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Outdoors

Courtesy of Beth Peluso
A flock of sandhill cranes fly over Creamer's Field in Fairbanks this year.

Wildlife Spy: A gathering of cranes

In a last, sunny blast of summer, this wildlife spy enjoyed the spectacle of sandhill cranes at the Tanana Valley Crane Festival at Creamer's Field State Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks.

by Beth Peluso

On the Trails: Highbush cranberries

Autumn in Juneau can be a bit difficult—shortening days, lots of rain (in my neighborhood, there has been much more than the official numbers — flowers on my deck actually got moldy), migrating songbirds flocking up and leaving us for...
Mary Willson

Alaska Science Forum: Maverick red aspens in a world of gold

Will Lentz, a reader from Fairbanks, asks a question that flares every fall: why do some aspens turn red? A few scientists from Fort Collins, Colorado, pondered that subject in the late 1970s.
NED ROZELL

Wild Shots

The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to outdoors@juneauempire.com.

What's in Bloom: Turtlehead

Turtlehead, Chelone oblique, is native to wet, marshy areas of south-central North America which is probably why it thrives in our soggy part of the planet.
MERRILL JENSEN

Menzies tops gun shoot amid heavy rain, winds

Six members of the Juneau Gun Club faced off in the monthly club registered shoot amid "very heavy rains and moderate winds." The following is a summary of each event.

SHI to sponsor lecture on climate change

Sealaska Heritage Institute will sponsor a noon lecture this month on climate change and its impact on Native cultures, according to a release this week from the institute. Lecturer Victoria Wyllie de Echeverria, a Ph.D.

Evening at Egan to feature 'Voices of Glacier Bay'

This week's Evening at Egan presentation will be "Voices of Glacier Bay: Listening through the Art of Recording" with Dr. Richard Nelson and Hank Lentfer.

New Audubon study reveals climate change effects on many bird species

ANCHORAGE - A new study released today by the National Audubon Society reveals a comprehensive look at how climate change is projected to affect bird species across the country, according to a release from the organization this week .

Articles from the Outdoors section archive

Friday, Sept. 12, 2014

SHI to sponsor lecture on climate change

Sealaska Heritage Institute will sponsor a noon lecture this month on climate change and its impact on Native cultures, according to a release this week from the institute. Lecturer Victoria ...

Menzies tops gun shoot amid heavy rain, winds

Six members of the Juneau Gun Club faced off in the monthly club registered shoot amid "very heavy rains and moderate winds." The following is a summary of each event.

New Audubon study reveals climate change effects on many bird species

ANCHORAGE - A new study released today by the National Audubon Society reveals a comprehensive look at how climate change is projected to affect bird species across the country, according to a ...

Evening at Egan to feature 'Voices of Glacier Bay'

This week's Evening at Egan presentation will be "Voices of Glacier Bay: Listening through the Art of Recording" with Dr. Richard Nelson and Hank Lentfer.

Wildlife Spy: A gathering of cranes

In a last, sunny blast of summer, this wildlife spy enjoyed the spectacle of sandhill cranes at the Tanana Valley Crane Festival at Creamer's Field State Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in Fairbanks.
By Beth Peluso

What's in Bloom: Turtlehead

Turtlehead, Chelone oblique, is native to wet, marshy areas of south-central North America which is probably why it thrives in our soggy part of the planet.
By MERRILL JENSEN

Alaska Science Forum: Maverick red aspens in a world of gold

Will Lentz, a reader from Fairbanks, asks a question that flares every fall: why do some aspens turn red? A few scientists from Fort Collins, Colorado, pondered that subject in the late 1970s.
By NED ROZELL

Wild Shots

The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to outdoors@juneauempire.com.

Friday, Sept. 5, 2014

Wild Shots

The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to outdoors@juneauempire.com.

On the Trails: Beaked whales

I had never even heard of the beaked whales until a couple of years ago, when a news article reported a dead one, of a rare species, stranded on a beach somewhere in the southern hemisphere.
By Mary Willson

Welcome to the bear show

Last summer, my boyfriend Bjorn and I went for a three-day sun-drenched kayak trip at Admiralty Island's Windfall Harbor. We squinted into the merciless horizon to see an orca with a hooked fin ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Ernest Leffingwell, scientist with a fan club

One hundred years ago, a group of men sailed to the northern coast of Alaska to find a land mass rumored to protrude from the Arctic Ocean. They did not find the land. After wintering in the ...
By NED ROZELL

What's in Bloom: Douglas' spiraea

Spiraea douglasii, commonly known as Douglas's spiraea or Hardhack, is a Northwest Coast native shrub that is found growing in moist areas from the mountains of Northern California to Alaska.
By MERRILL JENSEN

Friday, Aug 29, 2014

Bird Bits: The larger, local cousin: Northern goshawk

The Sharp-shinned Hawk I described in the Aug. 15 edition of the Juneau Empire is a jay-sized accipiter (a genus that describes some birds of prey.) It has a larger, local cousin, the Northern ...
By PATRICIA WHERRY

Tongass Advisory Committee second meeting scheduled

The second meeting of the Tongass Advisory Committee will be held Sept. 10 through Sept. 12 at the Travelodge Hotel Conference Room, 9200 Glacier Highway, Juneau, Alaska.

