April 24, 2006

The Dogs are Pooped.

I was informed yesterday that because of my blog, when you google my name all sorts of anti-Bush comments pop up. Is that cool or what? *grin*

Yesterday we went for a hike down to Tonsina Point. It's a nice 1.5 mile walk through a hemlock/spruce forest down to the next point south of Seward's southernmost road. You climb up along the crest of a steep ridge above the coast (but you never see the water for most of the hike) until you make a steep descent down a muddy trail into an ancient and mossy spruce forest. The size of the beach is completely dependant upon the level of the tide. When it's high, there's nothing but a narrow stretch of rocks just beyond the beachgrass. When the water is low, however, the beach extends out another several hundred yards.

As you can see, winter is still fairly evident once you climb a couple hundred feet up from sea level. Along the way we heard a Winter Wren, several species of chickadees, and some crossbills. Once we got to Tonsina, the Varied Thrushes were chasing each other through the mossy branches while filling the forest with "REEEEEM!"'s. This is one of the coolest forests I've ever hiked through. When it's not buried in snow and ice, the forest floor is covered by a thick layer of moss. When we entered an area where the snow was pretty much gone Luna started running around in circles. I figured she had heard a squirrel or something and was busy chasing it. But after a few minutes watching her run around I realized she was probably just enjoying the feeling of bouncing on the mossy ground.

We even had a sea otter checking out Harvey's ridiculous "honking rock push" behavior.

And amidst all of the Mew and Glaucus-Winged Gulls was a lone Black Oystercatcher.

The dogs completely overexerted themselves and spent the rest of the evening crashed out on the couch as soon as we got home.

We also witnessed a scene from a Hitchcock movie as we passed by one of the local fish-processing plants in town.

Speaking of birds, I'll be contacting many of you shortly to solicit pledges for my birdathon/big day record attempt. I'll be sure to make a post about it here for anyone else who may want to help raise money for the Arctic Audubon Society and the Alaska Bird Observatory.

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