Saturday, April 19, 2014

break up, losses, walrus...

 that's what's been on my mind a lot this week.  really liked the shot above.  this evening i went to the campbell creek coastal refuge.  it's a newer little oasis in Anchorage.  short loop with lovely views.  no dogs allowed, but there were 2 off leash dogs there when i was there of course....rules only apply to all those other people, right?  i love my dogs but i can also understand that it is nice for some people to go somewhere and not have to deal with other peoples less than well trained dogs. it's also a place for birders more than dogs so i get that.
 lots of little pieces of paper.  i really need to organize my life better than that.  still a few calls to make regarding Ketchikan details.  brain has been a bit consumed i think.  rumination and worry.  after many months in the ICU in Texas my friends condition worsened and she was removed from life support.  i find i keep checking facebook expecting to see a note from her husband saying she's rallied again.
 i worked in the Renal care unit and the messages were seeming like things were not going well.  when i came home i fell asleep knowing she may pass while i slept.  i don't generally remember many details of my dreams but i do know that while i slept i had a dream of some kind of funeral, in the dream it wasn't clear who had died, but i was very upset and crying a great deal. when i woke up and checked facebook, she had passed.
 the other walk pictures are from a loop out rovers run, the bog and meanderings in north bivouac.
 in some ways i'm just still befuddled about how this could happen to my friend.  i take care of many post open hearts and it's so rare to have complication upon complication like she did and especially rare in someone as young as her. it's just so very sad.  she was too young and then this also dragged on for way longer than any person should have to endure.  it sickens me to think of all the emotions and turmoil that must have been going on for her family, especially her husband.  she was a good person, seems like this kind of long hospitalization shouldn't happen to kind, good people.
 i'll miss my friend.  oddly, i have very few photo's of her.  she never really was into the hiking or kayaking and such.  mostly we spoke or texted or messaged. when she lived here we saw each other at work, a few social outings and mostly we would catch a bite and catch up.  analyze and solve the worlds problems.  we also laughed.  she was one of those rare people who could actually listen.  really listen.  that is a rare gift.
 even the few folks i spoke to about my friends death this week at work seemed to jump right into a need to tell their story. sometimes we all just want to be heard, with her i knew i was heard and understood.  she saw things i saw in so many ways.  often i feel like i see people for who they really are and i'm baffled why the other folks around me don't seem to see the big picture.  i knew Lesley would see those same things.  she had that great accent (originally from south africa) and she was a great laugher.
she leaves behind her husband and her 2 girls.  this has been a tough one.  rest in peace my dear friend and may your family find peace as well.
i'm sure i'll have more to say at some other time, but for now i still feel too raw about the loss.  i do remember that one of the first things that came to my mind that day when i heard she had passed was about rhino's.  she was a fighter and one thing that really angered her was what has happened with the rhino's and poaching.  it occurred to me that those poachers had better be on alert as i suspect she could raise some holy hell with them from heaven. i also thought heaven had better watch out as she will not be shy about telling them what they need to repair in the process. she fought for the underdogs of this world.
i know she would tell me to form the group ( friends of round island walrus sanctuary).  walrus ivory, rhino's horns...not much difference.
 blossom is very excited to have the puddles return. life moves on no matter what goes on in our individual lives.  the seasons change and the sun comes up and goes down.  hard to know and understand what the big picture is, so most of the time i don't try.  i just try to enjoy each day and be grateful for this life and this earth.
 more and more i think i may need to start up a friends of round island group.  no idea where one really begins with that.  do i find a good web page designer, do i need to get non-profit status.  just seems like these walrus and this amazing place called round island is underappreciated, mostly because it's more unknown. it's also so remote.  the vast percentage of those making decisions for it have never been anywhere near it.
 i think i need to start with a file folder to begin to collect information.  have had some return notes from some of my previous correspondences.  blah, blah, funds. from what i've heard repeatedly it costs just shy of $100,000 to run round island for the summer. in the grand scheme of things that doesn't seem an impossible sum to get to.  which makes me want to start the group and page and go on a letter writing campaign to try and find those funds.
 one of the biologists that was there when we were there a few summers back wrote me today.  the Anchorage Daily News printed a story about it by Terry Johnson, our captain.  i wrote a note to him thanking him for writing it and i mentioned this group idea.  he does seem to believe it's a good idea.  not sure he thinks we can reverse this but at least we may be able to prevent further damage and highlight ongoing issues and make sure those damn politicians know that the walruses have a friend  or two. his article was well written and to the point.  i'm sure he got a similar canned response from the wildlife division director, doug vincent-lang.
 round island is a place that few visitors will ever visit.  that in no way means it has no value and shouldn't be monitored.   as humans we have a responsibility to the natural world we live in. we have a terrible history of selfishness when it comes to  this earth.  we take what we want without regard for the plants and the animals who share our earth.
 round island will never become the mecca that mcneil river is.  that in no way lessens it's value.  the challenge of getting there for me almost made the being there all the sweeter.  it's not a place everyone gets to but one worthy of the work it takes.
 it's easy too to disregard an island of large somewhat smelly beasts.  ocean creatures are more difficult to protect.  they travel thousands of miles sometimes and can't be easily watched.  if you kill an elephant or a rhino it's tough to hide the evidence of the poaching.  walrus that have their heads cut off and oosiks removed can be lost to us forever, an entire plane full of people has never been seen again,  a few ton walrus can be lost as well.  it's harder for people to care for walrus than something more cuddly like a can i make people see their value?
 today was a trip to the vet for annual exams and some vaccines.  the cats were less than pleased with the trip...everyone but rio catalina were deemed obese!!  horrors!! blossom was very nervous...she always is a baby about vet visits. it's pretty funny actually.
 i took them to pet co after..i had a coupon.
 met with a friend for dinner and then off to the refuge.
 interesting Alaska news...a man attempted to do the crow pass hike with his two kids in a days time...they were not prepared for a hike of that magnitude at all, i think it's 26 miles.  really good to have layers and some survival basics when on hikes, especially longer ones.
 a chihuahua is safe after being carried off from it's yard by a large owl.  this poor chihuahua's day got worse as when the owl was attempting to eat it's meal a truck ran over both owl and dog.  both animals were rescued, the dog survived the owl did not.
 it really is a pretty little spot out there.
 great just listening to the water and mud.  not much ice left on this side of town.
 got put on call my middle night.  called  back in at 1 am.  was just a sitter.  not a bad gig this night i must say.  it is fun to chat with these folks who have lived in Alaska for so many years...always some good stories.
 last night no on call and another night in RCU.  right before i left work this morning i figured out that i'd gotten overtime all night due to good friday.  :-)
 the sunset didn't work out as expected but still beautiful

 i am tired...will have to zip through these and sleep...not that i don't have much, much more to say...just too sleepy

 a few from stumphenge today
 watched, "bully" the other day. sad what some kids must endure each day at school.  tonight i watched, "moonrise kingdom" strange but not bad at all.
 and back to the refuge.
 a few in black and white...
thankful for's...1.  getting all the animals to/from the vets safely.  2...each just never know when it could all be over.  3...that so many people on this earth work so hard to protect and preserve lands like these. ( maybe i'll be one of those people myself some day.)


  1. I'm sorry to hear about Leslie.

  2. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, Betsy. :-( Thinking of you.

  3. Been thinking about you all day. I'm so sorry about your friend Lesley. I hope you're doing okay.