Sitka Nature https://www.sitkanature.org On a Lifelong Journey to Learn my Place Mon, 10 Jun 2024 00:30:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.5.4 https://i0.wp.com/www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/cropped-raven_trees_watermark_8.png?fit=32%2C32&ssl=1 Sitka Nature https://www.sitkanature.org 32 32 20990835 Sitka Nature Show #316 – Eric Matthes https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/06/02/sitka-nature-show-316-eric-matthes/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/06/02/sitka-nature-show-316-eric-matthes/#respond Sun, 02 Jun 2024 23:00:33 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=66095 The June 2nd show featured a conversation with Eric Matthes. We spoke about his experience developing the Ḵaasda Héen Monitoring Project. This project grew out of experience trail running along Indian River trail during the heavy rain that led to the August 2015 landslides in Sitka.

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The June 2nd show featured a conversation with Eric Matthes. We spoke about his experience developing the Ḵaasda Héen Monitoring Project. This project grew out of experience trail running along Indian River trail during the heavy rain that led to the August 2015 landslides in Sitka.

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #315 – Greg Jensen https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/05/19/sitka-nature-show-315-greg-jensen/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/05/19/sitka-nature-show-315-greg-jensen/#respond Sun, 19 May 2024 23:00:19 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=65981 Download Radio Show The May 19th show featured a conversation with marine biologist Greg Jensen. He was in Sitka as part of the Scientists in the Schools program through the Sitka Sound Science Center. Among the activities he participated in, was sea week at the elementary school (which has been going since at least the ... Read more

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The May 19th show featured a conversation with marine biologist Greg Jensen. He was in Sitka as part of the Scientists in the Schools program through the Sitka Sound Science Center. Among the activities he participated in, was sea week at the elementary school (which has been going since at least the time I was in elementary school 40+ years ago). This lead to conversation about getting out to the beaches as children, how this ignited his passion for observing and documenting marine life, and some of what he’s learned over several decades spent exploring the waters of Puget Sound and beyond.

You can find Greg’s field guides at Molamarine.com.

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #314 – Liah McPherson and Andy Szabo https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/05/05/sitka-nature-show-314-liah-mcpherson-and-andy-szabo/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/05/05/sitka-nature-show-314-liah-mcpherson-and-andy-szabo/#respond Sun, 05 May 2024 23:00:43 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=65941 Download Radio Show The May 5th show featured a conversation with Liah McPherson and Andy Szabo. They have been in Sitka this spring spending time on Sitka sound surveying and documenting Humpback Whales and Gray Whales. We spoke about their work here, and how it fits within a broader studying using drones and camera technology ... Read more

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The May 5th show featured a conversation with Liah McPherson and Andy Szabo. They have been in Sitka this spring spending time on Sitka sound surveying and documenting Humpback Whales and Gray Whales. We spoke about their work here, and how it fits within a broader studying using drones and camera technology to measure body size and condition of individual whales. They are able to track how individual whales gain and lose mass throughout their seasonal feeding, breeding, and migration cycles.

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #313 – Richard Nelson (encore) https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/04/21/sitka-nature-show-313-richard-nelson-encore/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/04/21/sitka-nature-show-313-richard-nelson-encore/#respond Sun, 21 Apr 2024 23:00:41 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=65940 Download Radio Show The April 21st show featured a conversation with Richard Nelson. Originally recorded and aired in spring 2017, we shared recordings and discussed some of mysterious calls and songs that birds make. If you have questions or observations you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment here or on the ... Read more

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The April 21st show featured a conversation with Richard Nelson. Originally recorded and aired in spring 2017, we shared recordings and discussed some of mysterious calls and songs that birds make.

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #312 – Laura Kaltenstein (encore) https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/04/07/sitka-nature-show-312-laura-kaltenstein-encore/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/04/07/sitka-nature-show-312-laura-kaltenstein-encore/#respond Sun, 07 Apr 2024 23:00:04 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=65741 Download Radio Show The April 7th show featured a conversation with Laura Kaltenstein, which was originally recorded an aired in late April 2023. We spoke about where birds nest around Sitka, some of the nests we’ve noticed over the years, and how we found them. If you have questions or observations you want to share, ... Read more

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The April 7th show featured a conversation with Laura Kaltenstein, which was originally recorded an aired in late April 2023. We spoke about where birds nest around Sitka, some of the nests we’ve noticed over the years, and how we found them.

