A chronicle of my observations as I learn about the Natural History of the area around Sitka, Alaska.

32 Responses to About

  1. Love the web site! Just found you and enjoyed checking it out – love the pics.
    I take pics of things in interior Alaska for my webpages, mostly. I’ve been in
    Fairbanks for almost 29 years! I love it! I would say I am a naturalist at heart.
    My Bachelor’s Degree is in Biology. I love the nature here. Well enough, just
    wanted to say hello and thanks for the great observations and pictures!
    Barbara Logan

  2. Kay Simmons says:

    I have been visiting your site for a long time, it is one of my favorites!
    I have a partial photo of a bird I took on Feb 11 08 on the UAS ramp and would like to know
    if you can identify it for me.

    Thanks, hope to hear from you soon.

    Kay Simmons

  3. Alyssa Johnson says:

    Is this blog still monitored? I am very interested in learning more about what you refer to as “hot foot trails”…


  4. matt goff says:

    Yes, it’s still active – just haven’t posted much over the past few months. I don’t know a great deal about the hot foot trails, but perhaps I can put something together at some point.

  5. Bianca L Jurczak says:

    Hey Matt I stumbled across your 3 pics of the sharp shinned hawk you took while researching the bird for the SE Hummingbird Festival. I would like your permission to draw a pen & ink line drawing from one of the three and submit it for the juried art show here in Ketchikan. If you don’t mind then I’d also like to include a copy of the picture and give you and the site credit while it is on display thru May. I only have a week to the deadline so I may not even be able to finish in time as I have a 2 year old son, newborn twins and work 50+ hrs a week, so a quick response is necessary. Thanks for time, Bianca

  6. Deb Blaylock says:

    Hi Matt
    I would like to get permission to use one of your Plantago maritima photos in an UAF Cooperative Extension Publication which we’re updating. Can you contact me via email? Thank you

  7. Meadow Scott says:

    Hi Matt, just found your site while I was looking for a photo of wild cucumber’s spring shoots. All the other photos online are of the more mature plant, and I was so excited to find your photo of the choice eating stage! It’s one of my top favorites. Just tried it this spring roasted in the oven with olive oil, like people do with asparagus. Yum!
    I’m from Cordova, we have many or most of the same plants here as you have in Sitka. I am going to be doing a (free) talk about our local wild edibles, and would love to use a few of you photos…. Please email me if that would be alright.
    I see I’m not the only person who has asked! It’s just not that easy to find good photos of wild Alaska plants! I myself am an avid collector, but not a photographer at all. Thank you for your beautiful work!

  8. Rab Cummings says:

    Thanks for all your hard work on the SE AK Nature Wiki. It has been a very
    helpful resource.

    My question: In your SE Alaska Bird http://wiki.seaknature.org/Birds list
    could you please clarify the “+” and “-” codes?

    *+ = One or more records???*
    *- = Possible but unrecorded??*

    We are having much debate here as we prepare for a trip. We’d love to know for sure. Many thanks!

  9. matt goff says:

    Thanks Rab – the “+” means accidental, so at least one record, but not more than a handful. The “-” means that the species has not been recorded (in that season).

    I hope you have a good trip!

  10. Rab Cummings says:

    Got it. Many thanks and keep up the great work!

  11. Robert Crawford says:

    I would like to use your photo of Pinguicula villas. I wold be glad to have your e-mail address so that I can explain where and how I would like to use this image

  12. Andro Truuverk says:

    Hi! From one of the earlier post (from 2014 maybe) I saw a picture of White-lined looper Epirrita pulchraria. Do you know when was it taken (late autumn?)?

  13. matt goff says:

    Hello Andro –
    My pictures of White-lined Looper (Epirrita pulchraria) are from late March to mid-April, so early-ish spring around here.

  14. Riley Woodford says:

    Hi Matt –
    This is Riley Woodford with Fish and game. I’m writing about collared doves in Alaska and trying to get a sense for how widespread they are and how well established. I’ve heard reports of them in the Mendenhall Valley but I have not seen any in downtown Juneau. What is your sense? Have you seen them around Sitka? I see one was photographed last year in Anchorage, and there is a KCAW piece on the website from 2013 saying there were about 30 in Sitka (at that time). Any sense if they’ve increased?

