Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Girdwood Rainforest- May, 2008

We walked on a trail through the rain forest behind the Alyeska Lodge in Girdwood. It was unbelievable to see the trees and vegetation. You could see where the snow had come across the trail in small avalanches earlier. They were still skiing above the trail on this same mountain because they had just had fresh snow before we got there.





















This is a picture of the log Doug WOULD NOT cross so I could get his picture on it!!!






Snow from the avalanche across the trail. It was obviously impassable for the casual hikers (like us) in the not-too-distant past.





Seavey Dog Show - May, 2008


Although the Iditarod and official dog mushing season is over, we were able to see how the dogs are trained, what equipment they use with the dogs and witness the strength that these dogs have. The Seavey family has a show in Anchorage that shows you all of these things. It was a rainy day, so the video is not as good as it could be, but you can still get the idea of how strong the dogs are.



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Notice at the beginning of both videos how anxious the dogs are to get going and pulling.



The dogs are pulling sleds weighted with concrete blocks and sand bags, totaling several hundred pounds.



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The dog team is pulling a pickup from a dead stop.




video

Animal Wildlife Conservation Center - May, 2008

At mile 79 of the Seward Highway, we reached the Animal Wildlife Conservation Center. The center takes in orphaned and injured animals. You can find more about what they do at this web site:

http://www.awcc.org/web/home.html

We timed it just right and arrived at feeding time, so the animals came fairly close to the fence for pictures. We took a break for a picnic lunch too.




MAGPIE WHO CAME BY WHEN WE WERE EATING OUR PICNIC





ELK












GRIZZLY BEAR













SMALL BLACK BEAR







BLACK BEAR










PORCUPINE





Porcupine Videos

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MUSK OX















Mothers are very protective of their babies. This cow kept her baby behind her when I tried to take pictures. Finally, the little guy peeked out on his own. This is how these animals have survived for thousand of years. They put their young and feeble in the center of a circle. The adults all face outward and stand shoulder to shoulder. Any predator has to deal with those horns to try to get at their prey.













Another thing that has helped the musk ox survive in theArctic is the extremely warm under coat of hair, called quiviut. There are actually three layers of hair. What you see on some of the adults is the quiviut working it's way from the underneath part through the guard hairs on the outside. The quiviut is very valuable. It is combed or collected, cleaned and processed into yarn. Then it is distributed to women in native villages. They knit the yarn in specific patterns to make hats and scarves. It is a way for the people in the villages to make some money.





The skull cap can weigh up to 65 pounds. The males butt heads when they are fighting for dominance of a heard.





Papa, Mama & Baby going to eat.
(video)



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WOOD BISON
















SITKA DEER







MOOSE