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #311 – Lauren Bell https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/03/24/sitka-nature-show-311-lauren-bell/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/03/24/sitka-nature-show-311-lauren-bell/#respond Sun, 24 Mar 2024 23:00:03 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=65740 Download Radio Show The March 24th show featured a conversation with Lauren Bell, research director at the Sitka Sound Science Center. We spoke about her transition from graduate student to her current role, goals and challenges of working on research which is motivated and connected to the communities where it occurs, and some of the ... Read more

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The March 24th show featured a conversation with Lauren Bell, research director at the Sitka Sound Science Center. We spoke about her transition from graduate student to her current role, goals and challenges of working on research which is motivated and connected to the communities where it occurs, and some of the projects the Sitka Sound Science Center is actively working on around the region.

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #310 – Jon Shaw (encore) https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/03/10/sitka-nature-show-310-jon-shaw-encore/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/03/10/sitka-nature-show-310-jon-shaw-encore/#respond Sun, 10 Mar 2024 23:00:00 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=65739 Download Radio Show The March 10th show featured a conversation with Jon Shaw, a bryologist at Duke University whose research is currently focused on Sphagnum (peat mosses). This conversation was originally recorded and aired in the summer of 2018 when he was making a short visit to Sitka. We spoke about what makes Sphagnum mosses ... Read more

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The March 10th show featured a conversation with Jon Shaw, a bryologist at Duke University whose research is currently focused on Sphagnum (peat mosses). This conversation was originally recorded and aired in the summer of 2018 when he was making a short visit to Sitka. We spoke about what makes Sphagnum mosses unique, and the role they play in carbon cycling. Jon also shared about some of the work being done to try and understand what might happen with Sphagnum as the climate shifts.

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #309 – Adam Haberski https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/02/25/sitka-nature-show-309-adam-haberski/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/02/25/sitka-nature-show-309-adam-haberski/#respond Mon, 26 Feb 2024 00:00:58 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=65738 Download Radio Show The February 25th show featured a conversation with Adam Haberski, who has been studying a group of rove beetles present on sky islands in the southern Appalachian Mountains. We spoke about rove beetles (Staphylinidae), how what he’s learned about the evolution of the group he has studied might inform similar studies on ... Read more

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The February 25th show featured a conversation with Adam Haberski, who has been studying a group of rove beetles present on sky islands in the southern Appalachian Mountains. We spoke about rove beetles (Staphylinidae), how what he’s learned about the evolution of the group he has studied might inform similar studies on beetles in Southeast Alaska, and more generally about documenting beetles and other arthropods around Sitka.

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #308 – Barth Hamburg (encore) https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/02/11/sitka-nature-show-308-barth-hamburg-encore/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/02/11/sitka-nature-show-308-barth-hamburg-encore/#respond Mon, 12 Feb 2024 00:00:55 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=65737 Download Radio Show The February 11th show featured a conversation with Barth Hamburg, retired landscape architect who is responsible for the design of many trails throughout Southeast Alaska. We spoke about some of these trails and the challenges Southeast Alaska presents to building and maintaining trails. This conversation was recorded and originally aired in December ... Read more

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The February 11th show featured a conversation with Barth Hamburg, retired landscape architect who is responsible for the design of many trails throughout Southeast Alaska. We spoke about some of these trails and the challenges Southeast Alaska presents to building and maintaining trails. This conversation was recorded and originally aired in December 2022.

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #307 – Matt Wilson https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/01/28/sitka-nature-show-307-matt-wilson/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/01/28/sitka-nature-show-307-matt-wilson/#respond Mon, 29 Jan 2024 00:00:54 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=65736 Download Radio Show The January 28th show featured a conversation with Matt Wilson, aquarist at the Sitka Sound Science Center. We spoke about the life cycles and jellyfish and challenges with keeping and rearing them, as well as more generally about the art and science of encouraging and maintaining healthy diversity within an aquarium setting. ... Read more

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The January 28th show featured a conversation with Matt Wilson, aquarist at the Sitka Sound Science Center. We spoke about the life cycles and jellyfish and challenges with keeping and rearing them, as well as more generally about the art and science of encouraging and maintaining healthy diversity within an aquarium setting.

