Take off your jacket folks, it’s warming up!

That’s right, we are welcoming high temps in the mid-forties! Sure, it still gets cold at night, but it’s nice to go out and do stuff in the day and not need the heavy Primaloft or down jackets. Even Kate, notorious for being unavoidably and eternally cold took off the hat and the jacket during a walk today on the campus trails!

Kate Up On High

My lovely wife waits for me, the slow husband, who just spent 15 minutes trying to take a picture of a bird. I got the picture though, it’s below.

BorealWhile out on the trails I think I may have managed to get a little sunburn on my face, something I have not thought about at all for the last 7 months. We had a really nice, 2 hour walk back on the trails, and explored a little bit of the boreal forest too.

I love the trees here. They are a bit smaller and spaced much further apart than trees in the lower 48. We’re in the taiga, and there is plenty of permafrost so it’s harder for the trees to get real big. Since the roots are constrained to the top layer of soil, they can’t be as tightly packed.

The forests here are mostly made up of and black spruce, tons and tons of birch, aspen, and I guess you can count alders too. I’ve never seen birch forests like the ones we have here. You go walking through the woods and it’s all white bark everywhere! And in the fall the yellows are unbelievable. When we were hiking up the Healy trail in Denali the valley floor was a river of yellow! It’s so cool to see moose trolling around the forest, snowshoe hares and red foxes too. I’ve shared lots of moose pics, but haven’t been fortunate to have my camera on me for a fox encounter, and I have no idea how to take a picture of a snowshoe hare in the snow.

Anyway, I’ve uploaded quite a few new photos to flickr in the last week. Here’s a link to the lightbox that starts at the last recent upload (just scroll through with the right arrow key). That’s all for tonight. . . except for the red poll:

Red Poll

I’m not fortunate enough to have a big telephoto lens right now. So when I get photos of animals, you can be pretty sure that I’m as close as I can get. With moose this can be scary, but red polls just take patience. If they don’t immediately fly away, they slowly become comfortable with me so I can get close enough to get some good shots. I’m going to have to find a bigger lens for bear season, wildlife is just so cool!

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