Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dog prints

where even the dogs are big.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Still wondering

After 6 years here, we are still wondering....

when is it too cold to wear shorts?


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Careful on your walk !

We told you many of our bears don't hibernate in winter. And this has been a MILD one!

Maybe that's why those deer looked so healthy last weekend.

And it is probably why this Sow and Cub have been seen at the mouth of the Buskin River and at Gibson cove.

Here's what the The Kodiak Daily Mirror newspaper said next to their pictures:

The Buskin river is a favorite fishing spot from late Spring to Fall. People are used to seeing bears close to them as they fish. And as long as there are lots of fish, the bears will leave you alone.

Gibson cove is about a mile away from the mouth of the river, towards town. Both are great places to walk along the shore and explore life at low tide all year long. They are not places we associate with bear presence.

But, there are few things worse than a mad Mama Bear.

So, for our family's sake, it might be a good idea to make those areas off limits until that family tires of it.

PS The natives tell you to "Respect the bear".  For those who don't quite get their meaning, it's a nice way of saying: "Keep out of their way, dummy".


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Changing views

One of the great things to enjoy in the North Pacific
is the changing views right in front of you.

You can wake up to a little snow,
then progress to almost a white out from snow or fog,
followed by a  clearing away into a wonderful day.

Sometimes the change can occur in a few hours..
This one took form 9 till 4.

But, sometimes it takes days.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Deers close up

The Internet says we have 65,000 deer on the island. Wow! That's like a decimal point more than I would expect. But then, we see a lot of them.

I often see 3  at noon if I look out the window at work, at the ridge about 40 feet above the parking lot.

Come to think of it, we usually seem to see 3 together. And they are not the same ones, cause we can occasionally see 2 or 3 groups on the way home.

Last Saturday we saw some right outside the house of friends as we sent to dinner.
When we came out, 2 hours later, there they still were.


The big one came even closer, as close as 5 feet.
Looked like it wanted to be petted!

But I thought about it getting scared and a hoof suddenly coming up .
No, thank you. That was close enough for me!

Anyway, doesn't that little one look like a sheep?

Chunky little guy!

That's because we have had a REALLY mild winter.
Only now is it starting to snow, and melts by the next day!
No nights under zero so far this year.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What happens on ice

Last Friday I rode the bike home for lunch
and slid a little on the ice despite the tire studs.

When I returned I saw 3 of these, and a broken leg,..

That's a lot of broken bones, within 1 - 2 hours, in a population of only 13,000.

Moral to the story:

When you see a shinny sidewalk, there's ice!

So, wear these!

if you ever have the coise of walking on the snow or the "clear" sidewalk,
'cause a thin layer of ice is hard to see, but really easy to slip on!
(PS that x-ray is off the Internet...there's been no HIPPA violation here)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Looking for the Orcas

Went home at noon for lunch Friday.
Stopped, looking for the Orcas comming in the channel.

No luck.
Guess it's just too early for sea lion hunting!


Friday, February 15, 2013

A nice commute !

This is the "commute" from our new apartment to work every morning.

Somehow it makes it a lot easier getting to work each morning.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Who are we in Kodiak?

A recent picture form the paper, about the sign in 5 languages at our local college, made me think of  a few questions.

First, why not just English at the college? I assume anyone there would know enough English to get along. Well, maybe they brought their grandma along for a tour and she might not know it well enough.

Then the question came up: who are we in Kodiak?

You have to be careful of how you Google that question. Your search might show something like this:

Population of the city is 6,273. Kodiak has about 13,000 people on the island not including the 3500 or so brown bears it has. There are a number of villages surrounding Kodiak and also the largest US Coast Guard base in the world is there with about 1000 active duty and 2000 family members. Kodiak's black tail sitka deer population can be upwards to 65,000.

Sometimes ig gives the population within the city limits:

·         White alone - 2,284 (37.3%)
·         Asian alone - 2,263 (36.9%)
·         American Indian alone - 592 (9.7%)
·         Hispanic - 576 (9.4%)
·         Two or more races - 322 (5.3%)
·         Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone - 62 (1.0%)
·         Black alone - 27 (0.4%)·         Other race alone - 4 (0.07%)

Or it might give you the population of the entire Burrough ( or County):


White persons, percent, 2011 (a) 57.6% 67.9% Black persons, percent, 2011 (a) 1.1% American Indian and Alaska Native persons, percent, 2011 (a) 13.4% Asian persons, percent, 2011 (a) 19.9% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander persons, percent, 2011 (a) 0.8% Persons reporting two or more races, percent, 2011 7.2% Persons of Hispanic or Latino Origin, percent, 2011 (b) 7.9% White persons not Hispanic, percent, 2011 51.8% The physical size of the city is pretty small. So it seems like most new arrivals live nearer to their work.

In any case, there you have it:
A nice mixture of whites, Asians and Natives, with a moderate Hispanic group. 