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #306 – Joanna Young (encore) https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/01/14/sitka-nature-show-306-joanna-young-encore/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2024/01/14/sitka-nature-show-306-joanna-young-encore/#respond Mon, 15 Jan 2024 00:00:52 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=65735 Download Radio Show The January 14th show featured a conversation with glaciologist Joanna Young, who studies the effects of retreating glaciers on watersheds downstream. Originally recorded and aired in October 2022, we spoke about glaciers, and her work with Girls on Ice Alaska. If you have questions or observations you want to share, please feel ... Read more

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The January 14th show featured a conversation with glaciologist Joanna Young, who studies the effects of retreating glaciers on watersheds downstream. Originally recorded and aired in October 2022, we spoke about glaciers, and her work with Girls on Ice 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.

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Sitka Nature Show #305 – Paul and Brooke https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/12/31/sitka-nature-show-305-paul-and-brooke/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/12/31/sitka-nature-show-305-paul-and-brooke/#respond Mon, 01 Jan 2024 00:00:55 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=64601 Download Radio Show The December 31st show featured a conversation with Paul Norwood and Brooke Schafer. The Sitka Nature Show ended the year as it began. Paul and Brooke shared about some of their experiences from the last year, including learning to scuba dive, and further travels and explorations around Southeast Alaska. The Anatomy of ... Read more

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The December 31st show featured a conversation with Paul Norwood and Brooke Schafer. The Sitka Nature Show ended the year as it began. Paul and Brooke shared about some of their experiences from the last year, including learning to scuba dive, and further travels and explorations around Southeast Alaska.

The Anatomy of a Wolf Den Site: A Field Report

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #304 – Bill Foster (encore) https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/12/17/sitka-nature-show-304-bill-foster-encore/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/12/17/sitka-nature-show-304-bill-foster-encore/#respond Mon, 18 Dec 2023 00:00:51 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=64600 Download Radio Show The December 17th show featured a conversation with Bill Foster, who passed away in November. Bill was a guest several times during the early years of my show, and the conversation featured in this show is one I recorded with him in 2014. As was often the case in my conversations with ... Read more

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The December 17th show featured a conversation with Bill Foster, who passed away in November. Bill was a guest several times during the early years of my show, and the conversation featured in this show is one I recorded with him in 2014. As was often the case in my conversations with him, we wandered a bit but inevitably came around to birds, birding, and birders. Bill also was an enthusiastic supporter and user of Sitka trails, and we spent the last part of the conversation talking about our experiences on the trails around Sitka.

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #303 – Jen Cedarleaf and Kitty LaBounty https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/12/02/sitka-nature-show-303-jen-cedarleaf-and-kitty-labounty/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/12/02/sitka-nature-show-303-jen-cedarleaf-and-kitty-labounty/#respond Sun, 03 Dec 2023 00:00:46 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=64599 Download Radio Show The December 2nd show featured a conversation with Jen Cedarleaf and Kitty LaBounty, we talked the Christmas Bird Count in Sitka (present and past), and more generally about birds and birding. If you have questions or observations you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment here or on the ... Read more

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The December 2nd show featured a conversation with Jen Cedarleaf and Kitty LaBounty, we talked the Christmas Bird Count in Sitka (present and past), and more generally about birds and birding.

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #302 – David Jadhon https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/11/19/sitka-nature-show-302-david-jadhon/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/11/19/sitka-nature-show-302-david-jadhon/#respond Mon, 20 Nov 2023 00:00:42 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=64598 Download Radio Show The November 19th show featured a conversation with David Jadhon. He was in town to search for nudibranchs, and we spoke about his burgeoning interest in marine invertebrates, as well as his experiences working as a research assistant on Middleton Island studying the Black-legged Kittiwakes that nest there. If you have questions ... Read more

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The November 19th show featured a conversation with David Jadhon. He was in town to search for nudibranchs, and we spoke about his burgeoning interest in marine invertebrates, as well as his experiences working as a research assistant on Middleton Island studying the Black-legged Kittiwakes that nest there.

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #301 – Zach LaPerriere https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/11/05/sitka-nature-show-301-zach-laperriere/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/11/05/sitka-nature-show-301-zach-laperriere/#respond Mon, 06 Nov 2023 00:00:39 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=64597 Download Radio Show The November 5th show featured a conversation with Zach LaPerriere. As it often seems to, our conversation started with wood, trees, and craftsmanship, and wandered from there. Zach mentioned the Sitka Violin project, which is underway. You can learn more about it and follow the progress on the Sitka Violin Facebook group ... Read more

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The November 5th show featured a conversation with Zach LaPerriere. As it often seems to, our conversation started with wood, trees, and craftsmanship, and wandered from there.