Juneau Gun Club to host Waterfowl hunters league

For the next three Sundays, the Juneau Gun Club will be hosting a Waterfowl hunters and Trap shooters shot gunner league. The league event is one round (25 shots each) of handicap and wobbles trap ...

Initial Over-the-Counter state land sale now open

The State of Alaska is offering 171 parcels covering over 1,700 acres statewide for sale to the public in the Initial Over-the-Counter (IOTC) land sale.

Rotary Bulbs are now on sale

Beautiful flowering bulbs are now available for purchase from Juneau-Gastineau Rotarians.

Wild Shots

The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to outdoors@juneauempire.com.

Column: Blob-squatch reign of terror

Hark, dear reader, and listen well. 'Tis a tale of a blob-shaped blob, a sunlit rock. 'Tis a tale of the shadow that was … or wasn't.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

What to do if you find a stranded, baby animal

NOAA Fisheries and the Alaska SeaLife Center first recommend leaving an animal - even a small, helpless one - alone if you happen to find it without a mother. Some mothers swim far away to gather ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Harbor seal pup returns to wild

The male Pacific harbor seal pup found just eight days old beneath a boat in Auke Bay swam off into the waters of Auke Recreation Area yesterday, cheered by around 75 well-wishers from Juneau and ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

What's in Bloom: Mystic Wonder

Surprisingly, the most photographed plant at the Arboretum this year has been Dahlia "Mystic Wonder." Since we planted them in mid-spring, visitors have been drawn to the almost black foliage and ...
By MERRILL JENSEN

Predicting seal behavior

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game knows environmental factors like tide, temperature, and boat activity affect harbor seals, says Gail Blundell, ADF&G's principle investigator for the ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: Marmots, gentians

As I slowly meandered up the Gold Ridge trail above the tram, a grouse stepped out of the brush and strode calmly up the trail ahead of me. We walked together but apart for many yards.
By Mary Willson

Friday, Aug 22, 2014

Off the Beaten Path: Berrymania

From bars and auto shops, to the governor's mansion and or the beauty parlors, everyone is talking about it - it's shaping up to be an exceptional berry year.
By BJORN DIHLE

Deer outlook, reports positive

A little more than three weeks into Southeast Alaska's Sitka black-tailed deer season, hunters and biologists report a healthy deer population and a positive outlook. Juneau-based hunter Darrel ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Researcher: Some rivers' salmon at risk

A Juneau-based scientist recently published a study that found climate change poses a serious threat to the Tongass National Forest's snow-fed salmon streams. On the other hand, watersheds too ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

What's in Bloom: Monkshood

Monkshood (Aconitum sp.), also known as wolf's bane, is a large genus of late, summer-blooming perennials native to the northern hemisphere.
By MERRILL JENSEN

On the Trails: Dredge Islands

Gastineau Channel rounds the north end of Douglas Island with a short stretch that runs roughly east-west.
By Mary Willson

Waterfowl regulations for 2014 include good news for goose hunters

Alaska goose hunters will be allowed larger bag limits this season, depending upon where in the state they hunt and what goose species they pursue, thanks to changes in the 2014-2015 migratory ...

SEACC hosting educational hike on new Canadian mining efforts near Herbert Glacier

The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is leading a free walk to the Herbert Glacier from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow, Aug. 23. The walk will highlight two Canadian mining companies' current ...

Candidates for Alaska Governor 'talk fish' at Kodiak forum

KODIAK - Candidates for Alaska governor will be in Kodiak on Aug. 28 to take part in a unique debate that focuses on a single topic: Alaska's seafood industry.

Registration open for the Health and Wellness Institute

The 9th Annual School Health and Wellness Institute will be held Oct. 15-17 in Anchorage. Online registration is open at http://www.akshwi.com.

Embry-Riddle offers free Aviation 101 course

For high-school and middle-school students, or anyone who dreams of becoming a pilot, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is now offering a free online course, Aviation 101.

