for many of my laps with this old dude doing water aerobics. he kept having to stop and rest and generally just looked very pale/grey. i really worried i may have to code the dude. i had plans to get people to get the aed, help, towels. always good to have a plan. the class wasn't over when i left, but i think he survived...though just barely. good for him being out there trying, but man did he look rough.
just one last shot of the dogs when they first found snow. they went crazy. you'd think after over 6 months of winter they'd be bored of it, but they seem to miss it all already! such alaskan dogs. good night..

Sunday, May 23, 2010

cheney-bog walk...

loon of some sort. probably pacific, more common. this guy was out on cheney lake today.
robin. they are always so funny. they tend to follow you along the path as you watch. amazingly this is the best picture i have of one as they flip about rather quickly.

couple ducks chill at cheney lake. always love the mallards head. so brilliant.
i think i saw this same moose a few times today. once as i headed up patterson to wrap around to cheney lake and again as i drove to the kamali's for dinner. i so rarely get an invite to a real social event other than my stock friends. kinda fun to be in a new social situation. i think i managed okay. i do much better in a small dinner party/bbq like the one tonight. they are going to round island in a few weeks so it was a chance to show them pics, answer questions. i guess the numbers of walrus are down and the walrus have moved to other areas which is a bummer. hopefully, they have a great time out there. it was such an amazing place.
more greenery. glorious green!!
usually walk past this bridge on the bog, but since i came back down from cheney lake to enter the bog we crossed over it. didn't see the mama moose and babies out there today.
there are houses around cheney lake. i looked at several in the area, but it just didn't work out. it's a pretty lake though. lots of people out trout fishing today, enjoying the sunshine. saw a baldie flying around catching the breezes. the canoe just looked cool sitting there.
always love getting pictures looking up at the tree's....
here are my goose pictures from the other morning in the bog. they were just crazy out there that morning. squaking and chasing each other all over the place.
should have put the camera in action mode...but they still were fun shots.
did get some laps in today. cruised over there for a quick swim. did 25 laps. usually that time is crazy with kids, but i think many folks in anchorage opted to be outside today. there were just a few kids and a group training to be lifeguards it looked like. so relatively peaceful swim. had the lane to myself for the most part. hoping for a nice monday hike to eagle lake tomorrow so i need to get off this computer soon. it's best if i just do the bog first and get rio out. she'll be bummed to be left behind...the brat has been enjoying counter surfing of late. was able to open my work lunch tote and devour an entire apple. she loves her some apples. crazy dog.

addicted to greens and blues...

worked the big overtime last night...took call, but got called in at 10:30. this was actually great. ended up with 8 hours overtime which will be nice and i also got to finish up watching jane erye, one of those mini-series, that i'd gotten from net flicks. i've watched a few of these and have liked them. will have to select more of those in the future. ended up with 2 admits, cva and motorcycle accident. i enjoy a trauma. neither patient was overwhelming and i was out on time and all that.
today, i woke up a little early so that i could enjoy the day. it's been absolutely beautiful this past week. took the pups to jodphur loop in kincaid and it was all dry like it's the middle of summer already. very nice. growing up in california you just never got this blast of fresh leaves. they just hang on the tree's getting dusty. here you have these weeks of the brightest greens you can ever imagine. when the skies are blue like these past few days it's just spectacular. tried to capture a bit of it on the digital...can't say film anymore.
the above plant is called devils may be able to see all the sharp spiney things on the branches of it. they are starting to come in out there in kincaid, eventually they have very large green leaves.
more leaves...below the grasses are coming in as well. blossom knows there is usually mud and water here, but not today. could be a rough fire season. my winter pictures showed the snow all lumpy and you could see these mounds...some had asked why the snow looked that you can see from the mounds of grass, this is the cause of that look.
i took along the dog gulpy today which was fortunate. no water on this trail. the girls stopped often and i got out there gulpy. they are very good at getting thier licks from the thing.
rio enjoys this sunny weather. she is more and more confident and goes outside to sit even if i'm not out there, which would never have happened a year or so ago. i have been outside off and on working in the garden. stopped by dimond garden store after walking with tanya on the little campbell lake trail in kincaid on tuesday. she joined me there and snuck in a gift card to the shop for me for my birthday. they have lovely plants there. we were both eyeballing the rose bushes. i was never into the rose before, do love the smell, but i guess i've avoided the thorns. the one i planted a few years back still looks great. my himalayans are coming in nice so i bought a few more for the front yard and also an icelandic poppy to go with those. we'll see how those all do. still loads to do. with 2 girl dogs i've got to re-work the little backyard lawn every year. the neighbors raspberries are determined to move over to my yard so i think i'll move a bed i made right over them to keep some control over them. i've opening up the back yard more now that the fence is back further.
late that night i went for a loop in the bog without the dogs. i was looking for the moose with her babies. didn't see her though and it did feel strange to be there without my pups. i feel safer with them...i just thought it would be easier to get moose pictures with out them.
did get to the bog a few times and have run into that mama moose again so she's still there with her babies. she hasn't been in a good place to catch a photo, but luckily the scenery has been spectacular anyway. thought this picture came out quite pretty.
tanya and i met up again on wednesday for a walk of north bivouac. kelly had also called so we all met up there. kelly joined me for a quick lunch after....we just hadn't gotten together for such a long time, good to catch up a bit.
more green trees...okay so i'm a little obsessed.
below is the view from the north end of the bog. right after i get on the trail.
here is a picture of boddhi from our walk in n. bivouac. such a cool looking dog.
blossom i'm sure appreciates all the greens of summer. mostly, she seemed interested in the browns in the mud puddles though.
happy the water at the pool is cleaner than her swim waters. only made it to the pool 2x this past week. will do better next week. though it does mean i'll be swimming til i get to work again. on tuesday i got 25 laps i and today i did 40 laps! love the weekends at 6pm after all the kids are gone. it's so peaceful swimming.
was waiting for more pictures to load, but i'm tired so i may just bag it and attempt again tomorrow. i want to get up and out though, if tomorrow is as pretty as today i don't want to waste the day in bed.

