Halloween night brought out Sitkans in their finest costumes. Many made it to Raven Radio’s Stardust Ball at the Odess Theater on the Sitka Fine Arts Campus. Here is the first tranche of pictures from the ball. I have 3 postings, 90 pictures in all. You can click on the link to see tranches two and three. My job was to wander around the hall … Continue reading Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Heart of Man? — Stardust Ball 2015
This afternoon on my walk I encountered a rare and endangered species in Sitka, an Alaska Marine Highway ship. The state has proposed a reduced ferry schedule to save money. The schedule includes laying up three ferries all next summer. The state will have to pay for insurance and a skeleton crew to lay up those ferries. Money spent that will provide NO service to … Continue reading Endangered Species Spotted in Sitka
Alaska Day 2015, rain may make the pictures look dull but it does nothing to slow the celebration. It’s October, some people theorize that the Russians chose to pull out because it was October. Continue reading Alaska Day, 2015
“Tomorrow we are spawning salmon, do you want to come and take pictures.” I had never heard salmon be the object of the verb to spawn but I understood what August meant. So at 9 in the morning I was at the Sitka Sound Science Center, with my camera, to see how people spawned salmon. I do not know the technical terms but I divided … Continue reading Spawning Day
Today I paused during my walk to watch Holland America’s Westerdam weigh anchor and sail past the mouth of Indian River on its way to Seattle and asked “Will this be the ship that carries me away?” It’s a question my grandfather asked as a boy in Ireland. An uncle named Morrison had sailed away to America to make his fortune. When he came back … Continue reading Will this be the Ship…?
Saturday we took an Allen Marine Tour from Crescent Harbor. They are offered every Saturday for folks not on a cruise ship. We went to St. Lazaria with Captain Steve Campbell. On the way to and from St. Lazaria Steve found us several whales feeding, they were all around us. The sun hit some of them so we had whalebows. The spout refracted the light, separating the … Continue reading Surrounded by Acres of Whales
On Saturday’s Allen Marine Tours Cruise we not only saw whales (Click here to see whales.) The reason for the trip was to go to St. Lazaria Island, a national wildlife refuge. It is a beautiful volcanic island sculpted by waves and wind. While we saw plenty of birds most of the species have fledged their chicks and have gone back out to sea. But … Continue reading St Lazaria and Other Delights.
It was a small town festival and I was beginning to wonder if my recommendation to a friend that Sitka was a great place to live was going to blow up in my face. I mean, I’ve lived here for 35 years. I get bobbing for fish heads followed by a fish head toss. But I was afraid that my friend who just moved here … Continue reading Small Town Festival
On July 5 we took the Sitka Conservation Society cruise to Frosty Reef. A very low tide happened at a convenient time (10 AM) on a Sunday so the Society took us out to look at the reef to see things that normally would be covered by water. The day was beautiful and we enjoyed both the scenery and the creatures in the zone. One … Continue reading Frosty Reef
My favorite Fourth of July event in Sitka is the water fight between the Stika Fire Department and Coast Guard. A pony keg is set in the middle of the street and the teams use hoses to move the keg beyond the goal. They also do a lot of spraying the crowds. This year they added foam. Everyone gets wet. For first timers it can … Continue reading July 4th Water Fight!
