S: Alaska Summer 2012
FC: Alaska Summer of 2012
1: I left on this wild adventure as part of an internship for my degree in Animal Management. I stayed and lived in Seward, Alaska from May 31st to August 1st. Days prior to that,I lived with the Cannon family in Soldotna, Alaska. Their hospitality knew no bounds. I also made a friend in Celeste Cannon. I interned at the Alaska SeaLife Center, working in the Eiders area with Spectacled and Stellar eiders. I also worked in their Birds area, and Rehabilitation. In Rehabilitation, I worked with professionals to rehabilitate a baby beluga, something no facility or person had attempted. I also worked with a walrus who liked to cuddle and fell asleep with his head on my chest. I have seen everything from whales and walruses, to crazy people. Here is the time of events, although a little skewed at times, of my adventure here in the last frontier of Alaska.
2: Alaska Day 1 Driving from Anchorage to Kenai!
3: Just a little guy, This moose calf visited every morning and evening when I stayed in Soldotna.
4: Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
5: The very first day, after getting some sleep at the hotel, Doris drove me to a place to eat, I would need it for the full day ahead as we drove from Anchorage to Soldotna. We stopped everywhere to take pictures of the ocean, random waterfalls, which you can drink from it without a filter! | We stopped at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. I haven't seen so much before all in one day! I was overwhelmed by the wilderness, the size of the mountains, and the pure beauty, and the rustic feel of Alaska. I loved it!
6: The days go by In Kenai... Or Soldotna? Four-wheeling around the Connons house was a highlight! | I think the bears got 'im.
7: The ocean view from Soldotna, Alaska. With Celeste Cannon | Safe to say, Celeste and I loved hanging out. If I walked out of Alaska with a true friend, it would be Celeste. It helps when we both share similar interests. We spent nights talking and nerding out over Star Wars, and talking about boys. Giggling over our silly antics, I missed her a lot while in Seward. We were a measly 60 miles away, but with no car it felt like a country away! | Celeste was thrilled to show me all her hangout spots in Soldotna. Here we visited the Pacific ocean, I did NOT put my toes in it. My hands were enough.
8: Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
9: Alaska SeaLife Center
10: Do what you Love and | You'll never work a day in your life. | Red Legged Kittiwakes Tufted Puffin King Eider And a Beluga Calf Long Tailed duck Horned puffin Seal pup Rhino. Auklet
11: Disinfecting, cleaning large metal pools, and smaller fiber glass pools. This was my favorite. My least favorite job was changing my shoes in and out of the quarantine areas. The areas were separated into two areas, ODL (Outdoor Lab) and Bayview. ODL housed the stellar eider flock, and breeding pairs separately, as well as Stellar eider males. Bayview holds five enclosures for breeding Stellar pairs. | My internship at the Alaska Sealife Center involved the general husbandry in the Eiders area. I think this is the easiest area of them all. My day included a lot of hosing, driving to the woods and hiking for hours looking for large sheets of moss used for nesting material.
12: Stellar Eider Spectacled Eiders Horned Puffin Common Murres Horned Puffin chick
13: I worked closely with two species of Eiders, Spectacled and Stellar Eiders. The Spectacled Eiders were by far my favorite birds to work with. | Nothing says the end of summer quite like a bird molting, bringing with it the end of my internship.
14: Cordelia | Seal in Rehab | Baby Beluga | Charles the King Eider
15: One of the greatest opportunities I had was volunteering and shadowing in the Rehabilitation area of SeaLife center. It was really busy this summer with two rare cases, a stranded Beluga whale calf, and 3 stranded walrus calves. Working with these animals was a once in a life time opportunity, which took up my nights from 3 or 4 am to 7 or 8 am. Although the Beluga did not make it, two of the three walrus calves did. One was the endearing Mitik, now residing in New York none the less. I learned that Walrus' are very touchy and demand a lot of attention. Simply the cutest thing to work with on the planet! | Trivia Question! How can you tell a beluga calf's age? Answer: Their skin has indents, like rolls, where they were curled up in the womb of the mother.
17: Sealife Center is home to Stellar Sealions, Puffins, Auklets, Guillemots, and Seals.
