I have a flock of chickens that have stopped laying eggs. This is my fifth flock of chickens and all the previous ones were productive for three years, while this one is slacking off after less than two.

Crab Fest was a great measure of the feel of our community and where it stands in this phase of the ongoing worldwide pandemic.

It may still be cold, but spring is definitely upon us. Next to my house the daffodils are opening up, no longer able to wait for a sunny opportunity.

Some days I am the only person working in the lab, where I do daily maintenance and data recording of a complicated analytical instrument that I am in charge of.

On this beautiful day in Kodiak, the last Sunday before Christmas, with the island covered in a pristine blanket of snow and the sun glittering in the crystals on every snowy surface, my mind is on dark chocolate truffles.

One day long ago, I stood at a window rocking a sickly toddler on my arms while looking at the purplish-gray evening sky. A flock of seagulls flew by, seemingly in a hurry to get from wherever they came from to wherever they were headed.

I am celebrating on a rainy November afternoon: For weeks I have been talking about the importance of participating in the democratic process and casting one’s vote despite the downfalls of the system.

After years of writing this column about life in the ocean and environmental issues, and as a conversation and learning tool for anything ocean-related going on around our beautiful Island, I currently find it difficult to stay within the limits of this assignment.

The season is changing again. This morning the roofs of the houses in my neighborhood were coated in frost, I had to warm up my car before I could see out the windows and there was a fresh layer of snow on the peaks of the mountains.

An 80-foot ship called the Island C, a great captain with a vision, an exceptional young cook, a competent and upbeat skiff operator, and an engineer with a wealth of experiences and stories to complement, two crew leaders, and a group of volunteers who work hard pulling together every day, …

Kodiak is such an interesting place: If you look at a map of the United States, you are lucky if Alaska even shows up in its proper location and is not inserted somewhere off the coast of Mexico.

A good friend called me up last week to ask if I could help her with some biological samples. She needed to split her workload, because she realized that with an increased load of home schooling for her two kids, her time was going to shrink away quickly.

When it comes to talking about elections, most people would say that they want to see change.

I have recently been tasked with reviewing a paper about ecosystem dynamics in the North Atlantic Ocean. It has given me some appreciation of the difficult job of fisheries managers and the task of writing reports on the status of an ecosystem.

“May you always have sand in your shoes and a shell in your pocket” read the text on a card a friend gave me a while ago. The card featured a mermaid; I like mermaids.

When our mind seeks solutions to the problems of the day, it often takes a trip down memory lane. People remember things in different ways and often the memories are tied to certain items or images.

This time will be remembered in history. What would I give for a glimpse into one of the future recounts of the changes that our country is in the process of and preparing to undergo?

Life is different now. Everyone feels it in a different way. For some it has been nice to enjoy extra time at home getting things done or engaging in activities that we usually don’t find time for.

Imagine you were shut down in a small apartment in a high-riser in some city. You are not allowed to go outside, so to keep your sanity you begin to meditate.

There is a great white shark in the fish tank with me. Well, not really, but this is the best metaphor I could come up with trying to translate the old saying “there is an elephant in the room” into a marine theme.

Last night I went out for a drink with a couple of friends. As we arrived, the band was just leaving after playing for an empty room all evening and we had our choice of, well, all of the tables.

Today, I was woken up by the sounds of playing children. There is a lot of shouting and screaming involved, a lot of stomping of running feet, doors opening and slamming shut, and a lot of energy. As the kids were outside in the snow, I spent some time watching as they were totally engulfed …

I consider myself an environmentalist. I have heard a lot of sneers and jokes about those “tree-huggers” and “animal lovers” who would rather save a bird than eat, rather look at a bunny in the forest than have a road built there to go faster to the next place of interest, rather have a fiel…

When I was a kid there was a small convenience store located about a mile from my family home. Whenever I had gotten a hold of some money, I would walk there and spend it on candy, carefully doing the math to get the most “bang for the buck.” Sometimes my mom would send me to get an item tha…

Many of us start each new year with plans to improve something about ourselves or the way we do things. I have lately been thinking about the seemingly impossible task of living in the present while being better at planning out the future. At the same time, I want to draw from fond experienc…

Solstice and Christmas time give a chance for reflection. Around the holidays many people contemplate what the year has brought and what is coming up in the new year. Following the news stories, especially the environmental news can be daunting, sometimes make a person feel depressed, powerl…

Last spring and summer, during the northward migration of the gray whales, the news kept reporting dead whales found washed up on beaches from California to Alaska. By July NOAA reported 182 gray whales were found dead along their migration route from the warmer waters in Baha California, Me…

I was recently given a rare opportunity to see the diversity of fishes caught on last summer’s Bering Sea trawl survey. I had an unwieldy bag of frozen fish that it took me a while to sort through and two days to thaw out. I hauled two totes of these fish to Kodiak Middle School for an after…

Last week, about 50 people got together in Kodiak to think about changes to come to our town. The title of the conference was “Adapt Kodiak” and it was one of a series of such conferences held in numerous Alaskan communities to spur the process of thinking about how to take change into consi…

It is a dark and stormy morning. The wind makes noises in my chimney pipe and gusts are shaking the house. Occasional thumps from the roof tell of the spruce cones and branches that are falling onto the house. Outside, the trees are dancing wildly and the shadows of their moving branches are…

I did one 10-day Marine Debris cleanup tour to the beaches of Shuyak in June, and I just returned from a second such adventure in Izhut Bay, Afognak Island. In June, we had a group of young people on their first work experience, a beautiful setting, and a lot of very hard manual labor. This …

I hate to resolve to the shallowness of writing about the weather. By now everyone must have noticed that we are having an unusually warm, extremely dry summer. But I may be wrong: Just the other day, as I left a store the cashier told me to “enjoy the nice weather.” There is nothing nice ab…

It has been an amazing week. Actually, eight amazing days of Kodiak’s first Ocean Science Discovery and Marine Stewardship Camp. I admit it started rocky. There were troubles getting an insurance company to provide liability insurance for campers in a small island town in Alaska — one compan…

KODIAK — Some topics are easy to write about. It is easy to look up the life cycle of an animal and describe its animal superpowers. I love doing that because I am always amazed by how nature solves the multitude of challenges life offers in so many different ways. Other topics are more diff…

KODIAK — Kodiak is in summer mode; salmon fishing is at its height, tourists are swarming town, there is a constant background sound track of lawn mowers, outboards and children playing, and the roads are dusty. Some people love and enjoy every moment of it while others complain about too mu…

KODIAK — Everybody eats. I thought writing about nutrition would be easy, especially since I have lately spent quite some effort learning more about what foods energize and what foods actually zap us of energy. Hours later, I found myself still staring at a blank page after going down severa…