Alaska Outdoors

Camping on the dashed line of the Arctic Circle

A friend and I just camped out at the Arctic Circle, about 200 miles north of where we live in Fairbanks. A dashed line on… Continue reading

Two mountain goats browse along the hillside near Nugget Falls on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Mountain goats still recovering from harsh winters in the 2000s

Hunting on the Blackerby Ridge area closed Wednesday after one male goat was harvested. Local mountain goat populations are increasing, but still haven’t climbed back… Continue reading

Two mountain goats browse along the hillside near Nugget Falls on Monday, Feb. 27, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Enforcement talk kicks off Wildlife Wednesdays season

The monthly speaker series Wildlife Wednesdays starts today with a discussion of the role of Alaska State Wildlife Troopers in enforcing wildlife management law. Wildlife… Continue reading

Steve Morley leads Maisy Morley down Perseverance Trail during the Perseverance Trail Run/Ben Blackgoat Memorial on Saturday, June 16, 2018. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

Perseverance Trail closed for rock work

Perseverance Trail and part of Basin Road will be closed for excavation work starting today and lasting through Oct. 9.

Steve Morley leads Maisy Morley down Perseverance Trail during the Perseverance Trail Run/Ben Blackgoat Memorial on Saturday, June 16, 2018. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)
This small row boat was docked semi-permanently in beach grass.
This small row boat was docked semi-permanently in beach grass.
Two rusty blackbirds, in winter plumage, forage at the edge of Mendenhall Lake. (Courtesy Photo | Bob Armstrong)

Embrace September’s slowing pace

In September, the natural world slows down.

Two rusty blackbirds, in winter plumage, forage at the edge of Mendenhall Lake. (Courtesy Photo | Bob Armstrong)
Roger Castillo watches as a coho salmon he caught leaps he fishes at the Wayside Park on Channel Drive on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has increased the limit to 12 coho salmon in the designated saltwater hatchery sport harvest area due to the large number of returning hatchery coho salmon in excess of broodstock needs. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Roger Castillo watches as a coho salmon he caught leaps he fishes at the Wayside Park on Channel Drive on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has increased the limit to 12 coho salmon in the designated saltwater hatchery sport harvest area due to the large number of returning hatchery coho salmon in excess of broodstock needs. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
The author relaxes before packing up camp and heading home after a deer hunt. (Jeff Lund | For the Juneau Empire)

The best presents come wrapped in camo

Anyone who has run the same program for years and refuses to buy new gear should not be trusted. Anyone who does not at least… Continue reading

The author relaxes before packing up camp and heading home after a deer hunt. (Jeff Lund | For the Juneau Empire)
A doe is mirrored by her reflection as she forages in the pond. (Courtesy Photo | Pam Bergeson)

In search of cranes

Our boots rustled noisily through the tall sedges and sweetgale shrubs as we wended our way into the wetland. When we stopped to listen, we… Continue reading

A doe is mirrored by her reflection as she forages in the pond. (Courtesy Photo | Pam Bergeson)

Please, Fish and Wildlife Service, help me introduce polar bears to Antarctica

First off, let me briefly mention my two current GoFundMe campaigns. The first is the cloning and reintroduction of short-faced bears, dire wolves and steppe… Continue reading

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

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

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

Metro Creative Connection stock image
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)
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)