Alaska Outdoors

I have flies with barbell eyes, jig heads, cone heads, bead heads and no heads. I have flies with stinger hooks that trail and long-shanked salmon hooks that don’t. I have red, pink, salmon, fuchsia, cerise, purple, orange, flesh, green, olive, chartreuse, white and black flies made of feathers, chenille, hackle, marabou, flashabou and silicone. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)

I Went to the Woods: One good fish

Three is the magic number.

I have flies with barbell eyes, jig heads, cone heads, bead heads and no heads. I have flies with stinger hooks that trail and long-shanked salmon hooks that don’t. I have red, pink, salmon, fuchsia, cerise, purple, orange, flesh, green, olive, chartreuse, white and black flies made of feathers, chenille, hackle, marabou, flashabou and silicone. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
A male western tanager’s red color comes by a different pathway than the yellow, although both are carotenoid pigments. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)

On the Trails: On tanagers and silverweed

We live near the northern limit of the western tanager range.

A male western tanager’s red color comes by a different pathway than the yellow, although both are carotenoid pigments. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)
ason Clark, at left, a postdoctoral researcher at UAF, and Nicholas Hasson, a UAF graduate student, examine a sinkhole known as a thermokarst in a Fairbanks homeowner’s backyard. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: The sinking feeling over much of Alaska

A ‘hole’ lot going on.

ason Clark, at left, a postdoctoral researcher at UAF, and Nicholas Hasson, a UAF graduate student, examine a sinkhole known as a thermokarst in a Fairbanks homeowner’s backyard. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
The antenna of an Argos satellite tag extends past the tail feathers of a female American robin as she feeds a worm to her hungry nestlings on a front porch in Cheverly, Md., Sunday, May 9, 2021. A new antenna on the International Space Station and receptors on the Argos satellite, combined with the shrinking size of tracking chips and batteries, are allowing scientists to remotely monitor small animal and songbird movements in much greater detail than ever before. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)

Scientists hail golden age to trace bird migration with tech

Robins fly more than 2,780 miles between their breeding area in Alaska and winter grounds in Texas.

The antenna of an Argos satellite tag extends past the tail feathers of a female American robin as she feeds a worm to her hungry nestlings on a front porch in Cheverly, Md., Sunday, May 9, 2021. A new antenna on the International Space Station and receptors on the Argos satellite, combined with the shrinking size of tracking chips and batteries, are allowing scientists to remotely monitor small animal and songbird movements in much greater detail than ever before. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster)
An Alaska Earthquake Center map of all the earthquakes that happened in the year 2020, including the epicenter of a magnitude 6.1 earthquake that happened May 30, 2021. (Courtesy Image / Ned Rozell)
An Alaska Earthquake Center map of all the earthquakes that happened in the year 2020, including the epicenter of a magnitude 6.1 earthquake that happened May 30, 2021. (Courtesy Image / Ned Rozell)
The author cooks steak over a beach fire over the Memorial Day weekend. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)

I Went to the Woods: Finding success on its terms

Any weekend adventure typically has a few objectives with varying levels of enthusiasm.

The author cooks steak over a beach fire over the Memorial Day weekend. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
An adult male American redstart is brightly attired with contrasting black and orange (Courtesy Photo /Mark Schwann)

On the Trails: Hither and yon in late May

Daily walks seldom lead to disappointment.

An adult male American redstart is brightly attired with contrasting black and orange (Courtesy Photo /Mark Schwann)
A northern waterthrush sings. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)

On the Trails: Larcenous lichens and some short stories

That’s not moss…

A northern waterthrush sings. (Courtesy Photo / Bob Armstrong)
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Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Reader-submitted photos of Southeast Alaska.

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Hikers traverse the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes on the Alaska Peninsula, walking on a sheet of ash and volcanic rock more than 500-feet thick. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: Bringing the world to a standstill

On a fine June day about 100 years ago, the world fell apart.

Hikers traverse the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes on the Alaska Peninsula, walking on a sheet of ash and volcanic rock more than 500-feet thick. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
Southeast Alaska is filled with forest service cabins that provide unique places to spend a weekend and connect with previous visitors. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)

I Went to the Woods: Popping the bubble

A good weekend off the grid will put your focus on the cluttered chaos of nature.

Southeast Alaska is filled with forest service cabins that provide unique places to spend a weekend and connect with previous visitors. (Jeff Lund / For the Juneau Empire)
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On the Trails: Seeing sea stars makes for intertidal fun

Intertidal fun

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This photo shows a wolf in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Park and Preserve(Courtesy Photo / Mathew Sorum)

Alaska Science Forum: Wolf-virus study shows the virtue of space

Scientists find wolves with adequate social distancing from humans tend to avoid nasty viruses.

This photo shows a wolf in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Park and Preserve(Courtesy Photo / Mathew Sorum)
The vivid colors of male bluebirds result from structural features in the feather barbs, and males with more vivid colors father more chicks, with their own mates or with other females. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)

On the Trails: Tree sparrows and bluebirds

By Mary F. Willson For the Juneau Empire In the early part of April, there were sometimes two dozen mallards on my mostly icy home… Continue reading

The vivid colors of male bluebirds result from structural features in the feather barbs, and males with more vivid colors father more chicks, with their own mates or with other females. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)
In Ferry, Alaska, a balsam poplar leaf emerges from a bud in May. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: Greenup unfolds, pollen soon to follow

The great, silent collective explosion of freed tree buds is coming.

In Ferry, Alaska, a balsam poplar leaf emerges from a bud in May. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)
Mary Beth Schoen admires a large-tree old-growth stand in Saook Bay on northeastern Baranof Island. Some individual trees were over six feet in diameter and many centuries old. This riparian area was adjacent to a salmon stream and was full of bear trails. Large-tree old growth stands are rare on the Tongass. (Courtesy Photo / John Schoen)

‘Tongass Odyssey’ explores decades of research, politics and change

“I wrote it because I feel it’s important to get this message out.”

Mary Beth Schoen admires a large-tree old-growth stand in Saook Bay on northeastern Baranof Island. Some individual trees were over six feet in diameter and many centuries old. This riparian area was adjacent to a salmon stream and was full of bear trails. Large-tree old growth stands are rare on the Tongass. (Courtesy Photo / John Schoen)
Good action spotted on a Grizzly Safaris trip. (Courtesy Photo / Grizzly Safaris)
Good action spotted on a Grizzly Safaris trip. (Courtesy Photo / Grizzly Safaris)
Gray-crowned rosy-finches visited our wetlands in April, on their way to alpine nesting areas. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)

On The Trails: Finding rosy-finches and some excitement

After a long lonely stroll, I finally spotted my birds

Gray-crowned rosy-finches visited our wetlands in April, on their way to alpine nesting areas. (Courtesy Photo / Kerry Howard)
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On The Trails: Spending sunny days at beaches and tide flats

Maybe it’s really spring!

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Wolf tracks on a winter trail not far from Fairbanks. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)

Alaska Science Forum: Spring arrives on final cabin trip

As we skied along a packed ribbon of snow, the wolf tracks were a surprise.

Wolf tracks on a winter trail not far from Fairbanks. (Courtesy Photo / Ned Rozell)