When 14-year-old Owen Squires first looked through a pair of binoculars and told his mother the bird she'd seen flitting around the Juneau Community Garden's weed pile was a hooded oriole, she didn't believe him.
I didn't know what to expect when I accepted the visitor services internship at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. I'm from Oklahoma, also known as the Sooner State. I grew up in a fairly large city so I can't help that I'm a city kid.
Author's note: This is the third and final part of a story that first appeared in the the December/January 2003 issue of Alaska magazine. It's my take on 30 years of "progress" on a river being loved to death.
Fall is in the air. Last week, I took a quick walk through the woods. I watched golden leaves sail to the ground. A Varied Thrush popped onto a leafless branch in front of me while a small flock of these birds moved along the ground eating berries.
Author's note: The December/January 2003 issue of Alaska magazine contained a photo-essay about the Kenai River, in which I wrote:
"The Kenai River is many things to many people. People float down it in rafts and zoom up it in motorboats.