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I just started my fifth flock of chickens. Each flock was started with young chickens between a few days and up to 6 months of age. This time, I got little peeps that were only a few days old, all fuzzy and cute.

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Standing on the back deck of the boat slowly puttering through St. Herman Harbor we were passing an old crabbing boat rusting away. This boat has not moved in years, and it has the sad air of having seen better days. Since we were on a wildlife viewing adventure, however, I did not dwell on …

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We have a new puppy and she is very food motivated. She was an orphan from a large litter in the streets of Tijuana, Mexico, and she probably experienced hunger in the first fragile weeks of her puppy life.

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If you had asked me as a youth what I wanted to be, I would probably have said something about a biologist and working near the ocean.

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You may not notice it as you scooped fish out of the Copper River or rode your bike through the tawny light of 10 p.m., but Alaska is about to make a left turn toward winter.

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“I came here 40 years ago, when I just moved up from Juneau,” Kes Woodward says in a South Carolina accent soft as butter. “These trees were just saplings.”

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To the delight of the local mosquitoes, Nicholas Hasson steps through a tangle of prickly spruce branches while wearing a backpack that holds a scientific instrument.

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

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Greenup — the great, silent collective explosion of freed tree buds that had been frozen all winter like a clenched fist — will happen any day now in Fairbanks. The phenomenon is easy to notice here in middle Alaska, which is locked up in black-and-white for much of the year.

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In Alaska’s infinite waters swims a handsome, silvery fish. Until recently, we knew little about the Bering cisco, which exists only around Alaska and Siberia. Then a scientist combined his unique life experiences with modern tools to help color in the fish’s life history.

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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.

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On the final cabin trip of the spring, as my friend Andy and I skied along a packed ribbon of snow, the wolf tracks were a surprise.

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The Alsek, a world-class rafting river that flows into the Gulf of Alaska from its headwaters in Canada, may soon abandon the lower part of its drainage for a steeper one 15 miles away. 

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The sea has forever inspired artists of all kinds. Who has not gazed at the water when trying to calm the mind, think, find consolation or develop ideas?

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As a few scientists hiked a path between the ice towers of a Southeast Alaska glacier and crashing ocean waves in 2016, they topped a ridge and saw massive tree trunks poking from gravel ahead. The dead, sheared-off rainforest stems pointed toward the ocean like skeletal fingers.

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Bowhead whales are true northern creatures, swimming only in cold oceans off Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Svalbard and Russia. These bus-size whales have the largest mouths in the animal kingdom, can live for 200 years and can go without eating for more than a year due to their remarkable fat …

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Jan. 23, 2021, is the 50th anniversary of Alaska’s all-time cold temperature: minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit, recorded by a weather observer at Prospect Creek Camp.

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More than 100 years ago, a man traveled north on a mission most people thought was ridiculous — to see if crops would grow in the frozen wasteland known as the Territory of Alaska.

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During the darkest days of Alaska’s winter, black-capped chickadees stuff themselves with enough seeds and frozen insects to survive 18-hour nights. Where the chickadees spend those long nights was a mystery until a biologist tracked them.

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On a certain weekday during each of the past 13 Decembers, I have settled into a chair at a long table, pulled out my notepad and listened to experts talk about the changes they have noticed north of the Arctic Circle.

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“On winter mornings, just as the sun’s uncertain light slopes across the Tanana Flats, ravens fly over my log cabin on their daily commute to town. Perhaps, like me, they would prefer to remain here in the hills above Fairbanks, where temperatures are usually ten or twenty degrees warmer. Bu…

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Ice that floats on far-north oceans has been dwindling the last few years. Scientists have described the shrinking of this solar reflector — once bigger than Russia and now taking up less space than Australia — as a breakdown of the world’s refrigerator.

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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.

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Will Harrison, who knew the world’s bumpy plains of ice as well as his old neighborhood in Saint John, New Brunswick, has died. He was 84.

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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.

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Biologist Stacia Backensto has fooled a raven. When trying to recapture birds on Alaska’s North Slope during her graduate student days at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, she wore a moustache and beard. She also strapped pillows to her waist.

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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.

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On the first day of October, a little girl pulls on her rubber boots and rushes outside into crisp fall air. She knows the days are getting shorter, but she doesn’t realize Alaska is a week past the autumnal equinox.

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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, …

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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.

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

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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.

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Alaska’s landscape has an unusual feature that allows us to enjoy cheap bananas in Fairbanks and other things that make life better in the subarctic.

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“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.

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A scientist recently wondered which animal travels farthest across the landscape in one year. In doing his research, he found a few Alaska creatures near the top of the list.

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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.

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High summer is here in middle Alaska. North of Fairbanks, in bright sunshine, alder flycatchers are perched in spruce tops, just arriving from Bolivia and Peru. A few steps away, accompanied by the smell of sulfur, dozens of carrion flies buzz on and above a moose carcass.

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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?