Friday, May 26, 2017

today would be a great day for an on call...

 but alas....the phone hasn't rung yet. not sure if i'll have time for another blog entry before i head off to Round Island.  it's looking pretty sweet today so hoping that means that my friend Alicia has made it safely to Round Island.  hoping this weather holds over the weekend so i can get safely on island.  asking the Gods for sunny weather and calm seas...but mostly calm seas.  would love lots of walrus and other wildlife opportunities.
got just that as i popped onto the walrus cam last night.  had to head to work but did get a few pics posted and hoping that Ed, from F&G will be able to locate and create a video.  there on the right side of the these pics is a sea lion.  not a stellar which are the sea lions one would expect to see here in AK.  this is a California sea lion.
 the little guy started to bark and caused a bit of a ruckus.  you can see the walrus in these pics raise their heads in alarm and some started to make a move towards the water.  there wasn't a big stampede though.  just concern.
 the rangers were pretty excited they had noted this odd character in another part of the island.  first with other walrus and then later mixing it up with the stellars.  they haven't seen a CA sea lion here before and they really don't come to AK..that we know of at least.  so this guy is a bit out of his area.  so fun.  maybe he will be still be around the place when i arrive.
 work the last two nights.  first night i started in ICU but ended up in the ER by 10-11 pm.  the family of my patient in ICU was clearly bummed i was leaving.  some adults aren't really adults in the full way i guess..so having a pediatric back ground can really be useful. that mom seemed so deflated that i was being moved after my singing to her son.  nice to be able to give her such confidence in my ability and my willingness to do more than the basics for her family in such short time.  we were even blessed with a double rainbow...always a great sign.
 ER wasn't bad at all.  busy but it did chill in the morning.  last night i was in IMCU...so that is a step down unit.  i kept quite busy all night there.  tonight...who knows.
 lots of loving time with my pups. yesterday i did a packing overhaul.  before i'd just been piling crap in the room and it looked like it was going to be impossible to get it in to limited bags.  still seems like you always have way too much crap.  it could rain and it actually sounds like weather may be coming in again by Monday or Tuesday.  Round Island has it's own weather pattern though so who knows really.  just hoping for decent days for boating when i travel.  after last trip, one can never have enough rain gear!! socks and underwear are small and always good to have extras of those.  cold feet not good. winter layers of course are great when you are basically outside 24 hours/day except when you are huddled in tent sleeping.  guess i better get ready for work..that phone isn't ringing...boo.  doubt i'll get a note in tomorrow....unless i put it in while i'm in Dillingham.  i'll be older in a few days...
grateful for:  A. this opportunity  B.  this gift of being able to step up and try to help this amazing species.  they could do much better with another advocate, but hope i don't let them down. C.  camera's...hoping i can try and capture some of the essence of this amazing place and share it with you all.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

more from last summer and fall.

 planning continues.  trying to catch up on a few more pics from last year before the big summer shots start up again. I'm always behind it seems but fun to toss in a few older ones from time to time.  still a bunch from the iditarod that never made it in.  i read today that PETA is making a big push to stop sponsors for the race and thus stop the race.
 pups are feeling rambunctious at this time despite two walks.  we did campbell airstrip and around, about 4 miles and then later did the bog on leash.  thinking i should take advantage of the light and try to get in a leash only walk for added training.  they attempted to bolt after a magpie once but i won.  they did well pulling "off trail" for passersby.
 these are pictures of humpback whales coming back from holgate.
 several calls.  feeling a bit like omg what am i doing.  you forget how planning this trek to round island can be.  you have to remember that it will all work out, that things just work different out in the bush.  they have grown so used to unpredictability that they don't sweat it.  you'd think I'd be better at it.  i got great at it when i lived in Ketchikan for 6 years.
 i make all these reservations and plans but really it's just an outline...what really ends up happening is just a guess.
 always lots of seagulls where the whales are.
 chatted with a friend in Ketchikan for a bit today.  she can see the whales bubble net feeding from her front deck.  i have never seen that.  one day.  she says they have restricted one form of fishing in areas closer to the town so the wildlife sightings have bumped up.
 so my loose Alaska village plan for the moment is.  fly out of Anchorage Saturday afternoon.  hope the flight isn't cancelled and they don't lose my luggage, this happens with some regularity.  no way i can camp on Round Island without my gear.
 i have booked a place to stay. the same place we stayed at in 2012.  Kingfisher house.  it's a bit out of town but clean and quiet.  they won't be there but he said he'd leave a car at the airport with a key in it for me and some directions.
 next i wake up early in the morning Sunday and leave car back at the airport where i found it.  i catch a flight out with Grant Air.  weather permitting i get taken by boat out to Round Island that afternoon.  he called to say he needs to pick up some injured fishermen Sunday morning.
 weather and waves permitting i should be picked up again on Friday.  my plane leaves Togiak in the afternoon and then i have a flight out of Dillingham like 1/2 hour after i get into town.  lots of room for error in this scenario.
 admittedly it is nice to not be doing this trip worried about an entire group of people.  it is stressful doing it with just myself.  it was infinitely more stressful going with a group where i felt responsible for all.  it's all worked out both trips and we all had a great time.  we did lose luggage last time. half of our crew lost their gear...it got there in the nick of time and they made it out to the island.  we came and went on our planned day the second trip, though that last bunch of us would have happily stayed another night or two rather than deal with those rough seas.
 my first trip we ended up losing a day on the front end.  that trip I'd hired a fisherman to take us out.  it's an 8 hour boat trip from Dillingham out to Round Island. seas got rough on our first attempt, we ducked into a bay and held up there for a bit..but it never calmed so we just headed back to Dillingham. the next day we took off again with fair weather and beautiful flat calm seas.

