Saturday, December 26, 2009

Thank goodness for global warming...

The snow and ice have gone. The streams are flowing freely. It has been above freezing for over a week. It is now 49 degrees in Kodiak, Alaska (yes, Alaska). After a short stroll, the hats and coats come off. The grass is actually turning green. Why do some not like global warming?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Viewing Kodiak's Ice Crystals

If it's warm at your place during the Christmas Holidays......just go on a walk with us.
It's a cold Sunday morning. A nice layer of frost has developed on the ground. So call your friends and lets go for a walk. Have someone bring his 22 in case a rabbit presents himself for dinner and have another bring his bear rifle, in case one wants you for dinner (Just kidding; but they say 1/3 of Kodiak's bears do not hibernate because there is enough food all year long). Bring your dog, your camera, and let's head out along the Bear Golf Course for a nice stroll. Then in the afternoon we'll head out behind the house, along the creek. We'll end up at Mill Bay and check out the frost on the beach. Have your friends keep an eye out for wildlife. We'll just walk along to the tune of the music and enjoy what lies at our feet.

P.S If you run into our ex-governor in the lower 48, just tell her the winds were favorable and we could hear Dr Zhivago's music directly across the sea from Russia. That's a joke. We can't hear their music here. And it is the Hungarian Dances, not Dr. Z's music.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Short winter days

The days are about as short as they will get. They say we now have 6 hours and 32 minutes of daylight. Sunrise is officially at 9:52 am and sunset is at 4:24 pm. But this has been a good year for light. With twilight, there is enough light to think it's daylight at 9 am and as late as 5 pm. This picture was taken at 4:24 pm last week; sunset should have been past 4:30. As you can see, it is not as bad as you might think.

This is different from last year. I remember one day in which the sun did not seem to rise till 10:20 am because it was cloudy and misty. Although this year is colder, it has been a good year for visible daylight in my opinion!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Extreme Ice Biking...

The days are short. So unless you want to leave for work after 9 in the morning and return before 4:30 in the afternoon, you better be decked out in your reflective outfit!
No, this is not the type of clothing you find at those yuppie biking stores. It's pure industrial grade stuff. A highway department vest works great along with high beam LED lights. And note those yellow leather gloves with built in reflectors. If it's raining, put on those Kodiak "always-in-style" Xtra-Tuff boots (not shown here). And finish out your outfit with metal studded extra-wide tires to get a grip on the ice and really pimp-out your ride!
Now, just hope there are no crazy walkers dressed in black along the unlit bike path. Better yet, leave work after 6 pm to be sure they are safely at home before you take off (I've read that up to 20% of the population of Kodiak walks to work). But most importantly, remember where each of those pot holes on the ground are located, because they sure give your wrist's scaphoid bone a contusion when your front tire falls in one of those holes in the dark!
Don't you agree that the Discover channel needs a show called: Xtreme Ice Bikers?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sea Lions At Play

Some of you have seen this video already, but we just learned how to easily insert it in our blog. Hopefully, this will make viewing Carlos' videos much easier.

I hope you enjoy this one. It highlights some sea lions we watched while on a glacier viewing cruise this past summer. They're so cute but when you get close and realize that they might weight up to 2000 pounds, you certainly give them some respect.

Let us know if you enjoy it.