Outdoors and Recreation

Photo by Kat Sorensen 
The pedicure in question has seen many miles of hiking and walking since it was first painted on five months ago.

Tangled Up in Blue: A perfect pedicure

There is just the smallest sliver of light pink nail polish left on my two big toes. Each time I’ve cut my toenails over the… Continue reading

 

Photo by Angelica Smith/FWS 
Frannie Nelson collecting ground validation data for her undergraduate thesis in the Caribou Hills.

Refuge Notebook: Spreading my wings and flying into a new field

In 2019, I became a biology intern at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge for the first time! Here I was met with forward-thinking and tradition-challenging… Continue reading

 

Anthony Botello fishes for halibut off the coast of Homer, Alaska, on Sept. 6, 2021. (Camille Botello)

Out of the Office: Fish on!

I was pretty spoiled as a kid. The chest freezer in our garage was almost always stuffed to the brim with real Alaska salmon, and… Continue reading

 

Scaly, pale green leaves of a yellow-cedar near Sitka, Alaska. (Photo by M. Goff http://www.sitkanature.org/)

Refuge Notebook: Will yellow cedar move to Kenai Peninsula?

My first job as a field biologist in Alaska was working for the Tongass National Forest. I was stationed in Petersburg, but would be boated… Continue reading

Scaly, pale green leaves of a yellow-cedar near Sitka, Alaska. (Photo by M. Goff http://www.sitkanature.org/)
Author Kathleen Sorensen (252) and the rest of the field take off from the starting line at the Kenai River Marathon on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled Up in Blue: Three halves

I ran my third Kenai River Half Marathon this weekend. I remember sitting in the newsroom at the Peninsula Clarion in 2017 and telling our… Continue reading

Author Kathleen Sorensen (252) and the rest of the field take off from the starting line at the Kenai River Marathon on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
A visual picture of profound change in the alpine plant community post-2019 Swan Lake Fire. This picture is from 2021, two years after the fire. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: Swan Lake Fire update: How are plant communities doing?

By HEIDI HELLING Kenai National Wildlife Refuge What can we learn from the Swan Lake Fire that burned over 167,000 acres in 2019? Large areas… Continue reading

A visual picture of profound change in the alpine plant community post-2019 Swan Lake Fire. This picture is from 2021, two years after the fire. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS)
A thunderstorm is seen Aug. 3, 2021, in Okanogan County, Washington. (Kathryn Knowlton/submitted photo)

Tangled Up in Blue: Shelter from the storm

I recently learned that the opposite of deja vu is jamais vu, meaning “never seen.” Deja vu is the feeling that you’re experiencing something familiar,… Continue reading

A thunderstorm is seen Aug. 3, 2021, in Okanogan County, Washington. (Kathryn Knowlton/submitted photo)
Photo by Kris Inman 
A radio-tagged wolverine moves across the Greater Yellowstone.

Refuge Notebook: Wolverines show how knowledge leads to conservation

As I contemplated a topic for this week’s Refuge Notebook article, I turned to a few of my trusted colleagues, throwing out a few ideas.… Continue reading

Photo by Kris Inman 
A radio-tagged wolverine moves across the Greater Yellowstone.
Photo by Kat Sorensen 
Fireweed in Seward, Alaska.

Tangled Up in Blue: Hand Dipped

The Lost Lake Run was a long one. I ran over 15 miles, from Primrose to the Bear Creek Fire Station, with just two granola… Continue reading

Photo by Kat Sorensen 
Fireweed in Seward, Alaska.
A Student Conservation Association team builds traditions around a game of Catan in a tent by Funny River. (Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service)

Refuge Notebook: Settlers of Catan in the backcountry

By SANJA ZELEN Kenai National Wildlife Refuge It was 10 miles out in the backcountry, just off the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge’s Hansen Horse Trail,… Continue reading

A Student Conservation Association team builds traditions around a game of Catan in a tent by Funny River. (Photo by US Fish and Wildlife Service)
Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion 
Fireweed blooms along the Skyline Trail on Aug. 13, 2021, on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska.