Monday, May 17, 2010

the spring moose are arriving....

does this goose look fat or what?
twins...cograts to mama moose. they are adorable and healthy looking. they were born just a day before this picture was taken. mom looks tired, but hopefully is doing well. as you can see she is quite protective of her new babies. she wasn't too keen on me trying to take pictures with 2 dogs in tow.
everyone in the neighborhood is enjoying the babies that were born in the bog the other day. i've seen this mom around with other kids of hers. she's pretty scarred up. think she has a bit of a limp as well. may take her longer to recover from this birthing thing. in the meantime she's been chilling at the bog, much to everyones happiness. the babies are just so cute!!
hope they do okay. heard of a bear in the hood today. the poop can had been knocked over apparently so i stopped to put all the poopy bags back in the trash. then i was out doing garden work. my neighbor stopped over, he'd seen me picking up the trash, asked if i'd knocked over the trash...big blind dog so that's possible. i hadn't though. he then told me that as he was coming out of the bog he saw a kid on a bike kick the trashcan over again. he gave the kid the what for and made him pick it up. hopefully, the bratty teenager doesn't repeat that. the older i get the more annoyed i am by teenagers. man, i totally get those "old people" when i was younger now. can't we just put all teenagers on some remote island until they mature up a bit...!!
gotta love baby moose...tis the season!!
the magpies rule the bog. they can get kinda cranky, i do love them though. today i watched 3 magpies going after a raven and then later the magpies were harrassing the poor new moose mom out there. well she's not a new mom really, i've seen her with other babies, but she did just have new babies so i guess that makes her new. someone worried that the magpies bothering her was some sort of bad sign. hopefully, she's fine. i didn't get a good look at the babies this evening though. she was back bedded down in the same spot. this morning when i walked the bog she got up and moved around with the babies i think. they weren't in the spot when i finished my loop...looked to be further down in the bog...maybe getting water in the pond.
woodpeckers are hard to get pictures of as they move so quickly, their heads move even i was happy to get a few pictures of this guy. they are so tiny and i love the red.
the reflection the other day was awesome. you could see the seagulls flying overhead in the reflection so clearly. i never could get the camera snapped in time to capture that though. looked pretty amazing. blossom and rio were on the other side of the trail wading while i attempted to capture the birds in photo.
the first afternoon i spotted the mom out there i didn't notice the babies. i figured i'd get a bit closer and try to get a picture of her, she snapped up fast though, which seemed odd considering how far back i was..then i saw the babies.
the next three pictures are just more bog shots. spent alot of time in there this week, between shifts.
in my lazy state tonight i watched a few shows on tv. always love that national geographic channel. i always think of people who act like tv snobs, "oh i didn't see that i don't have a tv!", when i watch educational and interesting shows like the ones i watched tonight. tv does have good stuff on sometimes, not always. sometimes too i'm not opposed to watching an old "becker" or "seinfeld" rerun. light and breezy can be a great stress reliever. not tha my life is overly stressful, but i think we all waste time and everyone is entitled to waste time in thier own way. some people spend hours surfing the web, or playing computer games, or reading, or knitting. they are just all different ways to relax. some are more productive than others i'm sure...if you knit you make things.
anyway, the first show was about a meteor that was seen in space and tracked to earth. i guess there are lots of telescopes out there at night watching the sky for meteors. they had never actually been able to track one all the way to earth like this before and were very excited. it came through the atmosphere in sudan and broke up. it apparently lit up the sky. since where this happened was quite remote and from the time it was spotted to when it entered our earths atmosphere and burned up was less than 24 hours, these people out here had no warning. they reported later of the sky lighting up, bang, bang, bang they said with lights. they were frightened. a sudanese scientist and an american scientist went out to the desert with 20-30 sudanese college level students and looked for meteor bits. they were successful. excited to see what the meteors are composed of and use that information to see how to best stop a larger meteor from hitting the earth. they said this one was the size of a large truck i believe. there are much larger ones floating around out there. the original guy who saw this meteor was saying that with all the scopes out there doing this only maybe 5% of the sky gets searched each night for potentially dangerous meteors. the meteor that supposedly knocked out the dinasaurs killed off 70% of life on earth. they did find diamonds in the meteor...totally fried diamonds though.
the other show was really strange. apparently in camaroon a few thousand people and all the animals, even the bugs, were found dead. a fog had come over the villages and everyone had just fallen asleep, never to awaken. there were a few survivors, but mostly, everyone died. the focus of the investigation centered around a volcanic crater lake. at first they thought that there had been eruption. this wasn't found to be the case. in the end, it was found that the lake had a super high concentration of co2 at the bottom. stormy weather had weakened the cliffs of the lake and causes a huge rock slide. when the rock slide occured it overturned the water, which caused a release of co2. this huge release created a huge co2 fog that rapidly exploded off the lake and down the valley to the villages. people who survived smelled rotten egg type odor. the people had burns though as well which seemed odd...but i guess the co2 descended so rapidly that it actually caused frost bite burns. it could happen again and fears are that it will as the one end of the lake shore has eroded and the natural dam will no doubt collapse sooner than later.
watched, "raise the red lantern" the other day. it was good though the ending was just odd. can't imagine finding any happiness being a concubine, especially being 3rd or 4th wife or whatever. one hopes that the times have changed for women, but i know times haven't changed for all women everywhere. many are still treated like property, disposed of at will. as i got ready for work last night the "miss america" contest was on. how strange this must seem to other women across the globe. now they don't even select thier gowns or swimsuits, it's just a bunch of cookie cutter pretty girls in extremly short dresses. it's all kinda freaky.
on wednesday i took the girls to little campbell lake in kincaid to do that loop. it is often super muddy this time of year, but i was pleasantly surprised. it was a little muddy in places but not bad at all really. the mini lake that is usually at the bottom of this one hill wasn't there. not sure if that will be true on the jodphur part but we'll see. so above is little campbell lake. i like it cause of that little dock....blossom is a pretty good dock jumper. i also like this loop on clear days. there is a part where you get a peek at denali if it's out. this day was windy and cloudy however so no vista's.
there were plenty of pretty green leaves to enjoy. the town has turned all green. you can see all the bright new green leaves across town. looks really amazing on a blue sky day with the snow still on the chugach range. weather seemed to get better and better as the week progressed and i headed to work. boo hoo. isn't that the way it goes?

