Tim and I moved from Utah to Alaska in early April. We drove for three days to get to Tacoma where we spent a few days with old friends and their young son. Time was well spent catching up and then on we went for a flight to Anchorage. I have a very clear memory of a friend from my first summer working in Yellowstone who then went on to work and live in Alaska. He told me once "Kelly, you would love Alaska. As much as you love Yellowstone, you need to come here. The whole state is like Yellowstone. Imagine that." With my list of places to see in the world getting longer and longer, Alaska remained on the back burner. I hoped to see and experience it, but it wasn't even in my top ten of places to see and experience.
That changed when Tim was offered a job in Anchorage. We both knew that living and working in a remote part of Utah on the edge of the west desert wasn't going to be our forever home. So together we decided to move a further 3,000 miles away from our hometowns and families and my beloved Yellowstone.
|I believe this is a yellowlegs we spotted in Kincaid Park.|
|Breeding red-necked grebes who put on quite a courtship display. They could be heard from well across the lagoon, and we watched them for some time along with a gentlemen who gave us some tips on other places to spot bird life in Anchorage.|
|A common loon. I've been told these lovelies are a fleeting sight for a mere few days in spring before they move on. I was grateful to spot this lone bird on a lagoon close to downtown Anchorage.|
|A tree swallow at Potter Marsh.|
|An Arctic tern taking a brief rest on a sign informing humans what not to do along this stretch of the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge. Don't feed the birds or disturb their nests. Gulls and terns were nesting in the mud and reeds among the shallow water. It's hard to fathom how far terns fly annually - from their nesting grounds in/near the Arctic to Antarctica and back. Phew.|
|Part of a mural on the back of the library in Seward.|
|Seward again. Gotta love a town where someone goes to the trouble of painting a public garbage can!|
Aside from the massive amount of wilderness in the state as a whole, Anchorage itself has many parks, green belts, trails, and places to view nature. It's remarkable how much land within the city limits has been kept mostly wild as respite for both humans and wildlife. A large part of my time here so far has involved seeking them out. I've been rewarded with many moose sightings and plenty of bird spotting. We've also seen a lynx and scads of snowshoe hares.
|Caught sight of this little one while doing dishes. I watched it groom for several minutes. Much to our cat's delight, snowshoe hares zipped through the garden and around the cabin continuously throughout the day.|
|Paper birch trees are everywhere here, and I love the bark - the color, the texture, everything.|
|Things growing on an old picnic table.|