Alaska Outdoors

A raven scans the horizon. Ravens are one of several animals known to gather together when resting at night. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)

Raven roosts shrouded in mystery

As the sun set and the sky dimmed, the birds kept coming.

A raven scans the horizon. Ravens are one of several animals known to gather together when resting at night. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
Not all steelhead are photogenic. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
Not all steelhead are photogenic. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
An otter sleeps on the ice near an open channel (Courtesy Photo / Jos Bakker)

On the Trails: Spring comes slowly

As I await more and bigger signs of spring, there have been good things to see along the trails.

An otter sleeps on the ice near an open channel (Courtesy Photo / Jos Bakker)
A bumblebee had pried open a lupine flower (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)

On the Trails: Social bees and social learning

Dancing, dialects and more.

A bumblebee had pried open a lupine flower (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)
HP Marshall of Boise State University takes a photo of Alaska’s North Slope north of the Brooks Range during a snow survey as part of a NASA experiment. (Courtesy Photo / Sveta Stuefer)

Alaska Science Forum: Dozens descend upon Alaska to measure snow

“We would like to be able to map the water-equivalent (in snow) globally.”

HP Marshall of Boise State University takes a photo of Alaska’s North Slope north of the Brooks Range during a snow survey as part of a NASA experiment. (Courtesy Photo / Sveta Stuefer)
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I Went to the Woods: Booking a bargain

The cheapest hotel in the line was on the end next to a bus stop with an advertisement proclaiming that syphilis was making a comeback… Continue reading

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Female mosquitoes have complex mouthparts, with toothy maxillae that saw a hole in the host, an injection tube for saliva, and another tube for sucking up blood. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: Blood-eaters of the animal kingdom

Eating liquid blood is a moderately popular way of life in the animal kingdom.

Female mosquitoes have complex mouthparts, with toothy maxillae that saw a hole in the host, an injection tube for saliva, and another tube for sucking up blood. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
The sun sets over the Pacific Ocean on the west coast of Costa Rica in Central America. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: Stranger in a rich land of winter life

Things an Alaskan notices while standing on a road in Costa Rica…

The sun sets over the Pacific Ocean on the west coast of Costa Rica in Central America. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
The earliest willows to show signs of life are feltleaf willows, this one with large buds. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)

On the Trails: Weather and wildlife in early March

As we approach the vernal equinox, day-length is rapidly increasing and organisms are noticing.

The earliest willows to show signs of life are feltleaf willows, this one with large buds. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)
Doug Sanvik rips down a hill on a luge at Eaglecrest Ski Area Saturday morning. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Doug Sanvik rips down a hill on a luge at Eaglecrest Ski Area Saturday morning. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)
Being honest and telling a real story is much more appealing than a sponsor-laden, narcissistic production, but follow the author's advice about good filmmaking at your own peril. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)

I Went to the Woods: Keys behind story time

A good visual product is about good storytelling

Being honest and telling a real story is much more appealing than a sponsor-laden, narcissistic production, but follow the author's advice about good filmmaking at your own peril. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
Five Bohemian waxwings rest on a snowy branch between bouts of feeding. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)

On the Trails: Variable sightings and weather in winter

Winter is an odd time of year here.

Five Bohemian waxwings rest on a snowy branch between bouts of feeding. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)
Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell 
A tiny bird tooth — 73 million years old — found in bluffs of the Colville River. Lauren Keller carried this sample to her presentation at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Alaska Science Forum: Birds in Alaska, 70 million years ago

They’re no spring chickens.

Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell 
A tiny bird tooth — 73 million years old — found in bluffs of the Colville River. Lauren Keller carried this sample to her presentation at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Killdeer can be seen in winter and nest here in spring. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: Breaking out the snowshoes

Surprise! A starlit night, a nice day, lower temperatures, and then some lovely snow.

Killdeer can be seen in winter and nest here in spring. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
This photo shows Point Louisa at Auke Recreational Area. (Courtesy Photo / Kenneth Gill, gillfoto)

Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Superb reader-submitted photos of wildlife, scenery and/or plant life.

This photo shows Point Louisa at Auke Recreational Area. (Courtesy Photo / Kenneth Gill, gillfoto)
Ravens like this one inspire people to respond to their calls, and sometimes to pick up a pencil. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: Butterflies and ravens as poetic inspiration

Both poets and scientists are deep observers who interpret the world in different ways.

Ravens like this one inspire people to respond to their calls, and sometimes to pick up a pencil. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
The red flowers of the native columbine are caused by anthocyanins. (Courtesy Photo / Deana Barajas)

On the Trails: The many roads to red

Red and reddish colors can be produced in many ways, by a variety of pigment molecules.

The red flowers of the native columbine are caused by anthocyanins. (Courtesy Photo / Deana Barajas)
A raven vocalizes on the west side of Fairbanks in April 2021. (Courtesy Photo / Hannah Foss)

Alaska Science Forum: Making sense of raven talk

Do we really want to know what ravens are saying about us?

A raven vocalizes on the west side of Fairbanks in April 2021. (Courtesy Photo / Hannah Foss)
Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File 
A porcupine dines in mid-August near the Mendnehall Glacier.

On the Trails: Putting a finer point on porcupines

Plants such as roses and devil’s club aren’t the only prickly ones…

Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File 
A porcupine dines in mid-August near the Mendnehall Glacier.
A Compton tortoiseshell butterfly pauses between flights in Two Rivers resident Rod Boyce’s garage in January 2023. Photo by Rod Boyce.
A Compton tortoiseshell butterfly pauses between flights in Two Rivers resident Rod Boyce’s garage in January 2023. Photo by Rod Boyce.