Zach mentioned the Sitka Violin project, which is underway.

You can learn more about it and follow the progress on the Sitka Violin Facebook group set up by Marcel LaPerriere

The luthier commissioned to build the violin is posting on his youtube channel, where you can see the work in progress.

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #300 – Richard Carstensen (encore) https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/10/22/sitka-nature-show-300-richard-carstensen-encore/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/10/22/sitka-nature-show-300-richard-carstensen-encore/#respond Sun, 22 Oct 2023 23:00:35 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=64596 Download Radio Show The October 22nd show featured a conversation with Richard Carstensen, originally recorded and aired in spring of 2021. We spoke about what he’s learned observing mountain goats on the slopes above where he lives, and the surprise of finding very tall trees on steep mountain slopes. \ You can see more of ... Read more

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The October 22nd show featured a conversation with Richard Carstensen, originally recorded and aired in spring of 2021. We spoke about what he’s learned observing mountain goats on the slopes above where he lives, and the surprise of finding very tall trees on steep mountain slopes. \

You can see more of what Richard’s been working on at Richard Carstensen’s JuneauNature Site

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #299 – Scotty Gabara (encore) https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/10/07/sitka-nature-show-299-scotty-gabara-encore/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/10/07/sitka-nature-show-299-scotty-gabara-encore/#respond Sat, 07 Oct 2023 23:00:34 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=64595 https://weblog-media.s3.amazonaws.com/raven/2023/20231007_KCAW_SITNAT_Scotty_Gabara_encore.mp3Download Radio Show The October 7th show featured a conversation with Scotty Gabara, originally recorded an aired November 2022. We spoke about a project he is involved with which is looking at the effects of glacial runoff on shoreline and nearshore marine ecosystems We also discussed his interests in natural history, diving, and underwater nature ... Read more

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The October 7th show featured a conversation with Scotty Gabara, originally recorded an aired November 2022. We spoke about a project he is involved with which is looking at the effects of glacial runoff on shoreline and nearshore marine ecosystems We also discussed his interests in natural history, diving, and underwater nature photography.

See Scott’s photos and learn more about his work

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #298 – Connor Goff https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/09/24/sitka-nature-show-298-connor-goff/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/09/24/sitka-nature-show-298-connor-goff/#respond Sun, 24 Sep 2023 23:00:31 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=64594 Download Radio Show The September 24th show featured a conversation with Connor Goff, we talked about Sitka bird, birding in Sitka, around Alaska and beyond. 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.

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The September 24th show featured a conversation with Connor Goff, we talked about Sitka bird, birding in Sitka, around Alaska and beyond.

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #297 – Matt Muir https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/09/10/sitka-nature-show-297-matt-muir/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/09/10/sitka-nature-show-297-matt-muir/#respond Sun, 10 Sep 2023 23:00:29 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=64593 Download Radio Show The September 10th show featured a conversation with Matt Muir. We spoke about how iNaturalist, and the community of enthusiasts it’s drawn togehter, has inspired, motivated, and otherwise supported our naturalist journey. Matt also spoke about his current big year efforts, and the people he’s met and naturalized with along the way. ... Read more

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The September 10th show featured a conversation with Matt Muir. We spoke about how iNaturalist, and the community of enthusiasts it’s drawn togehter,
has inspired, motivated, and otherwise supported our naturalist journey. Matt also spoke about his current big year efforts, and the people he’s met and naturalized with along the way.

Matt’s big year journal on iNaturalist

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #296 – Kitty LaBounty https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/08/27/sitka-nature-show-296-kitty-labounty/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/08/27/sitka-nature-show-296-kitty-labounty/#respond Sun, 27 Aug 2023 23:00:38 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=63706 Download Radio Show The August 27th show featured a conversation with Kitty LaBounty. We spoke about mushrooming, fall colors, learning about plants through gardening (including using native plants), visiting national parks, and more. Links to things mentioned in the show: Subpar Parks Alaska Native Plant Society If you have questions or observations you want to ... Read more

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The August 27th show featured a conversation with Kitty LaBounty. We spoke about mushrooming, fall colors, learning about plants through gardening (including using native plants), visiting national parks, and more.

