Sunday, June 5, 2011

Alaska Edition: Here's to Sarah Palin

Never thought I'd be saying that, but the grebe and tern below lingered on Lake Lucille in Sarah's hometown of Wasilla. We couldn't see Russia today, though, but it was pretty cloudy. . . A poll of 10 residents the day before yesterday in the Fairbanks News Miner newspaper yielded the following results: 9 of the 10 people asked said they would vote for Palin for president. The 10th said he wouldn't because he didn't want a woman running the country. 

Enough of that, let's stick to the real native wildlife.

 [Red-necked Grebes busily built nests on Lake Lucille, ignoring the prone photographer hiding behind his camera. Ever heard a Red-necked Grebe in love? Grunting, quacking, wailing. . .more horny grebes.]

[Stalking the wily grebe. . . photo by Mark Garland.]

 [Legs? Who needs them when you've got to fly pole to pole twice a year? Arctic Tern on a Lake Lucille dock. Also notice the small all-red bill, and the black to white to gray effect on the head, top to bottom.]

We're dropping down into the warmer, rainier coastal region, and will be on the Kenai Peninsula tomorrow. Everyone's hankering for puffins, except me, who's hankering for the Gyrfalcon we missed in Denali. Still hope. I've never chased a Gyrfalcon, figuring one would eventually come to me and if one didn't, I'd go to it. Well, that's what I'm doing now. We'll be back in the Alaska Range next week, and hopefully the Denali Highway will produce. If not, well, we'll be back again someday.

 [Sarah had nothing to do with our first "chicken," this Willow Ptarmigan along Stampede Trail.]

 [West Taiga form of the White-crowned Sparrow, with pale lores, orange bill, and striking head pattern. These birds are everywhere Fairbanks to Denali.]

[Lovely lupine. Arctic Lupine blooming in Denali, near the very well done visitor center there.]

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