I looks kind of confusing. So, maybe I'll show you what it really lookslike in pictures.



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sinking boat

We are always concerned about boats sinking.

But the most recent one did not require a Coast Guard emergency rescue.

It happened right here in the marina.

It was a Fish and Wildlife research vessel.
Just look at that poor researcher's papers floating away. Bet he felt bad.
Guess the boat took in more water than it pumped out.
Good news is that it only dumped about 5 of it's 200 gallons of diesel into the water.
They had it re-floated by 24 hours and off to the service yard. What once was a 2.5 million dollar pleasure boat, turned drug smuggler, then US Governmet property is now rubbish....too much salt water damage to repair, says the paper.
Glad we like the simple kayak experience!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Spring is on its way!

It's not even 8 AM and we can already see signs of a rising sun!

Yes, Spring is on its way! We can SEE it!

Kodiak, Alaska,  7:50 AM on Monday, February 11, 2013!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Eagle Glutony

Recently we've heard lots of comments about NJ's Governor Christy's weight problem. A Doctor from Arizona who doesn't know him (but has been the Doctor for several Presidents) has said she is worried he might die.

Well, that ties in with our blog a few days ago, about dozens of eagles "feasting" on bait left out on a fishing deck during the Super Bowl game.

Eagles and humans seem to have a common problem:
we don't know when it's time to quit.

As I approached the boat in that blog, I saw an eagle  floating in the water.  That is really unusual. Eagles are NOT like pelicans. They dont like floating on water.

Within a few seconds that the eagle took up flight and went right over my head....

so fast that I couldn't focus in!

But this wan't the only one!

Two others were in the water nearby!

And these couldn't get airnorne!

So across the water he swam...
till he got to the red bumper on the other side
and used it to climb onto the dock!

As the umber in the water continued to increase, I found out what the problem was:

These guys had stomachs too full to fly!

Off the boat decks they'd flap their wings, but fail to get enough height to clear the side of the boat next to them.

With a loud "thump" they'd hit the next boat's side,
and into the water they tumbled!

Didn't matter if they were young or old:

I saw 6 in the water at one time. Another fellow said he counted 8.

They made a beautiful breast stroke, though, as they approached the dock.

There they tried to grab a line or rope with their claws and boost themselves enough to climb the dock and then fly off.

Not all seemed to be successful. We thought about getting a broom and letting him get a good footing on the straw, enough to climb on and then fly off. Of course, someone brought up that their claws could really hurt us. So we stood wondering whate to do.

But this guy had a simpler idea:

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.
(But we sure felt like fools to see how easy it was to get him on the dock!)


Friday, February 8, 2013

Wet birds

Its been rainy around here. And the birds are a little tired of this, it seems. ...or else, I can't imagine how an eagle would let a raven share it's light light pole.

Pretty down-and- out they looked.

This older adolescent decides its best just to open up your wings and let the breezes blow you dry.

... then tries a different direction...

But decides his first instincts were the best.

Returns there...

.....and open up his wings for the next 10 minutes!
(Looks a lot like Batman's cape, don't you think?) 
Till he finally flies off to another pole and tries to catch a little different drying wind.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What where you doing during the Super Bowl ?

Kodiak likes football...if its the the Seattle Sehawks or the Green Bay Packers. Otherwise, many go for a hike or run their errands instead of being glued to the "tube".

So, this past Sunday we headed out to Sutliff's hardware store down by the marina, just before closing time.

The number of eagles in the marina surprised so. So we walked down to check it out.

Lots of eagles centered around this fishing boat. We wandered closer.

Something was sure attracting big birds to that deck!

...and it was worth fighting for!

It turns out that the crew had gone to town to watch the game,
but, must have not thought of covering the next  trip's bait.


So, while the crew's away, the birds did feast.

And we got to watch the Supper Bowl, instead of the Super Bowl.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Waiting for a meal

Last week there was a fishing boat coming in as I went to our new housing by the harbor.

Lots of eagles were on board. I counted 50 flying around it plus the ones on the boat.

And this is why they were there:

...lots of left over fish still on the nets to feed on!

But they weren't the only ones heading for the boat.

.... sea lion checking out what they could get!


Monday, February 4, 2013

February at the canneries

February is the time when it seems like half the island's bald eagles come to visit cannery row.

We've heard that there are about 600 pairs of on the entire island (at 3,595.09 sq miles, it is the second largest island in the US, after the Big Island of Hawaii; and the 80th largest island in the world).

For most of the year, they tend to stay within 5 miles form their nests. We see them continuously all year long.

But, at this time of the year (since the salmon are gone form the rivers), they come to smooch what they can get off the canneires' ocean fishing fleet  winter's catch. Within one block form the waterfront, you can see hundreds of them.... nearly half the total, I'd say.

These are just a few from last week.

That's our National Bird. We'll talk more about them in the next few blogs.