Tuesday, June 30, 2015

on the road to Valdez....from the wide angle

 there are some amazing waterfalls on the way to Valdez...well worth the drive down there super fun in the summer with the flowers in bloom.  these are columbines.  always a favorite.
 this is when silly me forgot to turn my camera back from black and white.  lupine in black and white just isn't as impressive as color.  will just have to drive there again next summer when the lupine are blooming.  :-)
 these would have also been more impressive in color but still pretty in black and white i guess.
 today after getting started late, way to usual for me lately....Blossom and i finally settled on doing a loop from Homestead Trail through a back trail over to Moose Meadow/Rovers run and then back to homestead. it was 3.3 miles and actually quite pretty.  a few fun flower sightings and for Blossom some new stuff to smell.  we haven't been there for some time and i'd gotten a few calls that her old tag was by the creek...the calls were a month ago so i wasn't too shocked to not find the tag, but worth a gander i guess.
 the calls came in right when Rio had surgery so it got lost...collected an old dog tag wasn't a priority. Rio is doing great and i am happy to report i will be getting checks back from the dog insurance for a nice chunk of the cost, so i'm happy about that.
 Worthington Glacier.  seems like it's receded quite a lot since i went several years back. not surprising but i don't have a good photo of the same angle to compare this to.  it was also a different season.  we must have gone much earlier in the spring that last time.  trails were less overgrown as well.
 plan for tomorrow is to make a day trip run to Seward.  next weekend i'll try for a drive to Chicken and maybe try and do a summer loop across the Denali Highway.  catch some flowers and different scenery.  we will see how things are going and time and all that.
 after our walk i headed to the Alaska Zoo.  it's not a large zoo and many of the enclosures could use a modernizing.  too much like cages and not enclosures...which is the newer way of zoos.  they do seem to be trying to make the places the animals stay more interesting and comfortable for them.  animals in zoos tend to get very bored.  always feel badly for them as the kids screaming stress some of them out.  the bald eagles today looked really stressed you could see the relation to the kids screams.
 there were a few super fun enclosures to hang out at.  the coyote's were cracking me up...there were a few squirrels jumping around the top of the fencing around their home and then leaping back and forth to a few trees inside. those coyote's were going nuts....just like all those cartoons of dogs and squirrels...."squirrel"...so fun to watch them chasing the squirrels around their enclosure.  the squirrels were plentiful at the zoo and seemed to know what they could get away with.  there was one squirrel hopping in and out of the owls exhibit, which seemed a bit risky to me.  not sure of the flight ability of the owl.
 seems like most of the zoo animals are rescues.
 they also had a baby seal, which is super cute and a baby musk ox.  i guess there are baby swans and a rescued baby moose which i didn't see.  cutest may have to go to the 3 rescued grizzly cubs.  they weren't out and about when i first arrived so i swung back through and they were up and playing.  did take some video so i'll post that on facebook...many of the enclosures have "cages" which are tough to really photograph through well.
 flowers by old Valdez.  they moved the town after the 1964 quake and subsequent tsunami.  it was devastated in the old town so they just shifted town.
 the docks are always good to check out.  i'm a fan of boats.
 otherwise it has been  a fairly lazy day for me.  got out in the yard for a half hour or so.  trying to get out there and do something nearly every day.
 well over my 10,000 step/day for this week's average.  only one day was i under 10,000 steps and several i was comfortably over.  do need to get back to the pool though.  i enjoy the pool and biking...just have to add it in.  means i need to wake up earlier and get started.
 thinking i should experiment with some coffee and see if there are any that i like.  they say it's actually good for you in small amounts.  moderation in all things...right.  on that note i should have opened a bottle of wine tonight.  instead i had some ice cream.  honestly the wine is probably healthier for me than the ice cream.
 posted a few pics on the chat of the walrus web cam. Diane was great when she was out there.  the two rangers out there don't interact as much on the chat, which isn't a bad thing.  they say hello each morning. it's just not something they are used to doing, but i think it really helps get people excited about the walrus.  it would be better if it were an expert.  often people go into those jobs not with any plans on dealing a lot with the public.  i mean they took a job on a very remote island.
 they were interviewing a ranger out at Brooks about the cams out there and how it has changed life for him out there.  of course, he said good things. was commenting that he was surprised that nearly every nation was represented with people watching the bear cams...i think just Syria and Yemen maybe had no hits on the cam...even the Vatican has regular watchers of the cams.
