25 June 2015

"Something Around Every Corner!"

25 Jun 2015--On Tuesday, 2 days ago, we did a bit of this and that...with the end of the day totally awesome and completely unplanned.

This little bird seems to hang out in our RV park...only ever see the one



We started at the Visitor's Center down the street, looking for maybe some places to hike, and saw these pics...a quick glimpse into the past.  We begin with people on bikes, a look at the roads as they used to be (not much better today--haha) a horse and sleigh sorta stuck, and then the Roadhouse...all it is is a tent!!!  haha



They directed us to a a very short trail overlooking the town, and the best thing about that was the berries and the flowers.



These look like pink/red blackberries, but they are called salmon berries, and both people and bears eat them.



A group of beautiful plants all mixed together.



The 1st here is Fireweed, followed by Cow Parsnip.



And this is called Goat's Beard.  So pretty all together!



Next we headed down to the wharf, where we talked to people about taking a boat tour to a glacier or two, and thought this poster was interesting. It has incredibly lost 11 miles of glacial ice since the 80s!!!!



We hope to do some kayaking when Ellen joins us, so thought we would get her in the mood with this pic...haha  And it seems that wild rabbits around here are black (?).  Cathy saw one in the RV park the other day, and it was also black!



A series of pics of a bear determined to get that bird feeder!!!  Can you believe that!?



Things get interesting when we head a little outside town to this fish hatchery.  Right across the street from this place is the entrance to a very popular trail that we considered taking...but only up to the point that we saw this bear sign.  Once the salmon come in, which is literally supposed to be any day now, the bears come crawling out of the woods to feast on them.  So we're thinking those bears are really, really close...and we are not going anywhere near those woods!!!

 

Salmon always return to the place of their birth to spawn, so all of the fish they catch are doing what comes naturally to them.  This fish "weir' is basically a barricade though, to block the returning salmon from continuing any further so that their eggs can be raised and released from here, just like the parents were.  The middle pic shows the ladder, and then the buildings where the eggs are taken, etc.

  

This is the weir.  The fish will be swimming upstream, towards it, and it will force the fish towards the orange netting you can see in both pics.

 

Looking for the path to least resistance, they will all enter the fish ladder thru this one little door and continue up the steps, where they will enter the fish run and be handled by the workers..



The first few fish have started to trickle in, so more and more seals are showing up. You can see in the 1st pic how this seal is just twiddling his thumbs and waiting!  haha  And then in the 2nd pic how that wait was not in vain!!!

 

Two quick videos,...the 1st showing, as opposed to telling, how the cycle runs, and the 2nd we were lucky enough to catch on film that seal catching that fish!!!

video video

Over to a different part of town, looking for bears to no avail, but got lucky to see this eagle instead.



A quick drive to the Valdez Glacier, viewed from inside the city limits. Not anywhere near as cool as Worthington Glacier, but interesting that is so close to us.  Notice how gray the water is.  We were told that lakes, etc., made from glacial ice would be gray due to the amount of silt released by the glacier,while lakes formed from melting snow would be clear water.



Just one of those things where you say "What did that sign say?"  haha  I talked to a guy who just happened to walk by us as I was taking these pics, and he said he has been staying here for what will be 8 months.  He is from Idaho, flown in here by his company to do some electric power work, and he and about 200 others stay in these rooms while temporarily working in this area.  There are a lot of outside oil workers staying here also.  They even have their own dining hall...like the military!!! haha



So, we were home for the evening when Cathy decided she was going to walk over to Safeway to pick up a few things, around 8:30 at night.  She wasn't gone 3 seconds when she came rushing back in saying their were a bunch of eagles flying around outside, so we grabbed our cameras and out we went.

You never saw so many eagles in your life!!!  Onesies and twosies (see 2nd pic), perching in trees and diving down into the parking lot of the RV Park across the street from us.  We didn't know at 1st, but a local guy was grabbing fish he had caught and waving it in the air to attract the eagles, and then would occasionally drop one on the ground and in they would sweep!  It was wild!!!



Here is a series of pics of one swooping down that Cathy caught on her camera.  You can see, if you blow them up, in the 5th and 6th pics he is actually still flying while either killing, eating or adjusting the fish in his talons.



So this was a whole bunch of eagle pics, but we have so many we just couldn't bear to leave out any of these...too beautiful!

4 comments:

  1. Loved seeing all your pics and I can just taste the fresh salmon if I could wrestle it away from that bear!

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  2. I love the eagle pictures, Paula and Cathy. And you have to admire that bear's determination going after the feeder. The heart wants what the heart wants.

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  3. You out did yourself with the eagles. Loved it. you had everything I love in this one. Flowers and birds. Why is Cathy out walking at night with bears around? ???

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  4. these eagle pictures are truly amazing!!! I can not believe the length of their wingspan. I love the last one. He's coming right at you

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