Refuge Notebook: Alaska ‘Super Bloom’: The beauty of regrowth

By SANJA ZELEN Kenai National Wildlife Refuge It was March 16 of 2019 when I first heard of the ecological phenomenon known as a “super… Continue reading

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion 
Fireweed blooms along the Skyline Trail on Aug. 13, 2021, on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska.
Kathleen Sorensen, “Tangled Up In Blue” columnist, is from Seward, the Alaska tourist town mentioned in this week’s story. Pictured is Resurrection Bay in Seward on Aug. 21, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)

Tangled Up In Blue: Slowing down

I’m finding myself, more than ever, falling into bouts of anger, and it’s making me mad. Sure, there are everyday things to be upset about.… Continue reading

Kathleen Sorensen, “Tangled Up In Blue” columnist, is from Seward, the Alaska tourist town mentioned in this week’s story. Pictured is Resurrection Bay in Seward on Aug. 21, 2021. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
A mountain hemlock burned in the 2019 Swan Lake Fire, pictured June 29, 2021. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: When hemlocks burn

When the weather deteriorates in the mountains, I head for those deepest green patches of forest at tree line. These groves of hardy, resilient and… Continue reading

A mountain hemlock burned in the 2019 Swan Lake Fire, pictured June 29, 2021. (Photo by Matt Bowser/USFWS)
Photo by Jeff Helminiak 
A waterfall flows at McCullough Gulch in Colorado on Aug. 5, 2021.

Out of the Office: Best-laid plans

The plan was for the family to meet in Colorado to try and summit one of the state’s famous 14ers, or mountains that rise higher… Continue reading

Photo by Jeff Helminiak 
A waterfall flows at McCullough Gulch in Colorado on Aug. 5, 2021.
A group photo of the campers after a digital scavenger hunt in Get Out and Get Dirty Camp. (Photo provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Refuge Notebook: And just like that, I was in full camp mode

As a child, being outdoors was a huge part of my life. Some of my favorite memories are those in nature with the people I… Continue reading

A group photo of the campers after a digital scavenger hunt in Get Out and Get Dirty Camp. (Photo provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Some tanks were breached with explosives and the fuel set on fire, a method of eliminating fuel that was not very successful.

Refuge Notebook: A long-awaited cleanup gets underway on the Aleutians

In the Aleutian Islands, the war brought thousands of soldiers and enormous quantities of equipment and supplies to a remote area.

Some tanks were breached with explosives and the fuel set on fire, a method of eliminating fuel that was not very successful.
A banner supporting Olympic swimmer Lydia Jacoby hangs outside of First National Bank Alaska in her hometown of Seward on Saturday, July 24, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Tangled Up In Blue: Go Lydia!

All of Seward was watching with tempered excitement the night of her gold medal swim.

A banner supporting Olympic swimmer Lydia Jacoby hangs outside of First National Bank Alaska in her hometown of Seward on Saturday, July 24, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge’s July 3 discovery hike was at the Vista Trail. (Photo by Camille Botello)

Wishing y’all well

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be “well” lately. Like, what does that actually mean? Is it realistic for someone to… Continue reading

The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge’s July 3 discovery hike was at the Vista Trail. (Photo by Camille Botello)
Photo by Nick Longobardi/USFWS 
First view of Lower Fuller Lake and the lower point of Round Mountain. Photo from standing on the bridge.

Refuge Notebook: The joy of unexpected rewards on Fuller Lakes Trail

With summer traffic in full force, it took what seemed like an eternity to make it from Fred Meyer back to the Kenai National Wildlife… Continue reading

Photo by Nick Longobardi/USFWS 
First view of Lower Fuller Lake and the lower point of Round Mountain. Photo from standing on the bridge.
Biologist Daneil Rapp reaches way into a burrow to investigate its contents. (Photo by Sarah Youngren/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: The life of a biologist

It’s summer in Alaska when the daylight hours are long and nearly countless wildlife are reproducing. Nearly countless, but not entirely. A crew of biologists… Continue reading

Biologist Daneil Rapp reaches way into a burrow to investigate its contents. (Photo by Sarah Youngren/USFWS)
[flipp]