Alaska Outdoors

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Sustainable Alaska: Atmospheric rivers and the community

You are probably intimately familiar with atmospheric rivers.

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“Historically bad” conditions have postponed the season opening of Eaglecrest Ski Area, said a spokesperson for the facility. (Courtesy photo / Charlie Herrington)

Eaglecrest opening on hold till weather chills out

Historically bad weather has postponed the opening until the temperature drops.

“Historically bad” conditions have postponed the season opening of Eaglecrest Ski Area, said a spokesperson for the facility. (Courtesy photo / Charlie Herrington)
The author never saw the buck he captured on his game camera. In fact, he didn’t see many bucks at all after the first weekend of November. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)

I Went To The Woods: Is ‘my way’ overrated

It seems that plans unravel more than they unfold.

The author never saw the buck he captured on his game camera. In fact, he didn’t see many bucks at all after the first weekend of November. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
This glaucous-winged gull is trying to cope with a sea star that seems too big, but you never know. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
This glaucous-winged gull is trying to cope with a sea star that seems too big, but you never know. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
Akasofu at his office in the building on the UAF campus named after him. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
Akasofu at his office in the building on the UAF campus named after him. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
To capture the unexpected action- the unrepeatable moment- it should be instinctive.  In order to build the story you have to shoot the adjective.  In this photo the bald eagle had waited patiently for the right moment to pounce on an unsuspecting vole… the unexpected.  The best way to accomplish this is to master the art of the most difficult subject to photograph– birds in flight.  In order to do this you must learn your gear; it must become part of your muscle memory so you can concentrate on the story you are witnessing.  Canon 5D Mark III, Tamron 150-600mm, shot at 600mm, ISO AUTO (1250), F6.3, 1/3200, Handheld. (Courtesy Photo / Heather Holt)
To capture the unexpected action- the unrepeatable moment- it should be instinctive.  In order to build the story you have to shoot the adjective.  In this photo the bald eagle had waited patiently for the right moment to pounce on an unsuspecting vole… the unexpected.  The best way to accomplish this is to master the art of the most difficult subject to photograph– birds in flight.  In order to do this you must learn your gear; it must become part of your muscle memory so you can concentrate on the story you are witnessing.  Canon 5D Mark III, Tamron 150-600mm, shot at 600mm, ISO AUTO (1250), F6.3, 1/3200, Handheld. (Courtesy Photo / Heather Holt)
Clark’s nutcracker reportedly can carry a hundred or more pine seeds in their gular pouches, to be cached for future lunches. (Courtesy Photo / Claudie McMichael, Pixy)

On the Trails: There are many ways to carry a lunch

By Mary F. Willson For the Juneau Empire A human day-hiker usually carries a lunch in a backpack and may require a canine companion to… Continue reading

Clark’s nutcracker reportedly can carry a hundred or more pine seeds in their gular pouches, to be cached for future lunches. (Courtesy Photo / Claudie McMichael, Pixy)
Sherry Simpson and a BMW she loved to drive in New Mexico, where she moved after leaving Alaska. (Courtesy Photo / Scott Kiefer)

Alaska Science Forum: Remembering a gift of observation

Consider this, a closing tribute to a modest superstar.

Sherry Simpson and a BMW she loved to drive in New Mexico, where she moved after leaving Alaska. (Courtesy Photo / Scott Kiefer)
Yearling brown bear cubs near the Russian River Ferry. (Photo by Matt Conner/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Judge delivers victory for opponents of brown bear trapping in refuge

U.S. District Judge Sharon L. Gleason ruled against proposed changes to the refuge’s public use regulations

Yearling brown bear cubs near the Russian River Ferry. (Photo by Matt Conner/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Chris Miller photographing the troll fishery in Southeast Alaska. (Courtesy Photo / Chris Miller)

Pride of Bristol Bay: True stories from a fishing photographer

The lens doesn’t like. Fishermen on the otherhand…

Chris Miller photographing the troll fishery in Southeast Alaska. (Courtesy Photo / Chris Miller)
The author’s consolation prize for a buck-less November so far has been a single shed. (Jeff Lund / For Juneau Empire)