Friday, Aug 15, 2014

On the Trails: The scourge of scurvy

Sometimes when friends and I stroll the beaches we find the little plant called scurvy grass. It is not a grass; it belongs to the mustard family (common names can be very misleading).
By Mary Willson

Peterson Lake Trail sees continued improvements

Phase one of work on Peterson Lake Trail is complete, meaning the path is more easily walkable for the first ¾ mile, up to the scenic waterfall overlook. Trail Mix Inc. crews have also maintained ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

First downhill mountain bike trail planned in Juneau

Eaglecrest Ski Area's board of directors recently approved the creation or renovation of eight trails at the ski area, among them Juneau's first dedicated downhill mountain biking trail.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Off the Beaten Path: Camp-food for thought

Most folks take their bellies pretty seriously, especially when they're in the woods, far from a grocery store. I know several who even have nicknames for their bellies - The Incinerator, Lil' ...
By BJORN DIHLE

JIRPers present research

Thirty-two students from the Juneau Icefield Research Program will discuss the 10 projects on which they've been working this summer during a presentation at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16 at the ...

Bird Bits: Bullet of a hawk

Bursting out of leaf cover, a bird launched itself at a passing warbler. The bird of prey, a small hawk the size of a Stellar jay, missed the warbler and throttled up its speed in acrobatic pursuit.
By PATRICIA WHERRY

Wild Shots

The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to outdoors@juneauempire.com.

What's in Bloom: Black Out Lily

One of August's stunning flowers is Lilium "Black Out," an Asiatic hybrid lily. Asiatic lilies generally have large, non-fragrant flowers, unlike their cousins, the Oriental lilies, whose flowers ...
By MERRILL JENSEN

Friday, Aug 8, 2014

What's in Bloom: Volunteers!

Flowers highlighted in this column over the last few months are blooming and thriving, due in great measure, to the conscientious efforts of the Jensen-Olson Arboretum's seasonal gardeners.
By MERRILL JENSEN

AK Experience Camp organizers looking for deer

Organizers of this year's AK Experience Camp: Alaskan Outdoor Skills and Adventure are finding themselves deer-less. The camp, coming up next week (running Aug. 11-15) needs a deer to teach the ...

Still room in Juneau Explorers Camp

The Juneau-Douglas Museum's Juneau Explorers Camp, for children ages 8 to 11, kicks off on Monday and will run from Aug. 11-15. This summer's theme is "Critters".

Upcoming hikes with Alpine Club include Grandchild Peaks, bouldering at Fred's

The local hiking club, the Juneau Alpine Club, will be hosting two events this week - one for advanced hikers and one for bouldering enthusiasts. The first hike will tackle Grandchild Peaks on ...

On the Trails: Hiking to Granite Basin

There are two principal ways to get to Granite Basin, and on a wonderfully warm and sunny day in early August, the Parks and Recreation Hiking Group used both of them.
By MARY F. WILLSON

Southeast Adventure: Observation Loop

Some Juneauites swear by their love of the rain. I've come to love it in many ways, too, as loving the rain is part of loving the rainforest.
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

Alaska Science Forum: Late summer arrives in the boreal forest

It's early August, 118 miles from the Arctic Circle. Time for a walk to work. The last time I wrote about hiking through the North Campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, summer was a puppy ...
By NED ROZELL

Friday, Aug 1, 2014

A Southeast Adventure: Kayaking Tracy Arm

I have a not-so-secret plan to get my younger brother, Chip, and his girlfriend, Carrie, to move here. Usually, my strategy consists of dropping not-so-subtle hints ("Wow, Chip, Alaska's so ...
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN

On the Trails: Lupine puzzles

Lupine plants are common around here, and perhaps you've noticed that the uppermost petal (the so-called banner petal) is sometimes white and sometimes dark pink or almost purple, while the side ...
By Mary Willson

What's in Bloom: The Rocket

Ligularia stenocephala, commonly called "The Rocket," is a wonderful summer-blooming perennial that seems to have been designed exclusively for Juneau's cool, wet climate.
By MERRILL JENSEN

Bird Bits: Yellow marks the drop zone

The barn swallow chicks in the photo have a "runway lighted strip" for a mouth to guide home the food being delivered by parents. The Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center is home to one colony of ...
By PATRICIA WHERRY

Sport fish report for the week of July 28

King salmon Marine boat anglers and shore-based anglers reported catching fewer adult king salmon and more feeder kings this past week compared to previous months.

Wild Shots

The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to outdoors@juneauempire.com.

Salmon return, US Forest Service closes backside of Steep Creek Trail

Spawning sockeye salmon returned to Steep Creek, near the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center, on Saturday, July 26. Each year returning salmon attract wild black bears and many bear watchers. To ...
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