Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS 
Biological intern Annaleese Rasanen surveys severely burned alpine shrub tundra within the Swan Lake Fire burn July 27, 2020.

Refuge Notebook: A refuge manager’s perspective on 2020

A friend and colleague recently sent me a list of “things to consider” as 2020 drew to a close (all credit to the unidentified source… Continue reading

 

Homer’s Bergen Knutson (left) and Toby Nevak (right) try to fend off Dimond’s Kaden Daniels during a Friday, Feb. 14, 2020 game at the 2020 ASAA First National Cup Division I Hockey State Championship at the Curtis D. Menard Memorial Sports Center in Wasilla, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Middle, high school sports resume

Middle and high school sport programs started back up this week as the Kenai Peninsula School District allowed a resumption of onsite education starting Monday.… Continue reading

 

Fletcher runs through the snow on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, on Diamond Ridge near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Out of the Office: How all the dogs in my life have kept me sane and happy

I have written before about the virtues of big, rowdy dogs in developing an exercise plan. In my more than 40 years in Alaska, I… Continue reading

 

Defending champion Joar Lefseth Ulsom runs his team down Fourth Ave during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Saturday, March 2, 2019 in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Michael Dinneen)

Start location changed for scaled-back Iditarod

ANCHORAGE (AP) — Officials with the scaled-back Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday announced another change for the 2021 competition. The world’s most famous… Continue reading

  • Jan 6, 2021
Defending champion Joar Lefseth Ulsom runs his team down Fourth Ave during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Saturday, March 2, 2019 in Anchorage, Alaska. (AP Photo/Michael Dinneen)
Kenai River Brown Bears forward Max Helgeson chases the puck along the boards against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Brown Bears lose in return to ice

The Kenai River Brown Bears returned to action Saturday for the first time since Nov. 14 with a 5-2 loss to the host Chippewa (Wisconsin)… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Max Helgeson chases the puck along the boards against the Fairbanks Ice Dogs on Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
The author looks across Eklutna Lake on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020 near Eagle River, Alaska. (Photo by Tim Rockey)

Out of the Office: Good riddance

When I first saw my turn in the rotating schedule for writing this column would fall on New Year’s Eve, my mind jumped to a… Continue reading

The author looks across Eklutna Lake on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020 near Eagle River, Alaska. (Photo by Tim Rockey)
From left to right, Reid Rauch, Ellis Lorentz, Sawyer Johnson, Wylder Johnson, Selma Johnson, Renn Lorentz and Che Lorentz celebrate at the Ski Your Age event held Dec. 26, 2020 at the Lookout Mountain Trails near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Lila Johnson)

Young, old turn out for Ski Your Age

Each year, a number of outdoor enthusiasts take to the snow to see if they can ski their own age in kilometers. This year, changed… Continue reading

From left to right, Reid Rauch, Ellis Lorentz, Sawyer Johnson, Wylder Johnson, Selma Johnson, Renn Lorentz and Che Lorentz celebrate at the Ski Your Age event held Dec. 26, 2020 at the Lookout Mountain Trails near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Lila Johnson)
My makeshift Christmas tree only had a few ornaments this year, but brought a lot of joy. (Photo by Kat Sorensen)

Tangled Up in Blue: Happy Holidays

I just wrapped up celebrating Christmas 2020, a holiday marked by familial Zoom calls, small gatherings and a global pandemic. I wasn’t expecting much, but… Continue reading

  • Dec 30, 2020
  • By KAT SORENSEN For the Clarion
  • Outdoors
My makeshift Christmas tree only had a few ornaments this year, but brought a lot of joy. (Photo by Kat Sorensen)
A Northern Hawk Owl clutching a red-backed vole near Watson Lake between Sterling and Cooper Landing, Alaska on Nov. 30, 2020. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/USFWS)

Northern Hawk Owls frequent Swan Lake Fire burn

In a gliding dive it swooped down from atop an aspen and disappeared, plunging into the fresh snow behind a stand of willows. I hunkered… Continue reading

A Northern Hawk Owl clutching a red-backed vole near Watson Lake between Sterling and Cooper Landing, Alaska on Nov. 30, 2020. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/USFWS)
Bottenintnin Lake, seen on Nov. 24, 2020 near Sterling, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Out of the Office: More questions than answers

