Saturday, April 7, 2012

st paul and a new record!!

the snow fell today and we are now the record holders for most snow in one season. this record has been on the books since the 50's sometime. i think we were close to 135 inches. we could pad that a bit and prevent another winter from re-breaking it. i think most folks around here are ready for winter to be over though.
the bulk of todays' pictures are from our time on st paul island in the pribilofs. above is a murre. they kinda sound like they are laughing and we all just laughed along with them. st paul is the more populated island. these biologists are out doing thier counts. those risers looked a bit sketchy to me. still not a bad job. old gravesite. the aleutians and pribilofs are just amazingly lush and green. loved this little bird below. the murre above is a thick billed murre, i think. this guy, i'm looking in my book....i'm going to guess rustic bunting. pretty call. i think we drove the birders on st paul island crazy. they are a different bunch. it was our first encounter with the birding community and they were super friendly until they heard we weren't birders, then they turned in a huff, totally disinterested. they all had thier lists. i have my guide to birds of alaska book, stuffed with pictures of birds that i've taken over the years. i like to put my bird photo in the page. lots of can't identify though.bully on the birders though. the biologists told us that st george has all the red-legged kittiwakes...thousands of them....and we got to see them all!! hehe. when you go to st paul you are on a tour. thankfully, they were very accomadating to our little odd non-birder group. we wanted to hike everywhere. the birders just wanted to drive here and there and check off their lists. they would drop us off and we'd walk for hours. one very nice guide wandered around with us. he kept trying to tell us all about this bird and that bird, we just smiled and nodded. in the end we won them over. cormorant on the rock out there. and fox all over. kinda funky looking fox. still cute. i like the orange fox. they should be seen out on round island this summer. hopefully, i can get some good pictures of them. and of course, fur seals. they live in harems and then there were all these haul outs that the biologists called "bachelor beaches" no females out there. you can see a few males out there surounded by thier harems and the young newborns. we hit the baby season just right. we saw some deliveries. the seals are quite loud and not too keen on assisting each other. squabbles all over the place. lots of tudes!tiny pin heads, what you see sticking out of the water isn't a very good representation of the size of the beasts. fur seals are actually more related to sea lions than seals. another little fox. tried to get some cleaning started today. mostly lazy though. i did get to the gym for some laps. i think i did 25 laps and then 5 more with just the kickboard so 30 total. it was quiet and relaxing there tonight. guess they will close early tomorrow. i should see if anyone wants to join me at the bear tooth for a movie. i believe that whale movie that was filmed up here is playing, "big miracle". puffin. they are such cute birds. this guy is a horned puffin. finally a bird i can identify!! tons of wildflowers out there as well. will be fun to have the macro out there. hoping batteries last. will have no place to power them up. took the dogs to the dog park at university lake as i had a few errands to run. it was snowing and it just seemed like an easy place to go. blossom doesn't really care where i take her, she just wants to get out and chase her toy. added bonus today as she was able to get down to the creek and get in a swim. so i had a wet dog. the mud is already starting to get tracked into the house. at least snow is just water. doodles can get messy when there is mud out there. tanya is my wildflower expert. she is much better at identifying all these guys. liked the water shots from above on the cliffs. more laughing murres. i liked the movie that came out about birders. they tried to film the scene of the aleutian islands out in the yukon territory. i guess most people wouldn't know any different, but it's not like that at all. i think they were supposed to be on attu. i'd love to get there one of these days. it's got tons of old military stuff from WWII. my massage therapist was telling me about a hunt she did out there for caribou. she said they stayed in the old military barracks. sounded pretty cool. haven't decided on next years trip. i know people will start asking. i haven't been to nome or barrow yet so those are places i'm interested in. more on the aleutians for sure. a trip back down to southeast alaska would be great. my first kayak trip was out to misty fjords and that would be fun to return there with a bit more experience and take these guys down there. didn't rent a forest service cabin out there when i lived there either so that would be fun to rent one in misty fjords. did rent some local ones with friends, but not out in misty. red faced cormorant peeks out at us. below is another island out in the pribilofs. i'm thinking it's called otter island. yep, just looked at the map. otter island out there.the accomadations on st paul were crap compared to the ones out on st george. i think it may be even worse now as they sounded like they were going to start housing thier tour guests out at the airport. at the time they would shuttle you there for meals anyway. at least the old building, which looked like it may collapse, was in town and you could walk around a bit. st george's hotel was adorable, it had shared baths, b&b like rooms and downstairs was a full, modern kitchen that you could prepare you own meals in. more murres, they are all over the place. the fox steal their eggs and anything else they can find.another red faced cormorant.bachelor beach over paul was more regulated i think anyway due to it's high tour numbers. on st george, it was just us, which was super cool. the biologists were excited to have other people around who were totally interested in what they were doing out there. we brought a cooler with fresh fruits, figuring that might help us mix with the locals. st george just has 100 people, there are a few thousand on st paul. now a few more older pictures from blossoms early days and rio's first year in the wore this leg brace on walks for a few years. she no longer needs it. found it through contacts on a web site haven't visited dogster much lately. used to love it. they just kept making changes to the site and it got less user friendly. it did help rio out though. she was able to avoid an expensive and painful knee surgery and for that i am grateful. i think the brace is sitting in the car. will have to clear that car out soon and change over the winter stuff for summer gear. not today obviously. the snow that fell will melt off pretty quick i think though.this looks like it's out north bivouac way.moose behind the fence at the house. those trees are now inside my fence line and i think the condo's did something with thier area so that i haven't seen moose wandering back there this year that i can recall. too bad. was always fun having them pass through. now they are out on the street more i think. saw one today at the dog park and another on patterson as i was headed to the gym.blossom had a thing or two to say to the moose back there.these last few are from today. dog park. blossom out wading in the water. she wasn't the only dog that took a dip. shake off and roll in the snow. she was quite happy with herself. crappy picture of todays' moose, but there it is. stopped by fred meyers for a few things. memory cards and dvd cleaner stuff. i've been looking for exedrin as it tends to work well for headaches, but it's been off the shelf. i finally looked it up online. apparrently it may have been tainted with some percocet or some such thing so they removed it from the shelves. i decided to keep my leftovers. could help my headache just a wee bit more if it has a little extra kick to it! could i be that lucky?? haha. these ravens were waiting for some free food items. haven't made my pizza crusts for awhile so i thought i should test out the recipe today. also wanted to get an idea of how much cheese and sauce i may need. tasted pretty good. have a spare. just have to decide how many to make. they are pretty easy so if i needed a few more pizza's i could even whip up a few at the party. i did these make your own pizza parties many years back and they were always fun. for sure before kramer had the idea on sienfeld. haha. will end with that. the house sure smells good and i love sneaking some pizza dough. nummy!!

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