Alaska

A walk in the Potato Field.

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Sunday, July 14th, we decided to take a walk to Smith Lake located on UAF property. We chose to go here because Matt has walked back there several times, taken pictures, and talked to me about how pretty it is. He had also seen a moose back there on a couple occasions and I had hoped that we would get lucky and see the bull moose (at a safe distance).

 

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This particular day we were in luck. The bull was in the Potato Field, munching away on some fire-weed. We were talking when Matt spotted him. The bull just looked at us for a minute, saw we weren’t going to bother him, and went back to eating.

IMG_9909We walked around the area he was in and snapped a few pictures from different angles. This was difficult for me, since the fire-weed was as tall as I am and the moose was standing further up the hill than we were. To give an idea of how big the moose is compared to the height of the fire-weed, I am a little over five feet tall.

IMG_9913We then continued to Smith lake, where I snapped this photo of a damsel fly. Unfortunately, the sun was at such an angle that I was unable to get a good photo of the lake at this particular spot. I had noticed that there was a map of the trails in the area as we were entering the Potato Field and mentioned that we should walk back to another field, which is the T-Field. We never made it to the T-Field, the mosquito made it unbearable for us to walk much farther. I did manage to get a photo of the lake, from another angle, before we abandoned our journey.

IMG_9915If you would like a map of the summer tails, one can be found here. Also, if you plan on walking or hiking anywhere, I suggest you look up wildlife safety tips for the area you plan to explore. For Alaska, I would specifically suggest searching for how to behave when encountering bears and moose.

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Categories: Alaska, Lakes, Nature, UAF | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

July Fourth in the Last Frontier

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The day started out as planned (sort of). We went to a friend’s house for a get together. Nothing big, just some burgers on the grill, baked salmon, various sides, some Top Gear, and plenty of conversation. Matt and I left about the time that the board games were coming out. I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed my the noise level at that point and Matt doesn’t care for board games much.

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fter getting home, we both decided that we wanted to do something outside. Neither of us had anything specific in mind. We eventually decided to go to Creamer’s Field and walk their nature trails. This is something that we have done several times in the past, but haven’t done since we discovered Chena Lakes.

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After arriving at the Farmhouse (visitor center) we started through the field on the cut path. Soon after entering the woods we remembered why we hadn’t walked there in several weeks. Creamer’s Field is a marsh area, which means swarms of mosquitoes. Our walk ended up being more of a speed walking pace in an effort to avoid the blood suckers. Half way through our chosen trail there was a platform where we sought refuge for a few minutes. We looked out over the field areas around, hoping to see some wildlife. After seeing nothing but the few mosquitoes that followed us up we continued on our way.

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Near the end of the raised walkway in the woods (near the 6 on the trail map linked above) we got quite the surprise. As we rounded a turn we came upon a moose and her calf having a snack on some of the trees by the trail. We always keep an eye out for wildlife, both for safety and photo opportunities. Neither of us saw either of them until we were literally right beside the baby. This scared the crap  out of  me. Luckily we were a comfortable distance from baby for mom not to get upset. We moved a safer distance away, snapped a few photos, and then continued on our way. This was the most exciting and nerve-wracking part of my day and I must say, that is the closest i ever hope to get to a moose of any size. IMG_9535

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Daily Prompt: Nature

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Daily Prompt

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Chena Lake Canoe Adventure

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Just a few shots that Matt took of our day out. We didn’t want to have the camera out too much when we were on the lake because we didn’t want it to get wet or damaged. We also took some subs, chips, and drinks for dinner. We waited to eat until we were done with the canoe, which is when we discovered the upset seagull. I hope everyone enjoys the photos. If you have any suggestions for other places to explore in Alaska, please let me know in the comments.

Categories: Alaska, Lakes, Nature, North Pole | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Chena Lake Picnic

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Had a really nice day off. I mostly just chilled at home until Matt got home from work. We had decided to have a little cookout/picnic for dinner. We were not sure where we wanted to go, then Matt mentioned Chena Lake Recreation Area. It was a park that we hadn’t been to yet but had talked about visiting. We packed up the cooler and headed out after he looked up how to get there.

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The lake is about 40 minutes away, northeast of North Pole. Alaska gave us a beautiful day for cooking at the park, sunny and temperatures in the low 70’s. We decided to do our cooking at the beach/day use area near one of the pavilions. There weren’t many people in that area, most were on the other side of the road at that beach area swimming. (Alaskans have to be crazy….that water was freezing!)

 

Angry Seagull

Angry Seagull

 

A little while into cooking, some people showed up and have a small dog with them. This was a small yappy dog that, for some reason, decided to pick a fight with a seagull about his size. I know, nothing too special about that, right? This seagull seemed to have gathered 5 or 6 of its buddies and they started dive bombing the dog. This was our entertainment while cooking, along with a few water birds on the lake.

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After we ate, we decided to drive around the park and see what else they had. We made our way back to the flood water research area that we passed on the way to the beach. It is like a dam, but they have steps built so you can walk on top of it and see the marshy flooded area. We decided to have a look and walked along it for a bit. Took some pictures of the marshy area and the mountains in the distance. The rest of the park contained some more picnic areas, boat launches, and campsites.

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We have decided that we really like the park. We have talked about going back and renting a canoe for a day and exploring the rest of the park, having a bit bigger picnic with some friends and walking the trails, and even camping. We will definitely be going back and likely buying a season pass instead of paying $5 every time we go.

Categories: Alaska, Lakes, Nature, North Pole | Leave a comment

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