Alaska Outdoors

This photo shows black garden ants tending citrus mealybug. When injured, colonial animals such as ants and bees, may emit a type of alarm signal that also calls in reinforcements, to help repel possible danger.(Courtesy Photo / Katja Schulz from Washington, D. C)

On the Trails: The smell of fear

It’s not fiction.

This photo shows black garden ants tending citrus mealybug. When injured, colonial animals such as ants and bees, may emit a type of alarm signal that also calls in reinforcements, to help repel possible danger.(Courtesy Photo / Katja Schulz from Washington, D. C)
Orcas swim near the the shore of Kupreanof Island on April 26. (Courtesy Photo / Joe Sebastian)
Orcas swim near the the shore of Kupreanof Island on April 26. (Courtesy Photo / Joe Sebastian)
The author’s dog Cora rides a canoe on the Yukon River. Two-thirds of all the flowing water in Alaska makes its way into the Yukon. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: Alaska’s water crop is a natural resource

Alaska’s freshwater supply is so abundant the numbers are hard to comprehend.

The author’s dog Cora rides a canoe on the Yukon River. Two-thirds of all the flowing water in Alaska makes its way into the Yukon. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
George Divoky and his friend Matt Thomas pose in front of Divoky’s cabin on Cooper Island after repairing polar-bear damage in April, 2022. (Courtesy Photo / Craig George)

Alaska Science Forum: His 48th summer on top of the world

In the ’80s, 225 pairs of black guillemots nested on Cooper Island. Last year: 25 pairs counted.

George Divoky and his friend Matt Thomas pose in front of Divoky’s cabin on Cooper Island after repairing polar-bear damage in April, 2022. (Courtesy Photo / Craig George)
Nikki is an old favorite that we see near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center; here she is with a couple of new cubs. Black bears mate in early summer, but the fertilized egg is not implanted until fall; then gestation takes about seven months, resulting in a tiny cub that won’t emerge from the den until early summer. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)

On the Trails: Reproductive delays in mammals

By Mary F. Willson For the Juneau Empire Human animals have a simple, direct system: copulation and sperm delivery may lead to fertilization of an… Continue reading

Nikki is an old favorite that we see near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center; here she is with a couple of new cubs. Black bears mate in early summer, but the fertilized egg is not implanted until fall; then gestation takes about seven months, resulting in a tiny cub that won’t emerge from the den until early summer. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)
Two dogs greet each other Jan. 7, 2022, when the temperature was minus 22F and the sun set before 5 p.m. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
Two dogs greet each other Jan. 7, 2022, when the temperature was minus 22F and the sun set before 5 p.m. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
It's not that Southeast Alaskans don't have style, it's just that the style happens to contain a lot of waterproof materials such as the jacket his wife wore to check shrimp pots. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)

I Went to the Woods: All about style

Style isn’t about clothing, it’s everything.

It's not that Southeast Alaskans don't have style, it's just that the style happens to contain a lot of waterproof materials such as the jacket his wife wore to check shrimp pots. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
This photo, available under a Creative Commons license, shows a European robin. While its name is similar to that of the American robin, they are not closely related. (Courtesy Photo / Charles J. Sharp)

On the Trails: Same name, very different birds

A tale of two (or more) robins.

This photo, available under a Creative Commons license, shows a European robin. While its name is similar to that of the American robin, they are not closely related. (Courtesy Photo / Charles J. Sharp)
The paw of an anesthetized female lynx trapped north of the Arctic Circle that weighed 22 pounds. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: Live-trapping lynx in the far north

By Ned Rozell NORTH OF COLDFOOT — The lynx looks out from inside a chicken-wire cage. Despite its loss of freedom and the nearby squeaking… Continue reading

The paw of an anesthetized female lynx trapped north of the Arctic Circle that weighed 22 pounds. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
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Sustainable Alaska: Cosmic consciousness, Earth Day, and the magic of time and space

Earlier this spring I had the great privilege of skiing from Knik Lake to McGrath…

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On the Trails: Whelks learning and hemlocks fluting

Whelk-learned individuals.

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UAF ecologist Knut Kielland listens for a lynx he collared last year not far from Wiseman, Alaska. Mount Dillon, part of the Brooks Range, stands in the background. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: Happenings north of the Arctic Circle

Though the calendar calls it springtime, the thermometer on the truck reads minus 28 F…

UAF ecologist Knut Kielland listens for a lynx he collared last year not far from Wiseman, Alaska. Mount Dillon, part of the Brooks Range, stands in the background. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
The author thought this reel was about five years old, but this photo from a trip to the Truckee River in California seven years ago made him realize just how long his favorite reel has been around. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)

I Went to the Woods: What makes a favorite

By Jeff Lund I was doing some math, which can be difficult. Not just because I’m an English teacher, but because it can be hard… Continue reading

The author thought this reel was about five years old, but this photo from a trip to the Truckee River in California seven years ago made him realize just how long his favorite reel has been around. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
An injured coyote with only three usable legs has survived over a year, hunting small mammals. (Courtesy Photo / Cheryl Cook)

On the Trails: Wild animals surviving serious injuries

To be adaptive, the benefits have to outweigh such costs.

An injured coyote with only three usable legs has survived over a year, hunting small mammals. (Courtesy Photo / Cheryl Cook)
Henry Allen a few decades after he — as a 26-year-old — crossed Alaska on foot and by boats in a U.S. government-sponsored expedition. (Public domain photo)

Alaska Science Forum: Across Alaska in one summer

Rotten moose meat unlikely to supplant birthday cake.

Henry Allen a few decades after he — as a 26-year-old — crossed Alaska on foot and by boats in a U.S. government-sponsored expedition. (Public domain photo)
A brown bear sleeps after taking a break from grazing on spring vegetation. (Courtesy Photo / Bjorn Dihle)

Pride of Bristol Bay: The brown bears of Bristol Bay and Alaska Peninsula

Bristol Bay and Alaska Peninsula makes up about one third of Alaska’s entire brown bear population.

A brown bear sleeps after taking a break from grazing on spring vegetation. (Courtesy Photo / Bjorn Dihle)
Blueberry flowers bloom in some sites in early March (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: Waiting for spring

Critters and plants are getting ready for spring

Blueberry flowers bloom in some sites in early March (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
Chignik Lake is the first of two lakes in the Chignik River system; it is longer and deeper than the second lake, Black Lake, which is wide and shallow. (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

The Salmon State: A tale of two salmon

Chignik has two genetically distinct runs of sockey

Chignik Lake is the first of two lakes in the Chignik River system; it is longer and deeper than the second lake, Black Lake, which is wide and shallow. (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)
A hawk owl surveys the ground around its perch; note the white patches on the side of the head and the facial disc. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: Eagle-eyed birders spot a hawk owl

Owl’s well on the trails.

A hawk owl surveys the ground around its perch; note the white patches on the side of the head and the facial disc. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
This photo shows a least and crested auklet on Kasatochi Volcano in 2012 (Gary S Drew / United States Geological Survey)

On the Trails: Birds’ sense of smell

Old myth doesn’t pass the sniff test.

This photo shows a least and crested auklet on Kasatochi Volcano in 2012 (Gary S Drew / United States Geological Survey)