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BEND, Ore. — They come in nearly every color scheme imaginable, from camouflage to bright pink. Most skiers and snowboarders on the slopes are wearing them, and if you’re not, well, you are not just reckless, you are . GASP! . unfashionable. “Now I feel like if you go up to the mountain, it al...

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 3:48pm

For many people with backyard ponds, fountains and other water-garden fixtures, the arrival of cold weather means draining the pipes and pulling the plug. But water gardens can be attractive winter gardens, too, with the right preparation and landscaping. Turning off a garden’s water fixtures may ...

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 3:48pm

There are three ways to win a new strategy game from Soldotna’s Shea and Donica Nash: hoard all of the gold in the land, build the best fortress around, or invade and conquer your opponent’s land. Each session of Serfs & Soldiers is a mixture of strategy and luck and the gameplay has piqued ...

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 6:03pm

I am fascinated by how plants and animals are named. Elodea, the first submersed freshwater invasive plant to infest Alaska, was named by the famous French botanist André Michaux. Michaux was first sent to the U.S. in 1785 by Louis XVI. After the misguided French king was beheaded, Thomas Jefferson...

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 6:03pm

Earlier this week, while mining the Internet for material to use in this column, I learned that earthworms are now considered an invasive species in Alaska. I’d never considered it before, but earthworms aren’t native to Alaska and other places that were under glaciers during the last Ice Age. S...

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 6:03pm

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The first thing people notice: The tires, wider than the forearms of most grown men. Then, the inevitable first question: Where’s the motor? The fat bike — a seemingly typical mountain bike frame with tires ranging from 3.7 to 4.8 inches wide — owes its origin to Fairba...

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 6:02pm

The salmon I cooked for dinner Tuesday night earned a thumbs up and a “Mmm-mmm!” from the in-house food critic, so I thought I’d share with you how it came to be. It began with a frozen fillet, the front half of a silver that tried in vain to swim up the Kenai River in late September. I chose ...

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 3:56pm

I have seen more brown creepers on the Kenai Peninsula this year than in the past two years when I saw none. Brown creepers are tiny, brownish-gray, woodpecker-like birds that are cryptically colored, perfectly blending into the brownish-gray patterns of tree bark. They are not only visually inconsp...

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 3:56pm

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Nick Dadgostar lined up on the track. Warmed up and loose after a two-lap jog, he began drills focused on strengthening his hip flexor, keeping his knees high as he sprinted 20 meters down the track. Pumping his arms in sync with his knees, Dadgostar methodically worked to find ...

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 3:57pm

SISTERS, Ore. — In her first year of recovering from breast cancer, Carol O’Bryant, of Bend, was plagued with anxiety over whether the disease was really gone and whether it was coming back. Maybe the doctors didn’t get it all, she thought. Maybe it had spread and they didn’t realize it. An...

Thu, 11/06/2014 - 3:56pm

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