Alaska Outdoors

A Pacific walrus takes a nap on some ice in the Chukchi Sea. (Courtesy Photo | Casey Clark via the University of Alaska Fairbanks)

Tooth collections offer clues about walrus reproduction

I never thought I’d have a tray of walrus ovaries on my desk. Earlier this summer, I planned an interview to learn about a student… Continue reading

 

Beavers do good work!

North American beavers were very nearly exterminated from the entire continent by European trappers and settlers.

 

Metro Creative Connection stock image

Local volunteers meeting up Saturday to clean up coastline

This Saturday, people around the world are hitting the beach in the name of taking care of the environment. International Coastal Cleanup Day is Saturday,… Continue reading

 

Caption Keagan Walker steering the boat to Fritz Cove. (Gabe Donohoe | For Juneau Empire)

Photos: Fritz Cove skiff ride

I am usually hiking or climbing. This time I wanted to get on the water.

Caption Keagan Walker steering the boat to Fritz Cove. (Gabe Donohoe | For Juneau Empire)

On the Trails: Early fall in Cowee Meadows

A trip to Cowee Meadows usually provides a curious naturalist with something to contemplate. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for… Continue reading

A completed bridge across Paris Creek on the Treadwell Ditch Trail on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (Courtesy Photo | Jack Kreinheder)

Agencies throw celebration of local hiking trail

A Douglas Island trail has been getting a makeover, and people can get an update on the progress this Tuesday.

A completed bridge across Paris Creek on the Treadwell Ditch Trail on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (Courtesy Photo | Jack Kreinheder)

Late summer flowers

One sunny day, I sat in a small meadow in the Kowee Creek drainage, just taking in the peacefulness and a snack. Some small, red-eyed… Continue reading

Buzz, chirp, squeak: How and why insects make sound

Back in the Midwest, in the summers I listened to cicadas calling and crickets chirping — sounds that don’t happen here in Southeast Alaska. We… Continue reading

California resident Cody Lee glasses the alpine for blacktail deer the evening before Opening Day near Ketchikan. (Jeff Lund | For the Juneau Empire)

I Went To The Woods: Mountain madness

As I was leaning against a tree wondering how squirrel tastes since no deer were stepping in front of me, I wondered if I really… Continue reading

California resident Cody Lee glasses the alpine for blacktail deer the evening before Opening Day near Ketchikan. (Jeff Lund | For the Juneau Empire)
Blue waters of the Taku Inlet. (Gabriel Donohoe | Juneau Empire)

Photo blog: Taku Glacier Flight

Nothing fills your lungs, your eyes and your soul like Alaska.

Blue waters of the Taku Inlet. (Gabriel Donohoe | Juneau Empire)
The flower of northern grass-of-Parnassus, showing the staminodes with droplets at the tips, fat pollen sacs on the stamens, and a glimpse of a small insect crawling down to the nectar. (Bob Armstrong | Courtesy Photo)

On the Trails: Stories behind the names

‘Twas the last day of July, and the big meadow at Eagle Beach State Rec Area was decorated with white flowers. Tall, flat-topped inflorescences of… Continue reading

The flower of northern grass-of-Parnassus, showing the staminodes with droplets at the tips, fat pollen sacs on the stamens, and a glimpse of a small insect crawling down to the nectar. (Bob Armstrong | Courtesy Photo)

Eyewitness to the peregrine falcon’s recovery

YUKON RIVER — “She’s starting to wail,” Chris Florian says, referring to the worrisome shriek of a peregrine falcon across the river. Florian, her biologist… Continue reading

Sustainable Alaska: Earth Overshoot Day

Today as I write this article (on Aug. 1), I reflect on the significance of it being Earth Overshoot Day. That is, we humans have… Continue reading

Hiding in plain sight: disruptive coloration

Just above a stony beach on the way to Lena Point, a patch of yellow paintbrush caught my eye. Inspecting one of the blossoms, I… Continue reading

A male brown bear encountered on Admiralty Island on the day infamous day a bat landed on the author’s head. (Photo by Bjorn Dihle)

Weird wildlife encounters

Earlier this week, while I was walking into work around noon, a small brown bat landed on my head. For a moment I wondered if… Continue reading

A male brown bear encountered on Admiralty Island on the day infamous day a bat landed on the author’s head. (Photo by Bjorn Dihle)
Group gathers at mountain summit for a break and a view. (Photo by Gabriel Donohoe)

Finding Neverland on Jumbo

I hiked Mount Bradley (Jumbo) Sunday, July 22. By myself but not alone. There were many groups on the trail. It almost seemed like a… Continue reading

Group gathers at mountain summit for a break and a view. (Photo by Gabriel Donohoe)

July fun

Two Parks and Rec hiking friends share a landmark birthday this year and decided to celebrate with a summertime party on Juneau Ridge. Some of… Continue reading

Cora the dog and Ned Rozell float down the Yukon River just upstream from Circle. (Photo by Skip Ambrose)

Alaska’s big river never stops flowing

It’s midsummer, a good time to slip a canoe onto the Yukon River. I start at the river town of Eagle, population 85, and will… Continue reading

Cora the dog and Ned Rozell float down the Yukon River just upstream from Circle. (Photo by Skip Ambrose)
A caribou swims across the Fortymile River. (Courtesy Photo | Ned Rozell)

Parting a sea of Fortymile caribou

Floating down the Fortymile River, we heard the roar of a rapid just ahead. At the same time, we noticed the caribou, about 50 of… Continue reading

A caribou swims across the Fortymile River. (Courtesy Photo | Ned Rozell)