Links to things mentioned in the show:
Subpar Parks
Alaska Native Plant Society

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #295 – Starling Birch https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/08/13/sitka-nature-show-295-starling-birch/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/08/13/sitka-nature-show-295-starling-birch/#respond Sun, 13 Aug 2023 23:00:38 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=63705 Download Radio Show The August 13th show featured a conversation with Starling Birch, videographer and mountain adventurer. We talked about the pleasure and pain of adventuring into the mountains. We also considered the motivations that drive us to put ourselves in often unpleasant and potentially regretful circumstances when exploring the challenging landscape that surrounds us ... Read more

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The August 13th show featured a conversation with Starling Birch, videographer and mountain adventurer. We talked about the pleasure and pain of adventuring into the mountains. We also considered the motivations that drive us to put ourselves in often unpleasant and potentially regretful circumstances when exploring the challenging landscape that surrounds us in Sitka.

Be sure to check out Starling Birch’s Youtube Channel for many short videos documenting some of his adventures around Baranof Island and beyond.

Starling Birch on Instagram

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.

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Sitka Nature Show #294 – Derek Sikes https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/07/30/sitka-nature-show-294-derek-sikes/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/07/30/sitka-nature-show-294-derek-sikes/#respond Sun, 30 Jul 2023 23:00:10 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=63302 Download Radio Show The July 30th show featured a conversation with Derek Sikes, curator of insects at the Museum of the North and Professor of entomology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. We spoke about bug camps, collecting, more generally about terrestrial arthropods in Alaska, and some particular questions of current interest. If you have ... Read more

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The July 30th show featured a conversation with Derek Sikes, curator of insects at the Museum of the North and Professor of entomology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. We spoke about bug camps, collecting, more generally about terrestrial arthropods in Alaska, and some particular questions of current interest.

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.

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Revisiting Indian River Valley Cliffs and Smoky Sunset https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/07/29/revisiting-indian-river-valley-cliffs-and-smoky-sunset/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/07/29/revisiting-indian-river-valley-cliffs-and-smoky-sunset/#respond Sun, 30 Jul 2023 06:11:17 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=63251 A low level marine layer moved in overnight and slowly lifted through the morning, before burning off completely late in the morning. Clear skies through the afternoon and into the evening, though smoke haze was apparent. The official high reached 70F again. Yesterday’s official high of 73F tied the record for the date (originally set ... Read more

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A low level marine layer moved in overnight and slowly lifted through the morning, before burning off completely late in the morning. Clear skies through the afternoon and into the evening, though smoke haze was apparent. The official high reached 70F again.

Yesterday’s official high of 73F tied the record for the date (originally set in 1994 – I would have been in Sitka at the time, but I have no idea what I was doing that day).

After getting my radio show done this morning as the marine layer was breaking up, I went to the park to check for moths.

Today had enough tourists for Lincoln Street to be closed. There were plenty of people at the park as well. I didn’t stay long.

The Gray Catbird nest was quiet when I stopped by, but the adults are still around. I’m beginning to wonder if the young haven’t survived, but if so, I don’t know why the parents would still be hanging around the nest.

This afternoon I headed out for what I thought would be a relatively short outing.

It’s been over 10 years since I last visited the cliffs at the base of Verstovia a little ways up Indian River valley. Until today, I had never visited them in the summer (a fact I hadn’t really thought about previously).

I crossed the river not far up the trail. With the dry month we’ve had, water levels were low and the crossing was easy.

I found a collapsed shelter. I was impressed by the bark work that had been done for the roof (though I don’t know how effective it was in practice).

Walking through a muskeg I hadn’t visited in years, I noticed signs of recent bear activities. Given how close it is, it might be a convenient location to place a trail cam?

It looked like earlier this summer a Forest Service crew went through doing boundary work. Multiple trees were blazed, and one dead one near a blazed tree was cut down. It looked like bears had been chewing on one of the sections of the cut tree.

A Cedar Waxwing that flew up to a tree was a bit surprising to me. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen one away from development. [Update: on a subsequent visit to Beaver Lake, I remembered I had seen them up there earlier his year]

I followed a bear trail out. In hindsight it was not the best route as I ended up spending more time in scrubby forest than I would have liked. Even so the trail wasn’t difficult to follow. What finally put me off of it was the sounds of a large animal moving through the bushes not far away. The vegetation was thick enough that I couldn’t see what it might be. From the sounds of it a deer or bear.