18: Mr. Apathy himself Travis Henderson! Posed here modeling a food dish. Also, the ingenius mind who brought the Termin-eider! I made it worse by adding, "Eider be quack!" | The view off Bayview, Many days I saw porpoise, golden and bald eagles, sea birds and several gulls. But I did see a rare sighting of humpbacks from this spot! | Steve Irwin is a regular at the SeaLife center. It just so happened that whenever he was around he caught me at the most embarrassing moments. Involving snorting soda, running into walls, and stuffing my face with a bagel.
19: Sara Schramm and I rocked Eiders area!
20: Tim from Rehab: The very guy who made me snort soda and run into a wall simutaneously | Hannah Feltes cleaning the Bird Tank. | Looking at blood samples in the Lab. | Saying goodbye to Mr. Apathy, Travis Henderson.
21: Go and walk with Nature; thou wilt find Full many a gem in her enchanted cup. -Isaac McLellan
22: Exit Glacier Seward, Alaska
25: One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. -William Shakespeare
26: There is something of the marvelous in all things of nature. -Aristotle
29: I thank those Major Marine Boys. They showed me a wonderful time in Alaska that summer. They make wonderful friends, Nate being the best, and with all the free boat tours they can offer they know how to have a good time. Some of the best days off were hanging on these boats. (By the way the trips alone cost hundreds so saving me money really helps!) | That aside, off the boats they were tons of fun as well. I never had to pay for a single drink with them around! Also, free trips to the base of Exit Glacier, I may or may not have swam in the glacier streams there.
30: Aboard the Ialic Voyager, Star of the Northwest, and the Spirit of Adventure, we explored the wildlife that inhabits the Kenai Fjords in Alaska.
31: Humpbacks, Fin Whales. Orcas aplenty. With Sea Lions, Sea Otters, and Seals all swimming along.
33: Dalls Porpoise off the starboard Bow
34: Male Orca! | Humpback Whale
35: Tufted Puffin
36: Stellar Sea Lion | Bald Eagle | Horned Puffin
37: in a floating kelp patch with another humpback swimming around. He splashed his fins and would peek his head up multiple times for several minutes before he showed us his fluke, which signals a deep dive, and disappeared back into the ocean. | One of the coolest sights this summer was stumbling on a humpback. At first many were concerned he was caught in netting. But as we continued watching we discovered he was in fact rolling
38: My last boat tour with Major Marine, I owe it all to Nate Chamberlain! Although we didn't see whales, we did have fun. With free alcohol and good company! | Bartender!
39: Hot Otter! | Whales Tail! | Glaciers: (Left to Right) Prospect, Spoon, Porcupine Godwin. | Lionsmane Jellyfish | Sea Otter Pelt | WW2 Bunker
40: Standing beneath a waterfall! | Harbor porpoise, only marine mammal seen that day.
42: Puffin On the Rocks | Sloppy Otter: Peppermint Schnapps Hot Cocoa Whip cream Chocolate Syrup... More Chocolate Syrup | Hot Otter | Blood Diamond: Tequila, grenaden, Triple sec, Cranberry Juice Pineapple Upside Down Cake: Vanilla Vodka, Grenaden, and pineapple Juice. Grenaden is added last. Hot Otter: Kahlua, Peppermint schnapps, Irish Cream, Hot Chocolate Kenai Kicker: Coffee,Kahlua, brandy Irish cream | Alaskan Natives love their alcohol with something sweet, and preferably warm! I don't blame them!
43: These are the many places I visited or dined, Sea Bean was a coffee shop, with ice cream. | Seward Alehouse, A crazy picture of my favorite Yukon Bar, and Showcase Lounge were the nightly bars. Then my favorite shop, it was a Russian exchange shop with all sorts of military paraphernalia.
44: Hiking to Lost Lake; Taisha, Becky, Kelly and I didn't expect the feet of snow that awaited us higher up on the trail!
45: I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete. It's so freakin' heroic." -George Carlin
46: Thats supposed to be a puffin!
47: Happy 22nd Jared! I "made" the cake for this special celebration. While I learned that if you smear your name and dab it on your nose you'll have good luck all year long!
48: As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
49: Always a New Adventure
51: Family, Fun, Food and Fireworks
52: There's a whole lot of party going on | U.S. Air Force Band Top Cover
53: There's a whole lot of party going on
54: My Dream Car
56: Mount Marathon is the background of Seward, the peak I saw every morning outside my bedroom window. 4000 feet high, I climbed this monstrous mountain, with Jared Merriman. We climbed sketchy shale mountain faces, pushing our bodies to their limits. Having reached the peak, I feel I now have no excuse to say no to anything in this world, as long as I try. The mountain held a beautiful garden. For a moment, when the sun shone through the petals, I thought amazed that this would be God's garden. If ever it existed.
