Springtime in Northwest Alaska

Jun 8, 2013 | 1 comment

This week has kept me busy with training at work, but on Thursday we got to get out on the road system for a little excursion and to deliver a 55 gallon barrel of aviation fuel to the airstrip at the end. It was cold and foggy in town, but as soon as we crossed over the mountains, it was beautiful and sunny, although the spring landscape remains pretty brown.

Coming down out of the mountains

Golden-crowned sparrow

¬†Besides some birds and moose and Arctic ground squirrels, we didn’t see any other wildlife, but the views were beautiful as always.

Grand Central Valley

NatGeo moose chase shot

Towards the end of the road we stopped on a bridge and one of my coworkers spotted 5 moose standing on the opposite bank. One was chasing the others around, and the moose calves were following, galloping awkwardly around on their long legs.

Moosages

Osprey

Also at this bridge was a relative rarity for the Nome area — an osprey! Although they have been known to be in this area on occasion, this pair was building a nest on the bridge.

Yellow Warbler taking off

Bird migration is in full swing, and the tundra was alive with the songs of white-crowned and golden-crowned sparrows, plovers, and sandpipers. Also sighted lots of swans and ducks in the ponds along the roadside.

Sea Ice is all but gone

Back in town, the sea ice is still hanging around to the west, but for the most part it’s beginning to melt and float away. It looks kind of strange right now because you can still see it frozen into the substrate underwater and chunks of ice float near the shore.

Sea ice underwater (taken with GoPro)

Red-throated Loon

Nothing much else to report for now. Yesterday it snowed again (pictures to come!). I also got to help out with a junior ranger program in preparation for leading my own in a couple weeks.

Next week I have B3 Aviation training again, Operational Leadership, and Shotgun Training, and hopefully more opportunities to get outside.

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    HEY! I just learned yesterday that you had returned to Nome. Family miscomunications, I guess, but in any case, I do apologize for not acknowledeing your most recent posts. I am so proud of you, and so happy for you! With love, GPED.

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