    Best regards,


  15. matt goff says:

    Hello Riley –

    I’ll send you an email separately, but the short answer is yes, there are quite a few Eurasian Collared-Doves in Sitka, and while it’s difficult to be sure, I suspect there are currently more than the 30 mentioned in the KCAW piece (though I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more at the time, as well).


  16. Kathleen says:

    I’d like to use images from your site to help botanists in my area (around the Columbia River entrance to the Pacific) find what are for us rare northern species. What is your policy on sharing photos for educational purposes?

  17. matt goff says:

    Hello Kathleen –

    Sorry about the long delay in getting back to you. I had family visiting over Christmas, got way behind in some things, and am just catching up now.

    It kind of depends on how you’re using the photos (and how many of them). If you let me know more specifically, I can say more.

    Generally, if you’re producing a booklet or something like that, it’s always nice to get a copy. I also appreciate it if you attribute me and provide a link back to my website.


  18. Neil McDermott says:

    Hi Matt,
    I am searching for a naturalist to work on our company’s expeditions. I am wondering if you have any leads or suggestions for us.
    Thanks much!
    PS I love your site!!! Kudos.

  19. matt goff says:

    Thanks Neil! I appreciate the kind words. I’ll email you separately about your search for a naturalist.

  20. Tania White says:

    Hi, do you or anybody else offer guided tours in Sitka? We will be visiting as part of a cruise on August 1st. Many thanks, Tania

  21. matt goff says:

    Hello Tania –

    There are a number of folks offering guided tours of Sitka. How long will your stop in town be?

    Depending on the cruise company, I know there are some tours that the cruise companies promote, and several more that you could make arrangements with independently (both on land, and on the water).

    What sort of things are you most interested in? History (Tlingit and/or Russian-American), Natural History (on water or land?)

    I hope you have a good visit!

  22. Tania White says:

    Hello, sorry it has taken so long to get back to you! We will only be in Sitka for one day (August 1st) but we arrive early and leave mid-afternoon. My dad would be looking for a birding guide but on land rather than water. Many thanks!

  23. Carl Elliott says:

    Dear Matt –
    I am drafting a blog post on our restoration nursery program at the Sustainability in Prisons Project (http://sustainabilityinprisons.org/). It is about early pollinators and their use of Arctostaphylos uva-ursi. I would like to use your image of Bombus melanopygus from your web site.
    We will credit you and link to your excellent site..
    Thank you for your consideration.

  24. matt goff says:

    Hello Tania – Sounds like a fun trip. I don’t think there is anyone in town who does birding tours for hire at this point, but I’ll respond further via email.

  25. matt goff says:

    Hello Carl –

    It looks like a great project – you can use the photo as you’ve described. Thanks for asking!

  26. Tania White says:

    Hi Matt, I don’t think I ever received an email. It would be great to have some more info if you can! Much appreciated, Tania

  27. Bridget Grim says:

    Hi Matt, I’m an undergrad ethnobotany student. I’m wondering if you might allow me permission to use one of your photos of the Swainson’s Thrush eating Red elderberries? I would like to use it for a class presentation I’m working on and will only share it with my classmates and professor. Beautiful photos!
    Thank you for your consideration,

  28. matt goff says:

    Hello Bridget –

    Thanks for asking – it would be fine for you to use the photo in your presentation.



  29. Anonymous says:

    Greetings Matt –

    The green water in Sitka sound would make an interesting discussion topic on your radio show. I was looking at zoomearth.com. The satellite images shows the color change between 9/14 and 9/20. The most dramatic change is in Nakwasina Sound.



  30. matt goff says:

    Thanks for the suggestion Brent – I’ve reached out to someone to be a guest and hopefully will have a conversation that includes the topic of our green water in a couple of weeks. Thanks also for the tip about zoom.earth – I wasn’t aware of it before, and it looks pretty interesting!

  31. Bob Moyer says:

    Matt, Bob Moyer here from New Jersey. Do you know of anyone knowledgeable enough about sphagnum to send me a couple shoots of Sphagnum austinii in an envelope? We have a record of it here in NJ from 100 years ago, but no sightings since then. I need an example of what I’m looking for.

  32. matt goff says:

    Hello Bob – I should be able to find some Sphagnum austinii and get it confirmed (it’s pretty common here). If you email me at sitkanature@gmail.com, that’s probably the best way to coordinate. Thanks

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