Alaska Outdoors

Arctic squirrels, ants and aspens: Nature abounds at excursion to Kluane Park

Past an intensive construction zone, where the Chilkat River had begun to threaten the highway, up over the Three Guardsmen pass, there it begins —… Continue reading

A yearling bear in Juneau in late June 2018. (Courtesy Photo | Jennelle Jenniges via Alaska Department of Fish and Game)

Yearlings must learn how to survive, even if it’s heart-breaking to watch

It’s normal for mother black bears to “kick their cubs loose” in June.

A yearling bear in Juneau in late June 2018. (Courtesy Photo | Jennelle Jenniges via Alaska Department of Fish and Game)
A handful of rock flour, or glacial flour, scooped up at Mendenhall Lake on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Curious by Nature: What is glacial flour?

The short answer is that it’s ground up rock. And no, you can’t cook with it (it’s ground up rock).

A handful of rock flour, or glacial flour, scooped up at Mendenhall Lake on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Naval M.D. Mark Lund (the author’s brother) with his first king salmon in almost a decade.

Seasonal overload

I’ve never been in one of those phone booths with the $100 bills flying around, but summer time in Alaska feels a lot like it sometimes.

Naval M.D. Mark Lund (the author’s brother) with his first king salmon in almost a decade.
A view of Cropley Lake, from one of the streams feeding into it, on Sunday, June 24, 2018. (Gabe Donohoe | For the Juneau Empire)

Photos: Hiking to Cropley Lake

This past weekend, my friend Zach Gianotti was back in town for a summer visit, which means I had new company for this week’s adventure.… Continue reading

A view of Cropley Lake, from one of the streams feeding into it, on Sunday, June 24, 2018. (Gabe Donohoe | For the Juneau Empire)

Curious by Nature: What is glacial flour?

Empire reader Mackey Migel wrote a few weeks ago with a simple question: What is glacial flour? The short answer is that it’s ground up… Continue reading

Seasonal overload

I’ve never been in one of those phone booths with the $100 bills flying around, but summer time in Alaska feels a lot like it… Continue reading

A char moves into Sam Creek along with hundreds of sockeye salmon. The char is skinny now, but will get fat gorging on salmon eggs. (Courtesy Photo | Jonny Armstrong)

The impossible journey of the juvenile coho

Turns out finance and salmon survival have something in common: the importance of diversification.

A char moves into Sam Creek along with hundreds of sockeye salmon. The char is skinny now, but will get fat gorging on salmon eggs. (Courtesy Photo | Jonny Armstrong)
A starfish on a recent low tide. (Kerry Howard | Courtesy Photo)

Low-tide explorations

June brought some good low tides, lower than minus four feet.

A starfish on a recent low tide. (Kerry Howard | Courtesy Photo)
Frozen ground underlying the North Slope of Alaska is warming; much of it may thaw by the end of the century. (Photo by Ned Rozell)

Warming in the north continues as predicted

Just outside my window here at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, workers are drilling into the asphalt of a parking lot using a truck-mounted rig.… Continue reading

Frozen ground underlying the North Slope of Alaska is warming; much of it may thaw by the end of the century. (Photo by Ned Rozell)

The impossible journey of the juvenile coho

Turns out finance and salmon survival have something in common: the importance of diversification. As a Ph.D. student with the University of Washington’s Alaska Salmon… Continue reading

Low-tide explorations

June brought some good low tides, lower than minus four feet, so out we went to look at the rocky intertidal zone. This is always… Continue reading

Warming in the north continues as predicted

Just outside my window here at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, workers are drilling into the asphalt of a parking lot using a truck-mounted rig.… Continue reading

Three intrepid adventurers exploring an ice cave on Mendenhall Glacier in 2012.

The 2018 guide to lesser known tours

Dear Intrepid Visitors and Curious-Minded Locals, After years of researching Southeast Alaska’s tourism industry, it’s my great pleasure to release the 2018 Guide to Lesser… Continue reading

Three intrepid adventurers exploring an ice cave on Mendenhall Glacier in 2012.

The 2018 guide to lesser known tours

Dear Intrepid Visitors and Curious-Minded Locals, After years of researching Southeast Alaska’s tourism industry, it’s my great pleasure to release the 2018 Guide to Lesser… Continue reading

Shallow water rushes by as we cross the creek. (Photo by Gabe Donohoe)

Fish Creek wading

I have a memory of shallow water rushing over my feet.

Shallow water rushes by as we cross the creek. (Photo by Gabe Donohoe)
A bear on Admiralty Island sizes up the author last year. (Photo by Bjorn Dihle)

Reflections of a Predator

The bears in my head are much scarier.

A bear on Admiralty Island sizes up the author last year. (Photo by Bjorn Dihle)
A female Swainson’s thrush carries nesting material. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)

Hiking Sheep Creek Valley

The valley is rich in nesting, singing songbirds.

A female Swainson’s thrush carries nesting material. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
Photo by Jos Bakker

Are dandelions taking over the country?

Their cheery, bright yellow flower heads adorn the roadsides in late spring, before the compulsive mowing machines decapitate them. Foraging deer, bears, and human herbivores… Continue reading

Photo by Jos Bakker

Reflections of a Predator

The morning before I began a trek across Chichagof Island, I was so nervy I vomited. I came up with rational reasons to stay home… Continue reading