 he was also surprised by how the folks on the cams got to know the individual bears and at how observant they were about the bears.  they also spoke to a guy in Texas who watches the Bear Cam very regular.  he said he had become disabled after living a rather active life and had run across the bear cams when he was looking for surfing cams...since he'd done a lot of surfing in years past....he was hooked.
 there are people getting hooked on the walrus too.  i want them hooked!  the more folks that fall for the walrus the more chance the Annenberg Foundation will fund it for years to come.  i think i read they have signed on to do the bear cams for 10 more years....perhaps fearing that if they don't do it someone else will.
 maybe they will add a McNeil River cam for bears as well.
 as i said, i'm hoping the walrus get their attention as being popular and that the cams stay up for many years to come.  it will make my job as walrus advocate easier.
 fireweed...that will be blooming all over while i'm out driving in the next few weeks.
 need to make a few calls tomorrow before i head out to Seward.  roof and then my CA RN license. i've paid for it all these years but have not lived in CA since 1993...so perhaps i should change the status to inactive.  may be cheaper that way . it's always good to keep CA though i guess.
 Blossom enjoys the falls.  i left Rio in the car for this one.
 then i put both dogs in the car and climbed up a bit for some pictures.
 some guy wants to tear out more parkland and put in tennis courts near UAA...NO!!!!!!  hope nobody approves this.  ridiculous.  they keep tearing out the trees...so disturbing.
 can't wait until our idiot Mayor is out of office. he's been trying to get tennis courts in and also seems to be on board with trading land out so the Airport gets Point Worzonoff...no again!!  throw the bum out i say!! leave Worzonof alone.
 the black bear family that got a pardon from the governor and were moved, but not far enough away, have been causing trouble in Hope.  now 4 of the 5 members of that bear family have been killed.
 gotta love this Pope, Pope Francis.  he came out calling for action against climate change!!  even stating a human involvement in this warming process.  trouble begins with convincing many that this is even happening.  i think the belief is more universal in nations other than ours, but there seem to be some stubborn folks here who just prefer to look the other way and pretend that it's all just some liberal made up crap.  despite nearly 100% of the worlds scientists who study climate believing this is happening.
 hard to convince folks who refuse to even listen to facts.
 a family was moving from Texas to Fairbanks.  they had thought they cat had freaked out in Texas and ran off as they could not find their cat, it had gone missing.  nearly 64 days later as their stuff was unpacked in Fairbanks, a thin cat was found alive in the mattress of the family futon.  cat needed vet care but seems to be healing up.  tough cat.
 Blossom takes the time to smell the flowers!!  i've trained her well.  :-)
 this is a lousewort of some sort that she is smelling.  very pretty
 chasing her tennis ball and enjoying life.
 a group called the moose mama's find abandoned baby moose, raise them and then release them back into the wild in places with decreased moose populations.  some say they have had too much human contact to be able to do well....guess...die now as a  baby or get given a chance to survive by being released later.  as long as you release them in a better place than Hope.  they may still die because they weren't used to living in the wild...but i suspect most healthy animals would figure out how to live in the wild.  there are some you can't release after they have known humans...those would be the ones that would kill humans, like bears
 i think even some lions have been re-released though. there was a story of a lion that was hand raised by this one guy...if' i'm remembering this right. i think i heard the guy would go visit or did visit the lion out in the wild and the lion remembered him and still didn't harm him out there.  still seems like a bit of a risk to others.
 moose though...i would think it would work  those bison that were released had been around humans.  the musk ox were as well at some point but a generation later that memory will probably be lost.
 survival of the fittest takes over.
 always pretty in the higher elevations.  this is at Thompson Pass out of Valdez

 pretty flowers everywhere....!!
 an attempt at getting a shot of the dogs.  haha.  Rio rarely cooperative with this
 views from the road
 and with that...i shall head to bed.
grateful for: 1.  ice cream....bad for me but so good 2.  baby everythings...they are so dang cute 3.  always for walks in the woods...

Monday, June 29, 2015

these pretzels are making me thirsty...