I took that as motivation to cut more directly up to larger forest where I could see better.

I missed the spruce grove. It was probably lower down the valley (but I think not too far).

I remembered that on previous trip(s?) I had missed the cliffs, when I passed below them and didn’t notice them above.

Had I not been favoring further up the slope and really trying to make sure I didn’t miss them, it would have been easy to miss them again today. There was much more obscuring vegetation than on previous visits (which had always been in the winter or very early spring).

On this trip I visited more of the cliff band than I think I have previously.

I was curious about where my brother and I had previously tried picking our way up through the cliffs. I remembered a >ledge we had gone around on, but couldn’t quite remember how we got to the ledge. (It’s been nearly 20 years, plenty of time to have memory fade. Plus we were there in icy conditions – so things looked different.)

A deer trail that kept quite close to the base of the cliff was not something I expected. In parts there is probably good eating, so I imagine that’s part of the reason they go there.

I poked around especially looking at bryophytes growing under the abundant maidenhair ferns.

I took pictures of many things, some I recognized, others I think will be new for me.

Rhizomnium magnifolium was especially lush in places.

I found some Fissidens, will try to determine if it’s the usual species (Fissidens adianthoides), or one of the other ones.


There were three or four sections of cliff separated by fingers of trees coming up the base. The first section (down valley side) was quite dry. Others were wet. The furthest up valley one I visited had a nice view looking out over the lower valley with Mt. Edgecumbe in the distance.


I was surprised to find some Thalictrum growing. I saw no sign of flowering. The plants much bigger than the alpine ones I’ve seen (always in the alpine). Perhaps this is T. alpinum growing in a more favorable habitat, or maybe T. occidentale. I’m not sure if these are identifiable with just leaves.


I was also surprised to find a Malaxis monophyllos growing below the cliffs. It’s first I’ve seen in years – they can be found on several islands, especially south of town. In those locations they like to grow above the splash zone in meadowy areas. This is the first I’ve seen upland.


I noticed different looking leaf miners in Erigeron and in Symphyiotrichum.

As it was starting to get late, and I had made a pass by most everything I was comfortable getting to, I started back.

I followed a trail back down. It took me by the resistant volcanic ash water feature I’ve previously seen.

I visited a clearing I don’t have memories of being in before. I’m pretty sure I specifically made an effort to visit each of the clearings, so I think my memory of it just faded.

A reasonably nice bear trail took me to the river, where I crossed and hopped back on Indian River trail.

Back at the car, I curious about the sun. It before sunset, but I wasn’t seeing shadows.


I drove over to the airport to look. Smoky haze from Canada had moved over and was sufficiently thick to make the sun deep red, and possible to look directly at without discomfort.

I considered stopping at the bridge to take pictures, but there was not much foreground of interest in the direction of the sun. Sea Mart was my next though, though in hindsight I probably should have just skipped the airport and gone to Sea Mart to start with.

Later this evening the moon was yellow and Not very high in the sky. It should more or less follow a path the sun takes in winter near solstice, but it seems like the sun is usually a bit higher. I will have to try and remember to check if the weather cooperates next December/January.

I didn’t do a great job of labeling collections in the field, so it might be a challenge to associate them with photos/observations. I didn’t have time to work on them this evening, so will try to set aside some time tomorrow while memories are still relatively fresh.

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

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Sitka Nature Show #293 – Matt Bracken https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/07/16/sitka-nature-show-293-matt-bracken/ https://www.sitkanature.org/photojournal/2023/07/16/sitka-nature-show-293-matt-bracken/#respond Sun, 16 Jul 2023 23:00:00 +0000 https://www.sitkanature.org/?p=63103 Download Radio Show The July 16th show featured a conversation with Matt Bracken. We spoke about his time in Southeast Alaska as the research he’s worked on, including growing up in Petersburg, and returning each summer over the past decade to continue studies investigating marine biodiversity, especially in the intertidal zones. If you have questions ... Read more

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The July 16th show featured a conversation with Matt Bracken. We spoke about his time in Southeast Alaska as the research he’s worked on, including growing up in Petersburg, and returning each summer over the past decade to continue studies investigating marine biodiversity, especially in the intertidal zones.

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.

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