57: Making this Trek with Jared was the best decision. With Jared's never ending puns, my sarcasm, and our scientific knowledge, we managed to reach the peak in good humor, maybe wondering what was wrong with us, for choosing such an arduous journey. We stopped often, either from exhaustion, or for birding, although that might have just been the excuse. Taking 3 hours up, the way dawn was a measly hour, although it involved falling with a lot of grace, something neither of us really have.
58: "In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." -Margaret Atwood
64: Chris, Frat Boy extremist | Heidi, retiring after years of working with Eiders. She will be missed! | Sean, Me, Tessa, and another Major Marine Mate at the Yukon Bar. | A major marine bonfire night in the bay. By morning the tide drowns our fire and we have to wait for the tide to go the next night to start again. | Some of the most memorable nights were hanging at the bonfires with Major marine peeps. The coolest was on the longest day of the year, I got to watch the sun settle behind the mountains and rise in a few hours.
65: Britt: Mammal Curator A.K,A, GrillMaster | John from Syracuse N.Y! | Taisha Rocha | Connecting with people, I wish I could remember this guys name. He works for Disney in Cali. with marine mammals.
66: Perri with Tana. Tana was my companion when I ran up Mt. Marathon, which you should never do alone. Hence the dog. | Playing Leap Frog for Laura's birthday (the one in the back). Discovered I'm not the most graceful of people when leaping over their heads. There is a slight height issue.
67: Katie and Virginia | Virginia, sleeping after a day of whale watching. | 2012 Alaska SeaLife Interns | Katie and Katie | Alaska SeaLife Interns, and Kathleen Summers. With her dog. | Teasin' Angela
68: Every now and then us interns tried to get together and enjoy what we liked to call out "Family Dinners". Not the best picture of me, but these were good times. | Justin Krank, Major Marines 1st mate. Keepin' it classy. | Look! A glacier! | Angela | Perri had to be my favorite roommate, with Becky a close second. We spent hours thinking up ocean puns. I don't know what the porpoise of it was, but it was fun.
69: The bird in this image is an eagle, and it took me half my stay to actually see one of the most common birds of Alaska. As I was trying to shoot this image with my phone, | I tripped. Not only did I trip, I fell face first, scraping and tearing pants and knee, in front of the local restaurant window as a family was exiting. "Stupid Birds!"
70: The only theater in Seward, and only one screen. When a movie came out, days after it hit theaters everywhere else, it finally opened in Seward. Everyone from the community would show up.
71: Most are done by loal artist's, and sold in the shops around town. | Art exists everywhere in Seward. | I wanted these paintings so badle. But my pocket cried at the thought of it. So I opted for taking these pictures instead.
74: On the way to Seavey's Dog Sled Tours! | The Seaveys are a family with Dog Sled Teams that compete in Alaska's Iditarod races! In the summer, they run tours. | These pups are raised to be competitors!
75: A sled! | Cute Musher! | Start, to finish, the gear the dogs wear.
76: A day at the Seavey's Dog Sled Tours was an exciting day for me. I experienced first hand the strength these dogs had!
79: Nothing is more fun than when you make a lifelong friend and can share something in common, and are able to have fun in ways that you couldn't with others. And not get strange looks, or be judged twenty ways til Sunday. May the force be with us always!
80: learn from one bird how to sing, than to teach ten thousand stars how not to dance. " -e.e. cummings | Cormorants, Horned/tufted Puffins, Murrelets,Pine Grosbeak, Black Billed Magpie, Arctic Tern, Stellar Jay, Gulls, Kittiwakes. | "I would rather | The birds alone, made this trip worth it. I started a Life List!
86: My last adventure in Alaska, flying a bush plane from Kenai to Anchorage. This was generously paid for by the Cannons. I had a fabulous summer, one to never be forgotten. And as I flew over Alaska, I said my good byes as I forlornly returned home.
88: The slumbering giants surrounded Seward, large mountain peaks, serene vistas night and day.
89: I'll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can. -John Muir | As long as I live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I'll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche.