Sunday, May 31, 2009

Back from Paradise

a daily visitor. We loved this guy.

We had an incredible time in Kona, its impossible to have a bad time in paradise! I am going to be posting pictures here over the next few days. We had a red-eye flight, then a three hour drive home after that, so I'm catching up on sleep and trying to adjust to "real" life again. I have a sun tan, newly-pedicured toes, and an empty bank account. Two of those feel and look great! Hee hee.

I'm happy to be back in the greatest state of all. Love love love Hawaii, but love Alaska even more! (and I missed my Honey, and all of my critters)

sunburst sea horses at the sea horse farm. A fantastic experience! I got to hold a sea horse! I'll post a pic of that soon.

sunset over the Pacific.

sea turtle at Kahalu beach

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hawaii Headed

Thought I would just say, if I read your blog....I won't be around for two weeks! I'll try to catch up on all my regulars when I get back, LOVE you all!

We are going to the big island of Hawaii for two weeks. I am delighted and excited. My girls have only been there at the ages of one and three, so they don't remember it. It will be such a thrill introducing them to the fun spots I love! Kona is my favorite place, just adore it.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day Memories


1. Breakfast in bed. Fresh strawberries, pineapple, crepes, yogart parfait, peach vanillla smoothie, cheesy scrambled eggs, and raspberry mocha coffee with real whipped cream.
2. Drive to Seward with my family. Stopping at every creek, lake, and spot of interest. For us the joy was in the journey.
3. Having my girls find pieces of driftwood they loved, and later painting beautiful scenes for me on them.

4. Getting so close to a sea otter (so adorable...a favorite of mine!) that I could hear him munch his lunch.

5. Watching a sea lion show, and not at Sea World...but in a small Alaskan boat harbor. He entertained us so thoroughly, I could not stop watching him and hubby had to drag me away.

6. Gorgeous Tern Lake, a scene so peaceful you want to live and die there.

7. Listening to Richard Peck's audio book, A Way Down Yonder, and laughing our heads off.

8. Having my family wash my new car for me, before we headed out on our road trip. I love a shiny ride!

9. Spectacular views, and being near the water all day. I am happiest near the sea!

10. Just us being us.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tree Blossoms

I spotted some blossoms on my tree outside my window today.

Some laughing, squirming, giggling, silly, cute-as-a-button blossoms!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Extreme Wrestling

If you are a follower and faithful reader of my blog, you know my husband Michael is a pilot. You may not know, however, what he does as a pilot. I'm so incredibly proud of him for his long record of safety, his sterling reputation in our state as a pilot and guide, and his awesome skills in the air! I wanted to tell you a bit about the variety of things he does in this line of work.
Well, he does some flight seeing for tourists, he takes photographers who have hired him to their desired sites of interest, he flies hunting clients to their lodgings, he scouts and locates wreckages, he does drop off hunts for residents, he flies along the Iditarod trail, he takes fly in fishermen, he hauls supplies for builders, he flies journalists and other media people to story sites, he takes people whale and bear watching, and he also works for our Alaska State Fish and Game.

His work with Fish and Game takes him to all corners of our huge state, and always promises him a challenge and an adventure. He absolutely loves it, and has so much respect for the hard-working biologists he partners with. He does surveys, where he flies in grids and counts the various wildlife, while a biologist flies with him and enters data on their laptops. They count moose, bear, caribou, wolves, wolverine, sheep, and even grouse. He does capture work, where he finds animals for the biologists by flying low over the terrain where they were last seen, then radios in the helicopters so the animals can be shot with darts to sedate them, and then worked with. The biologists may put GPS collars on them, or do blood tests, or do ultrasounds to test for pregnancy, or any number of routine checks.

Or, as you will see in the pictures below, he may do capture work in a different way. For sheep, its a whole new ballgame. You see, sheep move so fast, and are so high up in the mountains, they can only be caught using old-fashioned muscle and the miracle of flight...combined

Michael flies through a mountain pass, and low over the ridges of high peaks...scouting for sheep. When he finds them, the waiting helicopters are called in. Men are waiting in the helicopters..and crouch at the ready as the big bird swoops in, lower and lower. At the exact right moment (and believe me, it IS a critical timing event!) they leap out of the helicopter and onto the back of the sheep, quickly wrestling it down into the snow and immediately shooting a spray of sedation up its nose. The sedation is so strong, if a man were to accidently inhale it (or be shot, in the case of the darts) they will die within minutes without an antedote to reverse the effect. For this reason, each man who does this work carries a vile of reversal-medication velcroed to the shoulder of their jackets. I know this sounds like a science-fiction movie, what I am describing, but it IS indeed how capture work is done, and its pretty cool.

Michael went on one of these jobs this week, and he shared these photos with me. These are not really seen anywhere in the world, so I wanted to share these rare photos here.

Here the chopper closes in on some sheep:

You can see the rotors of the helicopter here, just rising over the ridge as the sheep dashes away.

See the guys in the doorway, ready to jump out on the sheep? Michael calls these young, tough guys the "rock stars" or the "cowboys" depending on how the day went.
He leaps on the sheep and wrestles him into the snow, as the other sheep flee. Now that's what I call EXTREME WRESTLING!
Now they can work on the sheep at will, while Michael flies over to make sure all has been accomplished. That's him in the Super Cub in the background.

All in a days' work, right Honey?