Alaska Outdoors

On the Trails: A mallard family, juncos, and tadpoles

One evening in late May, long after most female mallards had gone off to incubate their eggs, a group of three male mallards cruised around… Continue reading

A white butterfly rests upon a fern Saturday at Prince of Wales Island. (Courtesy Photo / Marti Crutcher)

Wild Shots

Reader-submitted photos of Mother Nature in Southeast Alaska.

A white butterfly rests upon a fern Saturday at Prince of Wales Island. (Courtesy Photo / Marti Crutcher)
A polar bear feeds near a pile of whale bones north of Utqiaġvik. (Courtesy Photo /Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: Polar bears of the past survived warmth

In a recent paper, scientists wrote that a small population of polar bears living off Greenland and Arctic Canada increased by 1.6 times when they… Continue reading

A polar bear feeds near a pile of whale bones north of Utqiaġvik. (Courtesy Photo /Ned Rozell)
A newly hatched bald eagle chick is attended to by an adult. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: Springtime fun and signs of new life

When spring finally came, it came in a rush. Cottonwood and alder leaves fairly leaped from the buds and grew rapidly toward full size. I… Continue reading

A newly hatched bald eagle chick is attended to by an adult. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
Feltleaf willow leaves emerge beneath where a moose nipped off buds during winter of 2022-2023 in Fairbanks. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
Feltleaf willow leaves emerge beneath where a moose nipped off buds during winter of 2022-2023 in Fairbanks. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
This photo was taken at Point Bridget State Park. (Courtesy Photo / Nicholette Villarreal)

Wild Shots

Reader-submitted photos of Mother Nature in Southeast Alaska.

This photo was taken at Point Bridget State Park. (Courtesy Photo / Nicholette Villarreal)
Nature often provides an escape from the brutality of modern life, but it can’t always provide the answers we seek. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)

I Went to the Woods: Into the maze

“Into the Wild” and “The Grizzly Maze” are complex reads. To reduce Chris McCandless and Timothy Treadwell to naïve, unprepared fools who are led to… Continue reading

Nature often provides an escape from the brutality of modern life, but it can’t always provide the answers we seek. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
A family of orcas swam along the shore (Courtesy Photo / DJ Kyser)
Video

On the Trails: Orcas, sand lance, and a junco

The highlight of our Berners Bay cruise…

A family of orcas swam along the shore (Courtesy Photo / DJ Kyser)
Video
Ryan Becker, a teacher at the Eagle school, takes a photo of his students as part of a continuing Yukon River ice study on May 12, 2023. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: When river breakup came to Eagle

the Yukon River’s solid sheets were breaking into smaller pieces.

Ryan Becker, a teacher at the Eagle school, takes a photo of his students as part of a continuing Yukon River ice study on May 12, 2023. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
A skunk cabbage inflorescence shows the pointed stigmas of the female phase and the beginning of pollen presentation for the male phase. (Mary F. Willson / For the Juneau Empire)

On the Trails: Spring has sprung

Early avian harbingers have been joined by lots of other species…

A skunk cabbage inflorescence shows the pointed stigmas of the female phase and the beginning of pollen presentation for the male phase. (Mary F. Willson / For the Juneau Empire)
Artist Liza McElroy of Seward, Alaska, recently sketched two moose in their summertime aquatic environment to illustrate this story. (Courtesy Image / Liza McElroy)
Artist Liza McElroy of Seward, Alaska, recently sketched two moose in their summertime aquatic environment to illustrate this story. (Courtesy Image / Liza McElroy)
The author's wife waits for a steelhead to hit. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)

I Went to the Woods: A solid skunking

But learning never stops and often happens best when reflecting upon failure.

The author's wife waits for a steelhead to hit. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
A pair of rough-skinned newts beginning the process of mating in a local pond this spring.  (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: Rough-skinned newts

Breaking new(t)s.

A pair of rough-skinned newts beginning the process of mating in a local pond this spring.  (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
In October 2007, 1-year-old Anna Rozell admired a statue of Balto in Central Park of New York City. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: Long after run to glory, Balto lives on

Balto gives scientists insight into what makes Alaska sled dogs and other working breeds unique.

In October 2007, 1-year-old Anna Rozell admired a statue of Balto in Central Park of New York City. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
Blueberry flowers provide early-season food for bumblebees. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: Setting the seasonal clocks

Our spring is slow in coming.

Blueberry flowers provide early-season food for bumblebees. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
The tide was out at Eagle Beach with three snow geese feeding on seaweed. (Courtesy Photo / Kenneth Gill, gillfoto)

Wild Shots

Reader-submitted photos of Mother Nature in Southeast Alaska.

The tide was out at Eagle Beach with three snow geese feeding on seaweed. (Courtesy Photo / Kenneth Gill, gillfoto)
Kristen Rozell skis past grizzly bear tracks pressed into a snowmachine trail near Fairbanks on April 23, 2023. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: Bear tracks on snow a sign of the season

Melt season is a sad time for people who enjoy the magic of snow crystals bonding so well to one another, resulting in a web… Continue reading

Kristen Rozell skis past grizzly bear tracks pressed into a snowmachine trail near Fairbanks on April 23, 2023. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
This photo shows an Aleutian tern. Intentionally scheduled during the “slow season” to help boost the economy between the steelhead and sockeye runs, the Yakutat Tern Festival is a celebration of Yakutat’s natural and cultural resources, highlighted by the area’s Aleutian terns. The Yakutat Nature Society will host the 12th Annual Yakutat Tern Festival in Yakutat, from June 1 through June 4 — with a more robust schedule of events compared to recent years. (Courtesy Photo / Nate Catterson)

12th Annual Yakutat Tern Festival is not just for the birds

Southeast Alaska Birding Trail & Guide offers regenerative ways to see state, boost rural economies.

This photo shows an Aleutian tern. Intentionally scheduled during the “slow season” to help boost the economy between the steelhead and sockeye runs, the Yakutat Tern Festival is a celebration of Yakutat’s natural and cultural resources, highlighted by the area’s Aleutian terns. The Yakutat Nature Society will host the 12th Annual Yakutat Tern Festival in Yakutat, from June 1 through June 4 — with a more robust schedule of events compared to recent years. (Courtesy Photo / Nate Catterson)
The author's steelhead was not in the mood for pictures. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)

I Went to the Woods: One good fish

Often it’s the thinking that supplies the proper amount of weight and gratitude.

The author's steelhead was not in the mood for pictures. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
This December 2013 photo available under a Creative Commons license shows holly berries and leaves. A study of European holly in Spain showed that leaf browsing by mammals induces an increase of prickliness of the leaves. (Dendroica Cerulea / Flickr)

On the Trails: Inheritance of genetic and acquired traits

Fun with phenotype phenomenon.

This December 2013 photo available under a Creative Commons license shows holly berries and leaves. A study of European holly in Spain showed that leaf browsing by mammals induces an increase of prickliness of the leaves. (Dendroica Cerulea / Flickr)