okay so it's probably not okay to try and take photo's while you are driving, but don't the girls look sleepy and adorable. blossom sits in the passenger seat and rio stretches in from the back.

met up with tanya a few times this past week. we did the loop at n. bivouac both tuesday and wednesday. this has really been a nice spring and we found this trail not too bad either. the dogs could run free. i had bear spray, but we had nobody and no bears to deal with out there this week. rio did catch a sniff of something the first day. i got dragged something awful in her quest to meet whatever was out there, but luckily, we never saw whatever she smelled.

the pups enjoyed the little creek that has thawed. mud and water=happy dogs. i got in the water the gym. got my 3 days in. tuesday and wednesday i got my mile in. felt great. today i was a slacker. they wore me out at work this week. wanted to get to the gym, planned it but eventually had to give in to the lazy me. may be able to pick it up wednesday before work or friday. scheduled for overtime. will probably be getting my ot these days as several of our nurses will move into the peat postions. peat is our rapid response team at the hospital. it has decreased the number of in house codes, gets them transfered to higher level of care before they code. in the past peat was a responsibilty of our charge nurses at night. now the peat nurse will make rounds, check on patients moved from the icu and respond to concerns in house. the electronic icu also took several of our nurses when it started up. i guess we are getting ready to add kodiak hospital to the e-icu.

i kept the e-icu busy my first night. one of my patients wanted to sit up. 2 of us assisted him to dangle. my co-worker thought maybe the guy would like to get in a chair and he liked the idea. unfortunately, all didn't go so well. the guy weighs nearly 400 pounds, went orthostatic and slid down. we managed to get his butt on the edge of the bed, but couldn't hold him there. luckily, he slid down gently. he was in and out of conciousness though and his blood pressures got pretty crappy before we could get enough folks and equipment around to get him back in bed. i think of us and the lift machine got him up. when we had him dangling in the air, he pooped a big bloody poop. i know graphic, but that is just another day at work. we were very busy after we got him back to bed, boluses, blood, lines....took a few hours. you don't see stuff like that on your television medical shows!!

my lady the next few nights had rhythm issues. blocks with nice brady's to the 30's. so the next two nights were steady, but not insane. have seen a few anorexic girls who have heart rates into the 20's when they sleep. seems crazy to think someone goes along with thier heart beating once every 3 seconds. i mean people breathe 20/min.

my last night was very pleasant. was in peds. had some super adorable patients. i do enjoy that about peds. you can laugh, sing, do tongue is good. haven't read twisters for a bit...still have some memorized from my tongue twister book i had as a kid. my favorite was always "a twister of twists..." and "shred simon short...".
just realized i gotta pay bills...tis late so off i go. don't you just love paying bills? grateful to have a job and health so i can pay the bills though.