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...

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