Evening Break in the Clouds

Mostly cloudy and calm. It felt chilly last night, but a cloud layer moved over during the night and the temperature was around 40F this morning. I spent much of day inside, but did make it out to Kramer Avenue around midday. I also went for a walk around town this evening. The juncos (and … Read more

Sunny October Sunday

Clear skies this morning with a thin layer of clouds moving over through the afternoon. Calm winds. The clouds evidently did not extend very far to the west. The mountains turned quite pink as the sun was setting. I was at Moller Park and not able to see the horizon, so I’m not sure if … Read more

Sitka Nature Show #248 – Sarah Gravem

The October 24th show featured a conversation with Sarah Gravem, a postdoctoral scholar at Oregon State University who is studying the impacts of sea star wasting on marine communities. Our conversation focused on sunflower sea stars (Pycnopodia helianthoides). They suffered a major population decline due to the wasting disease. Up to 90% of the population (perhaps 6 billion individuals) is what has been estimated for the total loss. This has had ripple effects down the food chain as these starfish are major predators of kelp eating grazers such as sea urchins. In some locations (such as Sitka Sound), it appears populations may be beginning to recover. This provides an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the role these keystone predators play in the development, maintenance, and/or recovery of kelp forests and other related marine communities.

Coots Return

Mostly cloudy with occasional showers. I stopped by the lake this afternoon and saw a couple of coots not far from the peninsula. Moments later, a third came swimming towards them. These are the first I’ve seen this fall, and given the impressive showing of coots around the state this year, I was beginning to … Read more

Diving Ducks Return

Overcast and rain for much of the day. A bit breezy this afternoon, but not especially strong when I was out. As far as I could tell, the high winds mentioned as a possibility in the forecast didn’t show up right in town, at least. Yesterday’s high if 56F tied the record for the day … Read more

Fall Day

For the first time in days, it was not so gusty/windy (at least where I was). Rain began in the afternoon with overcast skies pretty much throughout the day. Yesterday’s tide was 10 inches above predicted, but today’s was only about half that. We’re on the full moon part of the monthly tide cycle, so … Read more