 yes, i watched a little Seinfeld earlier..for those of you who recognized that line from the show.  i have many lines memorized from that show and they tend to appear in my verbage on a regular basis still.  now i have added many Big Bang lines to my life.  is it sad or just what it is that much of my language comes from tv and movies?  this is me on the top of the hill coming back from walking Horseshoe Lake in Denali.  SH told me to go ahead so i took a few tourists shots up here and then figured i'd have one of them take a shot of me
 should have put some pictures from the web cam in here. the rangers made the trek out to the camera, which doesn't look too easy, and they cleaned the housing of the camera...very exciting as bug guana and coated the thing and had made several of the viewing angles impossible.
 the flower group took one last trek a short distance up Savage to look for more flowers on the way back to the headquarters area.  we'd enjoyed our time.
 here is a group shot...thankful i took my mini tripod out there.
 was on call the other night and was hoping to get called in but didn't.  worked last night. started in IMCU which i'd never actually worked in since that unit was the RCU.  it was an easy adjustment and i had my 3 patients all settled in when i got switched to ER.  it was a bit nuts when i arrived so i jumped in and helped out.  the computers were down for an hour and that place goes nuts off the grid...!!
 i got there at 2 am and don't think i ever stopped. below elegant paintbrush...see i didn't even have to look it up...!!  i did learn a little out there.  :-)
 setting up SH's tent was a group effort.  she had thrown T and i off by leaving it in a strange configuration before coming over to take her shower and sending us off with the car to the camp site.  we later laughed so hard...i was crying and SH had to use her inhaler.
 Blossom and i have done a few walks with Rio left at home.  she just gets weak still.  was good for Blossom to get out on a bit more of a real walk...me too.  Rio still won't accept the peanut butter filled bone unless i am leaving her home with Blossom.  she does need an extra meal in order to fatten her up and to split up her food more...3 meals/day instead of 2.  so i have found i can give her a meal of cottage cheese and beef or some other tasty food and quietly walk away.
 the other day we had to wait for a mama moose and her two sweet calves to move off of the trail.  no bear sightings.  today there was a cute husky looking dog who was out walking the tank trail on a cart. it was supporting his hind quarters. he was happy to be out. i think Blossom was a bit concerned about the dogs cart at first but she warmed right up...
 SH gets some love from Boddhi...and is still just a smidgee taller than M!!  it won't be long though.
 a few fb sorts have been posting religious stuff in response to the ruling on gay marriage.  rather than comment on these imho ridiculous posts i just keep hiding them from view..best to not get into it when people are so set on something.  my opinion is that God expects us to love and be kind and respectful and fair...there are people being beheaded and all sorts of awful things happening on this earth...pick a better cause that will bring happiness and hope to others rather than tear down people who are just trying to live as they are with those that they love.
 with infidelity and divorce rates being what they are i really can't say that the men and women of the earth have proven they are the only ones who own the rights to the institution.
 solstice sun...now the darkness will slowly return.
 i'm trying to make the most of the light and get out in the yard and not let this jump start i paid for go to waste...well i haven't actually paid for it yet.  guess i wait for a bill to arrive.  not sure.  still waiting to chat with my neighbor and see where we are on the whole roof thing.  i do have a large bug bite on the back of my neck from my efforts tonight though.  every bit i do out there will head me in the right direction.  hopefully i can try and hire someone to get me started each spring and perhaps work on a little project here and there.
 our home for the night at Riley.  after all these years, this was actually my first weekend staying in the park.  will have to do that again.
 there was an article in the Salt Lake News that i was reading.  the Mormon church was giving it's members permission to express support for gay marriage on social media without concern of the church coming down on them.  it was an odd and funny article...things just look stranger and stranger to me the longer i am away from that church.  i was reading through the many heated comments...no i didn't comment...man people on both sides get so rude and nasty.  they had even deleted many of the worst comments apparently.  wow.
 i do continue to comment on the explore.org site.  what WARIS and myself to be a presence.  on occasion i'll get asked about WARIS and this week was one of those occasions.  nice to be able to give our information.  i try not to be too annoying and pushy...it is another non-profits web page..but i figure if i just keep signing it with our name, eventually people will ask and then others will know and share the information.
 these are from the hike we took before heading back to Anchorage.