I Went To The Woods: Sometimes you have to move on to Plan J

I’ve been on Plan C and D before. But last weekend seemed much further down the alphabet…

The author’s consolation prize for a buck-less November so far has been a single shed. (Jeff Lund / For Juneau Empire)
A great blue heron is about to swallow an adult Dolly Varden. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: A look at 3 different shoreline fishers

By Mary F. Willson I watched a great blue heron glide down to the shore of a pond and slowly walk along the shore in… Continue reading

A great blue heron is about to swallow an adult Dolly Varden. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
Steffi O’Daly looks at sea water samples from Bering Strait aboard the UAF research ship Sikuliaq. (Courtesy Photo / Andrew McDonnell)

Alaska Science Forum: Some good news from the thin ice

A group of researchers have found a sliver of good news in the disappearing sea ice.

Steffi O’Daly looks at sea water samples from Bering Strait aboard the UAF research ship Sikuliaq. (Courtesy Photo / Andrew McDonnell)
s the bird sitting, is the background busy? A bird in flight, landing, feeding or two eagles fighting one another spins an interesting tale and can be a compelling story.  This photo was shot at DIPAC in July 2020 with a Canon 5D Mark III, Tamron 70-200, 1/1600 sec at f2.8, ISO 100. (Courtesy Photo / Heather Holt)

Focal Point: What is the story? A photographer’s journey

“I tossed the checklist and began focusing on finding the unexpected in my photos.”

s the bird sitting, is the background busy? A bird in flight, landing, feeding or two eagles fighting one another spins an interesting tale and can be a compelling story.  This photo was shot at DIPAC in July 2020 with a Canon 5D Mark III, Tamron 70-200, 1/1600 sec at f2.8, ISO 100. (Courtesy Photo / Heather Holt)
Ravens, crows and jays have the anatomical equipment for singing but they don’t use song to defend territories or attract males, as other songbirds do. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

On the Trails: Why don’t some songbirds sing?

These songbirds have no dawn choruses.

Ravens, crows and jays have the anatomical equipment for singing but they don’t use song to defend territories or attract males, as other songbirds do. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Glaciologist Will Harrison stands on Black Rapids Glacier. (Courtesy Photo / Martin Truffer)

Alaska Science Forum: Goodbye to a raffish glacier scientist

He knew the world’s bumpy plains of ice as well as his old neighborhood.

Glaciologist Will Harrison stands on Black Rapids Glacier. (Courtesy Photo / Martin Truffer)
Science

Sustainable Alaska: Supporting the next generation of scientists is part of a sustainable Alaska

“As the workforce in Alaska grays, we need new energy and perspectives to keep our state vibrant. “

Science
The author was in the right place, but at the wrong time. This typifies his rut hunting program. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
The author was in the right place, but at the wrong time. This typifies his rut hunting program. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
In our area, beach pea and lupines, such as the ones shown in this photo, have Rhizobia nodules. These nodules are induced by the bacteria in response to chemical triggers from the plant. These bacteria can only fix nitrogen when with a suitable host. (Pixabay / Markéta Machová)

On the Trails: Digging into the underground ecosystem

It’s an ecosystem that’s not as well-studied as some others but surely has many interesting stories.

In our area, beach pea and lupines, such as the ones shown in this photo, have Rhizobia nodules. These nodules are induced by the bacteria in response to chemical triggers from the plant. These bacteria can only fix nitrogen when with a suitable host. (Pixabay / Markéta Machová)
A view of the auroras from our most recent geomagnetic storm, shot from North Douglas on Friday, Oct. 23. (Courtesy Photo / Eric Bleicher)

Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Reader-submitted photos of Southeast Alaska.

A view of the auroras from our most recent geomagnetic storm, shot from North Douglas on Friday, Oct. 23. (Courtesy Photo / Eric Bleicher)