Sitka’s Fortress of the Bear is, perhaps, one of the most innovative recycling project I’m aware of. The Alaska Pulp Company mill closed in 1993 leaving behind two huge clarifier tanks that were part of its waste control system. They are now the heart of a bear rescue center. The Fortress of the Bear takes orphaned bruins that would normally be shot by Fish and … Continue reading Fortress of the Bear
June 23, 2015 was a beautiful Sitka summer day. We walked the docks, went on the Sitka Conservation Society Salmon cruise watching different salmon hunters, including an eagle sitting on a branch that hardly looked like it could hold her. She dove after a fish that jumped in front of Redoubt Falls and missed. A gill netter, perhaps had better luck in Deep Inlet. The … Continue reading A Sitka Summer Day (June 23, 2015)
On Saturday I went up to Harbor Mountain. The road was re-opened just the day before. I could write 12,000 words but I would rather post 12 pictures. Continue reading Harbor Mountain, June 2015
Wednesday was Earth Day but much of the celebration is happening in Sitka this weekend. Today (after school) we had the 14th annual Parade of Species. Kids dress up as their favorite animal or plant to crawl, slither, run or cross pollinate down Lincoln Street. At the beginning of the parade route representatives of the 4 H club and the Sitka Conservation Society interview the … Continue reading Earth Day Sitka, 2015
The first time ever I saw the aurora we were with our friends Dave and Carol Lam at Suzi’s dad’s cabin on the St. Croix River in Minnesota. We were far from the city lights. We were watching a lunar eclipse. We had just come back from a summer session at Soochow University in Taiwan and were thinking of things Chinese. Carol looked up … Continue reading The Dragon Ate the Moon
When Bald Eagles encounter problems, often caused by interaction with humans, the Alaska Raptor Rehabilitation Center patches them up, helps them regain strength in flight barns, and releases them The Alaska Raptor Rehabilitation Center, in its first release of 2015, set free four eagles today. There were supposed to be five but one failed its pre-flight physical. Precious-Vicious is a juvenile who came to the … Continue reading Eagle Release
Three weeks ago I was in the Amazon tropical rain forest. Now I am home in my own Tongass temperate rain forest.. Both are green, both have lots of water, both have abundant life, both are essential lungs for our planet, although the scope of the Amazon is mind boggling. I have posted lots of pictures from the Amazon recently (click on the links on … Continue reading Rain Forest to Rain Forest
A reporter should not become involved with his story. That’s what they teach at journalism school. But sometimes a reporter needs to experience what he is reporting on in order to get a real feel for the story. That’s what KCAW news director Rob Woolsey told me when he assigned me to cover the Sitka High School Honor Society sponsored polar dip on Saturday at … Continue reading Sitka Polar Dip, The News Behind the News.
I follow the NOAA Aurora website that shows images of where the Aurora is expected in the next hour. A couple of days ago I read about a magnetic storm heading our way. I kept my eye on the NOAA page. At about 1:30 the website told me what was coming so I headed out to Old Sitka, beyond Sitka’s lights and stayed until about … Continue reading Old Sitka, November 15, 3 AM, 24 Degrees
It’s the turning of the season, Winter Solstice. Living in the North it really is midwinter, and while we have a lot of cold ahead the returning sun presents the promise of spring. Because we are closest to the sun these days the tides are particularly high and low. Sitting on my perch at the edge of the Pacific I get a ringside seat of … Continue reading Winter Solstice, Sitka, Dec 21, 2013
The holiday season has come to Sitka. The city’s decorations went up just before Thanksgiving (allowing the electrical crews to have some time off on Friday). I did the Good Day Radio Show on Thanksgiving Morning and enjoyed seeing the decorations as I drove to the station. Friday we went on the Gallery Walk looking at work of local artists. One of the things I … Continue reading Sitka’s Holiday Market, 2013.
Fall has come to Sitka. I arrived in a storm, typical for the season. Holland America canceled the last two cruise ships of the season because winds and seas made it difficult to put a pilot on or take a pilot off a ship. The view from my window was dramatic with fronts moving in and out, sun occasionally breaking through the clouds, rainbows and … Continue reading Fall in Sitka, 2013
St. Lazaria is a volcanic island off of Cape Edgecumbe. Mt. Edgecumbe forms the backdrop for this island. Some historians day the island is the top of Edgecumbe when it exploded several thousand years ago. The island is now a National Wildlife Refuge for sea birds. We can go out on a boat but are not allowed to set foot on the island. Continue reading St Lazaria National Wildlife Refuge, Sitka, Alaska, August 1997