Sitka Nature Show #178 – Cathy Connor (encore)

Download Radio Show

The February 17th show featured a conversation with geologist Cathy Connor. Originally recorded in April 2015, during this conversation we discussed the Starrigavan landside which had happened the previous fall and the geology of Southeast Alaska.

If you have questions or observations you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment here or on the page I’ve set up for that purpose.

Posted in Radio Show | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sitka Nature Show #177 – Zach LaPerriere

Download Radio Show

The February 3rd show featured a conversation with Zach LaPerriere, local bowl maker. Among the topics we talked about were two bowls that he had brought in to show me, which you can see below.


Bowl made from European Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia) which had healed over sapsucker wells.


Hemlock bowl carved from wood which had grown under the influence of the parasitic dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium tsugense)


Hemlock bowl carved from wood which had grown under the influence of the parasitic dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium tsugense)


Section of hemlock chopped out of a round where there had been significant fluting.

If you have questions or observations you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment here or on the page I’ve set up for that purpose.

Posted in Radio Show | Tagged | Leave a comment

Morning Moon

Last night was one of those where I laid there with my mind working on a problem it apparently decided needed to be solved. This doesn’t happen very often for me, but it seems like when it does, interesting ideas come up.

I don’t think I fell asleep until after 1am, and I was awake again before 7am. Often when this sort of thing happens, I don’t feel especially tired, despite the lack of sleep, so I got up earlier than has been typical for me of late, and was treated to the site of the moon just past the third quarter.

Well above a bank of clouds the south, the moon looked stunning against the deep navy of the pre-dawn sky which was starting to get lighter, though it was still an hour until sunrise.

It might be possible to capture detail in the moon along with the rich color of the transitioning sky, but that was beyond me today. I was happy to get some nice detail in a telephoto shot (I enjoy seeing the crater rims illuminated on the shadowed side of the moon), but the background went to black.

The wider shot I took in an attempt to show the broader context looked dark (compared to what my eyes saw), and the moon was blown out from over exposure. Though I still kept one of my attempts to remind me of the view.

Posted in photojournal | Leave a comment

Sitka Nature Show #176 – Andy Szabo

Download Radio Show

The January 20th show featured a conversation with Andy Szabo, of the Alaska Whale Foundation. Andy was in town doing some survey work utilizing drones with high resolution cameras and sensitive laser altimeters which they can use to estimate body size/condition of the whales. We spoke about the use of drones as a new tool for tracking individual behavior and changes in physical condition. We also discussed the status of Humpback Whales in Southeast Alaska and on going work to monitor and document populations, individuals and their behaviors.

If you have questions or observations you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment here or on the page I’ve set up for that purpose.

Posted in Radio Show | Tagged | Leave a comment

Downtown Morning Light

Yesterday was quite gray, and I did not take any photos, though with a forecast for some clearing skies, I did decide go to Pioneer Park and collect a couple of the caddisflies that are in the high intertidal seep pools there.

I was not really surprised they were there, but it’s still interesting to me they can survive immersion in salt water and hold on during the wave action that is often present during the fall and winter high tide series. I’ll probably write a little more about them in a stand alone post.

This morning I had breakfast downtown and enjoyed the nice light on the mountains while walking home around an hour after sunrise.

Posted in photojournal | Leave a comment

Northern Pygmy-Owl

Today was heavy overcast with periodic rain, though never too hard. Winds where I was seemed to be light. There was quite a bit of fog hanging over Swan Lake – I’m assuming due to cooling of the saturated air by the ice that remains on the lake.

Kitty needed to collect some mosses, lichens, and ferns for her students to use in lab during the upcoming semester, so I tagged along on the gathering trip.

While we were in the neighborhood of Indian River, I wanted to check out the river flow near the trailhead. My dad had told me that what used to be the main channel was now gravel bars, and the bulk of the water was flowing next to the forest near the trail, while there was another channel on the far side, as well.

Despite knowing what to expect, it was still a little surprising to see the former channel without any water – it’s clear that over the years the river has moved around quite a bit in this area, but for as long as I can remember visiting, the main channel was more or less in the same area with some minor shifting going on, but I don’t think it had ever completely jumped channel so significantly in the past 20+ years.

With conditions not that great, I decided not to take any pictures on this trip, but will probably try to get back there before too long to document it.

On the way in from Starrigavan, Kitty spotted a Northern Pygmy-Owl in the top of a spruce tree at the side of the road. She pulled over and I was able to take a few pictures of it.

Posted in daily, photojournal | Leave a comment