Category Archives: Flora


Our hike begins with a plunge through knee-deep glacial meltwater. We’ll be out here for at least eight hours, and I’d rather not hike in soaking wet XtraTufs all day, so I take off my boots and socks, roll up … Continue reading

Posted in Alaska, Art, Birds, Boats, Flora, Seldovia, Travel, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments


Start with a blackberry, but take away all the purple flavors, prickly vines, and heaviness that come with deep dark forests. Get down on your knees (yes, like you are praying) and smell the ancient volcanic soil, willow fluff, and … Continue reading

Posted in Alaska, Culture, Flora, Subsistence, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Questions Frequently Asked by Tourists on St. Paul Island, Alaska

One reason I haven’t posted much lately here is that I’ve been working on this FAQs document for my job with St. Paul Island Tours. The idea was that, as a newbie tour guide, I would learn the answers if … Continue reading

Posted in Alaska, Culture, Fauna, Flora, History, Islands, Travel, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Work | Tagged | 3 Comments


No cloud touches the sky. Instead of summer fog and driving wind, the Bering Sea gives diamonds. Pup-sized, sun-bleached seal scapula lies at the top edge of the cliff. Bones go to the earth To the sea To the animals … Continue reading

Posted in Alaska, Birds, Fauna, Flora, Islands, Travel, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Old Ocean

There are a handful of places in the world that feel like home at first sight. Like love at first sight, who knows how it works? It’s a feeling of recognition that can’t be explained; a familiarity even though you’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Alaska, Flora, Michigan, Southwest, Travel, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 3 Comments

The Joy of Not Knowing

We emerge from the smoggy, gauzy, familial holiday cocoon; navigate the landmines of expedition preparations and packing; survive the stalled outlet-shopper traffic on the I-5; exit the highway at Eugene and head east. As the sun sets we leave the … Continue reading

Posted in Boats, Conservation, Culture, Fauna, Flora, Travel, Wildlife | Tagged | 2 Comments

First Impressions: Eagle

This is a strong place. The air is clean and clear, with a scent of sticky cottonwood buds.  It hasn’t rained for a while.  Rings of yellow pollen encircle puddles.  A fine dust – rock ground to flour by distant … Continue reading

Posted in Alaska, Birds, Fauna, Flora, Uncategorized, Wildlife | Tagged , | 3 Comments