The only place life makes sense anymore is the outdoors. How do we balance the needs of students and parents with the safety of school… Continue reading

Bottenintnin Lake, seen on Nov. 24, 2020 near Sterling, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
ski

High school ski practice was able to start on Monday

According to an email from Soldotna High School Athletic Director Kyle McFall, high schools will be able to start ski practice Monday. Cross-country skiing is… Continue reading

ski
Wyatt, at age 4, helping dad harvest crawfish at White River NWR in Arkansas. (Photo by Matt Conner/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Crawfish to Christmas trees

My rubber knee boots provided little traction as I slowly slid down the mucky side of the bank toward the muddied water. The soft mud… Continue reading

Wyatt, at age 4, helping dad harvest crawfish at White River NWR in Arkansas. (Photo by Matt Conner/USFWS)
Silver salmon swim in Sucker Creek on Sept. 18, 2020. Surface streams on the Kenai Peninsula and fish in them have far less arsenic in them than in some well water in the area. (Photo by Matt Bowser/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Arsenic in murder and nature

Arsenic, though often difficult to detect, is hard to ignore. As the 20th most common element in the Earth’s crust, arsenic occurs naturally in volcanic… Continue reading

Silver salmon swim in Sucker Creek on Sept. 18, 2020. Surface streams on the Kenai Peninsula and fish in them have far less arsenic in them than in some well water in the area. (Photo by Matt Bowser/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Homer senior Adeline Berry signs her National Letter of Intent to swim at University of Alaska Fairbanks with her dad, Jack Berry. (Photo courtesy Adeline Berry)

Homer students sign to collegiate teams

Two Mariners athletes head to college for swim, rowing

Homer senior Adeline Berry signs her National Letter of Intent to swim at University of Alaska Fairbanks with her dad, Jack Berry. (Photo courtesy Adeline Berry)
Photo by J. Pfeiffenberger/NPS 
Visitors enjoy bear viewing in the saltmarsh at Chinitna Bay, Lake Clark National Park.

Refuge Notebook: Visitors to Katmai and Lake Clark National Parks rely on Kenai Peninsula services

Two national park and preserve areas, Lake Clark and Katmai, located just across Cook Inlet from the Kenai Peninsula, offer some of Alaska’s most spectacular… Continue reading

Photo by J. Pfeiffenberger/NPS 
Visitors enjoy bear viewing in the saltmarsh at Chinitna Bay, Lake Clark National Park.
A snowshoe hare in its white winter coat. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: The verge of winter

As the daylight hours seem to slip away, the temperatures are slowly getting lower and the silky flowing waters of rivers, lakes and streams begin… Continue reading

A snowshoe hare in its white winter coat. (Photo by Colin Canterbury/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Homer senior Madison Story swims the breaststroke in the girls 200-yard IM on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020 during the Kenai Peninsula Swimming Championships at the Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Homer’s Story stars at state club meet

Homer senior Madison Story won two individual titles this past Saturday at the Alaska State High School Invite held at Bartlett High School in Anchorage.… Continue reading

Homer senior Madison Story swims the breaststroke in the girls 200-yard IM on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020 during the Kenai Peninsula Swimming Championships at the Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Moose are seen eating on the shoulder of Kenai Spur Highway on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Moose are seen eating on the shoulder of Kenai Spur Highway on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Jessica Sonnen signs her National Letter of Intent to play soccer at Simpson University. (Photo courtesy Karin Sonnen)

Homer High athletes sign letters of intent

Even though the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted sports seasons at home, local high school student athletes have their sights on the big leagues next… Continue reading

Jessica Sonnen signs her National Letter of Intent to play soccer at Simpson University. (Photo courtesy Karin Sonnen)
Kenai’s Rachel Pitsch swims the girls 500-yard freestyle on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020 during the Kenai Peninsula Swimming Championships at the Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Homer girls, Kenai boys take peninsula swim championships

Homer’s Story breaks another school record

Kenai’s Rachel Pitsch swims the girls 500-yard freestyle on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020 during the Kenai Peninsula Swimming Championships at the Kate Kuhns Aquatic Center in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)