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On the Trails: Early September observations

By the end of summer the numbers of sockeye in Steep Creek had declined markedly, but there were still enough that a female bear with two cubs was able to catch five of them in about thirty minutes.
On the Trails: Recycling weaponry

We are sometimes admonished to turn our swords into plowshares, with the (usually vain) hope that peace among peoples may ensue.
On the Trails: What happens when animals eat poisons?

I have reports, from two good observers, of marmots on Gold Ridge eating monkshood, a plant that is known to be highly toxic.
On the Trails: Debunking mysteries of the monkshood flower

One warm but very windy day, a friend and I were perched on top of Gold Ridge in a small swale that provided some shelter from the wind. The alpine meadow was dotted with the purple flowers of monkshood.
On the Trails: Recent sightings around Juneau

Here's a collection of small discoveries from recent walks. Along the road to the Eagle's Nest and Pittman Ridge, there was a small stand of fireweed that stood out from the rest.
On the Trails: Fishy fins of many uses

When we think of a "typical" fish, most of us would envision something like a salmon or a pike.
On the Trails: Grunt sculpins

I recently took a visitor to see the aquaria on display at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration lab on Lena Point.
On the Trails: Learning to see the natural world more deeply

"? the question is not what you look at - but how you look and whether you see." (Thoreau, 1851) In my weekly essays I commonly report small natural history observations noted during a walk in the forest or meadows.
On the Trails: How young dippers learn

Someone saw a photo of a fledgling dipper in a local stream and asked me how young dippers learn to do all the things an adult must do - fly, swim, dive, forage, and (by next spring) sing the proper song and engage in courtship and chick care.
On the Trails: Small pleasures add up

On recent strolls in Gustavus and Bartlett Cove, several small observations gave interest and pleasure. Not to be sneered at, the small things added up (as they often do) to a pleasing heap of natural history items.


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