 these are fall so the pups are a bit smaller.
 we ran into a woman in the bog i have seen there for years.  she always loved Blossom and today was the first time i guess I'd seen her for a bit. she asked where Blossom was....
 still tear up thinking about that dog.  she is very missed.  such a great dog.  these pups are great, don't get me wrong...but that Blossom was just a super dog.  she was perfect for me in so many ways.  these guys are as well...you just can't replace any of these dogs.  they are all such individual personalities.  Rio and Blossom were a great pair.  gone but never forgotten.  she expressed her sadness and told me how much she had always really liked Blossom
 these are from a Denali Hwy crossing last fall.
 this next group is out at Ulake.
 slowly packing and hoping everything works out.
 next trip will be to Kennicott Mines and McCarthy.  have never been there so that should be fun.  looking forward to seeing Togiak though in my first draft schedule i won't see much of it.  that last day could find me in Togiak overnight or on Round Island. i may see way more of Togiak than i ever hoped.  haha.
 big baldie at the dog park....always a bit scary as there are often little dogs which could be of interest to a large bird like this.  i do recall this day and warning any owners of small dogs to avoid this area.
 there is my girl. I'm sure she was already feeling the effects of whatever Cancer was probably growing inside of her.  she never stopped playing though and enjoying her life.  that at least brings me some peace.  her days were great until those last few.  her spirit never diminished.
 the eagle takes off...love to watch them in flight.  i never tire of the beauty and wildlife of this place.
 settled on another tree as we looped back around towards the car.

 Ivy was still testing out the waters.

 Blossom shows them how it's done.  Huey had shown her the joys of swimming just before he passed away.  the dogs are all connected to each other.  Butch and Huey were together a few years before Butch passed on.
 i suspect this was our first Monday walk last fall.
 Blossom always knew where the mud was and loved to just lay down in it.  she did not like the hose like this pair does though.  they love the hose...so they are always very clean.
 will be a bit before we see the bulk of the mushrooms, though they are growing now i know.  the bulk really hit their stride in the late summer.

 i probably have already posted these but who knows.  so many pictures.  haha.
 not much else of note today in my area.
 can't believe how much bigger they are!!
 adorable. i really do love this pair.  I'm already missing them and dreading leaving them.  it's really tough to leave my dogs. that is always the way it is.  i suspect it's probably good for me to step away for a few days every so often though.  it's not easy though.
 they are both super sweet!! they do make it a bit easier to move forward after the heartbreak of Blossom's loss.
 dogs are just such a constant in your life.  their routine is your routine.  they are so happy to see you and be with you.  they share so many of your life experiences with you, both good and bad.  they don't even realize that you aren't perfect...because to them you are.  they forgive you when you  behave badly, they wag and have an endless supply or love for you.
 can't think of any human besides my mother that has loved me so unconditionally.
 love when moose bend down to eat grass.
 airstrip on another day...now everything is so green.  :-)
 I'll leave you with some swans. always majestic.
 so i guess i will be stressed until i land on the island safely and then begin to be stressed again as soon as i leave the island until i land safely in Anchorage again.  that is how it is.  the more you get out there though the more risk there is in life. better to have explored than to have stayed safe at all times.  life can be uncomfortable, life can be stressful and scary.
 if you are never uncomfortable or scared then you are probably not doing it right.
 these birds travel great distances. we have the Arctic Terns here that travel from Antarctica to Alaska each year.  they have the longest migration that i know of.  in a few months they will turn around and do it again.
 hope I'm not pushing it by attempting this trek one more time.  hope that i get on the island and it's peaceful and fills my soul with joy as it has in the past.
grateful for:  a.  opportunities  b.  fear and pushing through fear.  c.  overcoming fears and surviving