Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its sixth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

September 19, 2015

WANDERING ALASKA - CRITTERS

... we visited the wildlife refuge where "rescued" animals are cared for until they can be returned to the wild ... liz made friends with a moose ...

... adrien got acquainted, too, albeit a bit more slowly ...

... he liked having his head scratched ...

... the elk will be moved to an island where the native peoples will maintain the herd as a sustainable resource ... they sound just like the velociraptors in the movie "jurassic park" ...

... i'm not sure the story behind the bears, i didn't get close enough to ask ...

... i wonder if the bears gaze up into the mountains and say to themselves, "soon, soon we'll be home" ...

... liz demonstrates the size of a grizzly bear claw ...

... and here, the claw of another bear ...

... one of the staff people said this pair was like "a couple of teenage boys showing off" ...

... i didn't like the way this lynx looked at me ...

... caught in a trap as an infant, the refuge will be home to this three-legged porcupine for the rest of his life ...

... a curious musk ox ...

... we saw hundreds and hundreds of salmon returning home to the exact spot in the streams where each was born so that they, too, could continue the cycle ...

... in hope liz found evidence that it wasn't just humans fishing who enjoyed the salmon run ...

... this ancient cat is the "mayor of telkeetna" ...

... on our tour of prince williams sound we saw many of these animals ... i didn't have a super-duper telephoto lens, so this is the best i could do photographing them ...

... once extensively hunted, they are now a protected species and seem to be greatly enjoying their 2,500,000 acre home ...

... there were sea otters everywhere ...

... adrien and liz, practicing their survival skills ...

... pretty nails ... very pretty in front of pretty nasty ...

... after sunset we took a little wander along the international airport's perimeter road ... we ran across this curious moose ...

... in the russian river we saw hundreds of salmon fighting their way upstream to their spawning grounds ... this was all wilderness when we lived in alaska ... we would hike three or four miles or so along the bank of the river to log cabins, where we would spend several days fishing ... there were gas freezers at the camp, so our trip out had to be a quick hike with the backpack bags ma had sewed filled with the frozen fish ... now the cabins have been removed and this section of the river is a state park ...

... in almost total darkness we stopped alongside the seward highway to watch this moose browse supper ... a state trooper pulled in behind us, explaining that when he saw our flashers he wanted to make sure we were okay ... he was quite nice, and, a bit surprising, he took several minutes to join us in admiring the animal ...

... a man stopped to let his son watch the moose ... he lives in the area, and explained to us much about the management of the herd ... when he tried to leave his son, paxson, made it clear he wasn't ready to stop watching the moose ...

... alaska, land of many cool critters ...