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Have you ever seen a porcupine? Compared to other Alaskan wildlife, the porcupine seems to be ignored, but talk to any dog owner and you'll likely hear some stories. Porcupines can weigh up to 30 pounds, making them the second largest rodent in North America (only the beaver is larger). Covering the...

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 9:42am

We Americans have made life so safe, it's become boring. Trouble is, we're not hard-wired for serenity. We need drama, action and danger. We claim to want safety, but at heart we hanker for an occasional shot of adrenaline. We crave the thrill of being chased by something. We enjoy the feeling of be...

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 9:30am

A recent cold snap registering temperatures as low as 25 degrees below zero may have shuttered some fair-weather fisherman indoors. But when the Kenai Peninsula gets cold, the grizzled and hardy fishermen go ice fishing. Brian Miller, co-owner and manager of Soldotna Trustworthy Hardware and Fishing...

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 9:02am

It is cold outside. The wind blowing across the lake brings this cold into my coat, up the sleeves, under the hood and I am thankful, a little bit. I am leading a snowshoe hike on the Kenai Refuge's Visitor Center trail system and with 15 eager middle-schoolers in line behind me, our pace is brisk. ...

Fri, 01/13/2012 - 9:35am

Most of us don't know much about the oceans that cover 71 percent of Earth, this planet we're temporarily calling home. To alleviate my own ignorance, which is as vast as an ocean, I'm boning up on the subject this winter. Several books about oceans have been published in recent years, a sign that a...

Fri, 01/13/2012 - 9:14am

I began my working life in the fast food industry. So when I was hired by the U.S. Forest Service to do manual labor during college, I was thrilled. I was on fire crew that spent the summer thinning forest stands and clearing trails. I could not believe someone would pay me to be outside in the wood...

Fri, 01/06/2012 - 9:27am

To ring in the new year on a positive note, here's an idea for bolstering the wintertime economy of the Kenai Peninsula: At midnight on New Year's Eve, lower something to the ground. I don't understand why, but lowering things on New Year's Eve gets people all excited. Excited people eat, drink and ...

Fri, 01/06/2012 - 9:15am

The end of 2011 will mark my first full year as the new manager of the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Since this is my second tenure at the Refuge, the first as a wildlife biologist from 1988 to 1992, many of you have asked how things have changed over the last 20 or so years. Our first arrival on ...

Fri, 12/30/2011 - 9:29am

A hearty halibut chowder makes a great meal for a cold winter day. I’ve been using the recipe below for years, and never tire of making or eating it. I prefer the vegetables to be slightly under-done, not mushy. As for the fish, the bite-size chunks cook quickly, so I add them after the vegetables...

Fri, 12/30/2011 - 9:21am

While growing up near Washington’s Puget Sound, I ate many a Crab Louie. Sometimes called Crab Louis, this fancy salad is usually made with Dungeness crab. Originating on the West Coast in the early 1900s, it’s also known as “King of Salads.” In my family making Crab Louies was usually a do-...

Thu, 12/22/2011 - 9:47am


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