 was laughing with a patient...remembering some fights with siblings.  my brothers took to each other only a few times.  this patient and i were talking about how boys fight a bit differently than girls. of course, we were laughing that his brother in this situation was fighting like a girl.  i know i let my feministic values fail me..haha.  real boys when i was a kid used their fists.  girls tended to use nails and hair pulling and slapping and tools. the tool worked in this case i guess as the non tool using guy was in the ER.  of course, these siblings were no longer kids, but that is how it goes sometimes.
 with these hate shootings at a church another issue seems to be heating up....the confederate flag.  i'm not from the south so it just has never been something i paid any attention too. with these deaths there are many who are saying the flag represents racial hatred and shouldn't fly especially in public places.  some of the same posters on fb who have been publishing stuff about religion and the gay marriage issue have also been posting stuff about the confederate flag and it not being about race at all.  i sense that whatever meaning it had at one time has been overshadowed by the meaning that some have put upon it...
 guess, the bottom line is that a few religious folks from the south are having a bad week.  i can live with that.
 the sign up for the Iditarod 2016 has begun.  a few teams signed up despite losing their homes to the recent fires.  there seems to have been a great deal of support to help with rebuilding of the homes and dog lots.  blip in the paper on other Iditarod news.  Mackey lost 2 dogs last year..they still have not determined why those dogs passed away.  didn't hear of him signing up.  his health may not be good enough to run that race...you never know though, he may be back...they do call him the comeback kid.
 beaver dam above.
 more beaver dam activity.
 Izembek National Wildlife has been in the news of late.  attempts to put a road in to connect Cold Bay with King Cove.  i've been to this area once.  we did a ferry trip from Kodiak to Dutch Harbor.  there was a good commentary piece just saying what a silly and expensive idea this is.  i've always felt that living in rural Alaska is a risk...you accept that when you live in these places.  getting medical help or any help at all can and will be a delayed process.  if you are not willing to accept that fact then you may need to consider moving closer to a larger city in Alaska or in another state altogether.
 the writer was speaking to how unrealistic the expectations seem to be at what this one lane dirt road would be able to bring to the communities it will supposedly serve and also how much the fragile place will be decimated by this road.  he said already 4 wheelers go where they aren't supposed to go and mar the land...with a road it would just be greater access to destroy things.  in rough weather, winds blow, snow blows...driving on the maintained roads in the area is hazardous enough let alone some remote road.  trying to maintain the road would be costly.  they had a hovercraft which was apparently very effective in an emergency...considering the remoteness.  it would actually take much longer to attempt to drive the road they are speaking of.  hopeful this one doesn't happen. progress is not always very progressive.
 it was in the news as well recently as 9 fin whales were found washed up dead near there as were at least 25 walrus carcasses...they weren't sure if there was foul play involved in any of it and we may never hear more than what that article said.
 old relic on horseshoe lake.  i think this area was visited by early park visitors.  will have to return and watch the movie S was telling me about.  it was such a big deal to get up to the park that people stayed for quite long visits.  i imagine they also had social events in the evenings. just seems like that was pretty common back in the 20's and 30's.
 a forest ranger was attacked by a bear while out fighting one of our forest fires...guess he is recovering and doing fine.  you would think fighting a fire was dangerous enough without having to worry about a bear coming after you as well.
 video clip of our President speaking at one of the funerals of those poor folks shot in a church in the south by a crazy racist kid.  he broke out into the singing of Amazing Grace. it was actually quite touching i thought.  i'm sure there were those who were saying it was all fake or some stunt....i think the man is a good human though.  he has had to put up with a lot being President, but he seems to be weathering it and i think history will show the truth of his character.  i remember many mocked Jimmy Carter when he was in office and felt he was an idiot.  he has since gone on to do so much for others and i think some have had to reconsider all the negative and mean spirited things they had once said of him...politics makes people hate just to hate...if you aren't on their side you must be the enemy i guess.
 i'll stick to trying to save walruses and let others take on nations.  running a government doesn't appeal to me at all.
 we decided this was beaver training are above.  little trees and tiny dam starts.
 we were behind this truck for a bit...construction. thought it was a clever name for a company that sucks poop out of septics and such.  time for me to turn in....
grateful for: A.  patience when i don't think i have any more of it left.  B.  snuggle time with the cats.  pogi snuggles more but i love that Breezy is getting closer to it..  C.  cooler days. i know i'm supposed to revel in the 80 degree temps but i prefer it a bit cooler.