Monday, April 24, 2017

Fowl Play Spring!

Birds of all kinds are arriving every day. The morning song is varied and full of cheering notes. But, the Kenai is still holding on to winter. It is slowly fading, but not quite fast enough for the birds! They are truly calling foul. 

 The mallards have come back, they are VERY put out. They are supposed to be paddling in the lake, not striding across it! They were so funny to listen to as they hiked...waddled? You could hear them slosh, step, slosh, sploosh, slosh, step. The sploosh was when they hit a more slushy patch. There are a few 'puddles' on the ice, not much good for more than getting their webs wet. Some spots on the lake are clear (remember the day I walked around the lake?), it doesn't add up to much, though!


 Today, April 24, I finally sighted Swans on Bishop Lake. Ok, a single swan. I am going to go back to see if I can get much better photos. These were taken from the verge near the road facing Bishop Lake. Opposite of where I hiked last post. I was pretty excited to see this gorgeous creature. Dogs and man have disturbed the pair so often, they end up hiding for most of the season. I will be incredibly careful as I sneak up on this pair. I am assuming there are two, there always are!




We have had a smidge of rain out north. Every bit helps in the melting of the ice. Every drop reveals new life hiding in the frozen earth. Spring in Alaska is winged. Although, I miss the array of color in Oregon, I'm loving the plumage on the returning snowbirds.

Down by the Dock-April 19

I didn't realise I had not posted these yet. The photos are from a really nice day last week. I was out and about and I decided to see how the beach was. It took a bit to get to it, but the sun shining on the rocks brought out colors galore! It was super calm, a perfect day for walking along the tide line. 


 Ice shelves on the shore, melting into yucky puddles of sandy goo.

 Below are some folks from Arkansas. The man and woman have kids who moved to Alaska and so, they are going to follow! Today, they are fishing for halibut.
 This was what you had to carefully cross to get to the sand!
 Still wintery in spots-I didn't mean to pick up rocks, but well. I did!!!! Just a handful, but it was enough. For now.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Duck Hunt

Remember the Nintendo game, Duck Hunt? I felt I was inside it on Monday afternoon! 
There are two lakes out north, Bishop Lake and one with no name. Honestly, there are lots of  unnamed lakes out north, many of them are small and surrounded by bog. Like the one I visited today. It is fed by a creek from Parsons Lake and then that body of water has a creek going into Bishop Lake (google maps is VERY helpful!).  This small creek and lake break up early and waterfowl nest there. Especially swans. For decades a pair of swans have raised babies in this area. I have always passed this spot in a vehicle and gazed dangerously as I guided the rig around the curve in the road. I wanted to hike out, but never did. Until Monday. 
One of the things which caught my attention was the vast silence. I found out what the word soughing means and sounds like. Inside the quiet, the wind moved thru the dried grasses. Calming, soothing, beautiful. 

 I was, once again, VERY glad to have breakup boots!!!!! This is a hike I'd not do in warmer months. I was already ankle deep in water at times and the ice under the mosses kept me on firm footing. And as it gets nicer, it will most likely be infested with skeeters!
 This feather is about 3 inches long. Maybe a tad more.
 I liked how this 'dead' itty bitty tree had specks of new green on the tips!
 I didn't see any swans, but I did scare up a few mallards. At least, I am pretty sure they were mallards!
 Tree with a blank sign. It told me at one time it was protected by someone with an agenda, but now..well, I didn't see any signs today!

 I didn't get close to this, it was getting pretty wet and hiking thru squashy mossy stuff is a lot of work!
 This mountain is EVERYWHERE! I might try getting this shot again, when it is clearer out. Although, it must also be cold enough to walk out to!
 This is where I had the Duck Hunt deja vous! As I stood still next to a dead tree my size, two ducks exploded from the sedge and then split apart, to fly away.
I was a VERY long way from where I had parked mum's car!! This shot is looking back to where the beaver hut might be. I was standing nearer the road here. 
 The culvert under Holt-Lamplight is another place to see water birds. I just saw reflections to play with.

 This last shot is one of my favorite sights as I drive on the road. It is next to the driveway of a man I  used to know as a kid. It isn't a bear or even a pelt. It is a blanket of grass which was plowed up into a snowbank this winter! As the snow has melted, it has folded around the 'structure' and catches the eye.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

A Walk Around the Lake-lots of photos.

I really should have an account for these photos, there are so many. I kept the better ones for this!!! It was super fun to walk around the lake. I haven't done that in decades. AND I also found it neat to see things from shore, rather than from the kayak. Most of the lake shore in the summer months is not good for walking. Today, this uncertain day before Easter in 2017, it was lovely. 
I took several photos of objects melted into the snow and ice. The snow around most of the lake was sturdy enough to walk on. I only sunk into a few spots and about a third of the way around, I was wishing I had worn my winter boots and not mud boots! 

 I saw a dragon shape in this---


A serene bowl of ice and snow.

 Cool spot I wanted to sit in for a bit, but the log really was a bit too unstable.


 These photos are fun because I have many pictures of this log from the water. It was cool to see it from above and beside.
 Shattered shapes in the ice!!!
 
 Here, I was VERY glad to have my spring boots on. This spot moved as I bounced on it. I didn't bounce long and I was very careful. As you can tell, it is close to shore.
 Ice coming off the water on the edge of the lake. Look how much is embedded in it!
I was sad when I reached this spot. This is my lake phone booth. But, the branch has broken off and is in the water. I can still 'park' here to talk, but it won't be as hidden. 
 More fun ice shapes!
 I ran across a bit of trouble and had to figure out how to circumvent this really wet patch. I tried to go under the trees, but what little hair I have left ended up tangling in the branches! So, I found a different way.
 I went around the little grove of trees. You can really tell how hard the ground is when you walk in the moss and there is not a smidge of give in it. But, at least I didn't get wet!
I found my favorite kind of diamond! One made of ice and snow! 
 I was seriously annoyed. I had hoped the dogs were not out, they always are, but I could still hope! They didn't discover me until I was almost to the nursery part of the lake. Silly dogs started barking like crazy!!!
 Crevasses in the ice. Small and deep.
 Looking up the lake from the 'nursery' portion where all the lily pads are in the summer. The ducks often raise their babies in this area because it is safer than the other end of the lake.



 A shadow selfie! I was back where I started. Thankful and very impressed I could walk on the ice and snow as easily as it if was normal ground. I saw things I would not see in the summer and got a bit of exercise.