Here are some photos from our trip this summer through Alaska in a RV. Travel north of Anchorage and head east on the Glenn Highway and you will travel through the Matanuska River Valley. It is a beautiful area with a broad river valley and mountains on both sides. The Glenn Highway connects Palmer near Anchorage to Glenn Allan in the east. We also stopped by an old gold mine and were thankful that we did not have to live the gold miners life of deep snow, cold and one trip to town each year. Our travel in a RV was much more comfortable than what they had to face.
The Matanuska Glacier
Our campsite along the Glenn Highway along the river
Heading up the Hatcher Pass to the Independence Gold Mine
Some buildings on the way up to the gold mine.
This very colorful mountain is called Sheep Mountain
And this is the reason why
And some final scenes on our way to Glenn Allan. Hope you enjoyed the trip!
One of my favorite areas is the White Mountains of New Hampshire. We spent several days in the Lincoln area at the end of September. It is near the White Mountain National Forest and Franconia Notch State Park. There are lots of hiking trails, waterfalls and other beautiful scenery. Looking forward to returning again next fall.
Denali Highway goes east-west connecting Richardson Highway with the Parks Highway in Alaska. It can only be called a “highway” in the very loose sense of the term. It is 135 miles of washboard gravel but goes through a vast wilderness area. There are a couple of lodges along the road but otherwise you are just driving and looking at the beautiful scenery.
This was an unexpected sight along the road but very nice surprise.
We had a beautiful fall here but with a week of wind, all of the leaves are down now. Saw the juncos (small gray birds) two weeks ago and that is another sure sign that winter is on the way. Here are some scenes from late October. Hope you are enjoying the changing seasons where you are today!
I have been absent from the blog for awhile – too busy with work, family and chores at home. This summer my husband and I spent almost three weeks traveling around Alaska in a RV. We had visited 25 years ago when we did a stop-over on our way to South Korea. It was as beautiful as I remembered. If you like mountains, nature and wildlife, it is a wonderful place to visit.
Here are a few random photos. I will try and do some more organized posts of the trip in later days. Thanks!
Our home as we toured Alaska. Great visit!
I am enjoying our summer flowers and birds today. I love the summer plumage of the goldfinch and the scene as he stops by to eat some seeds from the cone flowers. (The silver/gray in the back of the photo is Dichondra (silver falls) from a hanging basket in a tree — Dichondra makes a great “spiller” for a hanging basket).
Have you seen the bald eagle camera at Codorus State Park in Pennsylvania? It is fun to watch the eagles whether you are an adult or to share with children. Right now the nest is covered with snow and it is well below freezing but the eagles are still on the eggs. You can see the mate bringing in food and changing off with the nesting duties. Warning – watching the eagles can get very addictive. Take a look!
Click on link below for the live camera
Click on link below to see them breaking free from a mound of snow.
Check back around March 21 to see if the two eggs have hatched.
Image courtesy of Pennsylvania Game Commission
Here are some photographs from our snowfall yesterday. The photo above includes a white throat sparrow, dark eyed junco, goldfinch and female cardinal – four different birds all sitting on same branch in the snow. While the temperature is in the single digits today, hopefully warmer weather and spring will be here soon.
Snow fell hard all day and we ended up with around 12 inches.
The male cardinal and goldfinch in the snow.
Lots of snow yesterday but the sun is shining today
Have a Happy Friday!
A colorful morning as we wait for another snowstorm. I am ready for butterflies, flowers and warm weather!
We are having a cold winter with some snow but the snow is not as deep as last winter. One of the joys of the winter is watching the birds at the feeders. Their color and constant motion add beauty to the cold winter.
For feeding we use five main types of food – black oil sunflower seeds, suet, mealworms, thistle (nyger) seeds, and a high quality mixed seed blend. The finches, chickadees, titmice love the sunflower seeds. The ground feeders, such as sparrows, juncos and cardinals like the mixed seeds. If you purchase mixed seeds, get a high quality mix or you will find that your birds waste most of the seed. Suet cakes are for the woodpeckers, nuthatches and a variety of other birds. We spoil our bluebirds (and will probably go bankrupt) with freeze dried mealworms. The thistle is for the finches.
Just as important as the bird feed, is fresh water. Even if you don’t feed the birds, a supply of fresh water will draw the birds to your yard. In our area, we have to use an electric warmer in the bird bath in order to keep it ice free.
The birds also mark the changing of the season. We know winter is on the way when the dark eyed juncos and white throat sparrows appear in the yard. The arrive of spring is heralded by the Eastern phoebe with its very distinctive call and the changing of the goldfinches from their drab winter plumage back to their bright yellow feathers.
Here are some of our visitors this winter. Hope you have a bluebird day!
One of the joys of winter in our area is the profusion of Eastern Bluebirds. Once rare, the bluebirds have made a comeback in the last 20 years as residents construct bluebird trails and conserve natural areas. The bluebirds are year-round residents but tend to stay in the woods in the summer. Once the cold weather hits, all it takes are some mealworms in the feeders and the bluebirds suddenly appear. And if the feeder is empty, they will sit on the pole staring at you until you come out to add more worms. And from the photo above and below you can see that they argue a lot about the mealworms. And don’t forget the fresh water for the birds in the winter – in our area, we have to add a heater to the bird bath to keep the water ice free. Enjoy our winter touch of blue.
Do you use Twitter and enjoy photos of nature? I set up a new Twitter account this weekend that features photos of the wildlife and scenery in our area. You can follow it at @ALookatNature or click on one of the “Follow” buttons below. What are some of your favorite feeds on Twitter?
Such a great time of the year when the garden is full of bees and butterflies and flowers are in full bloom. I refuse to think of how soon, the leaves will begin to fall, the flowers fade and the insects die or leave. In the meantime enjoy the beauty of summer!
This weekend is your chance to be a citizen scientist and participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. Take as little as fifteen minutes to observe the birds in your backyard and then report on the web site at http://gbbc.birdcount.org. The information from bird watchers across the United States and Canada provides important data for scientists as they study migration and population distributions.
Our deep snowfall in the northeast this winter has provided lots of birds at the feeders. In a few minutes looking out my window this morning, I saw:
White Throat Sparrow
Dark Eye Junco
The junco and white-throat sparrow are winter time visitors to our area. They are two birds that you can mark the change of seasons when they appear in the fall and leave in the spring.
Carolina Wren (probably wising it was still in Carolina)
We also had an assortment of woodpeckers (downy, hairy and red-bellied)
Remember if you feed the birds to provide a source of fresh water. Currently the snow is higher than our bird bath. but the heater keeps the water thawed. Enjoy the birds today and all year long!
Although I am not a cold weather person, one of the joys of the winter is the Eastern Bluebirds which arrive to feast on mealworms. Bluebirds have made a big comeback in the area in the past twenty years with many people providing boxes for nesting and an active Pennsylvania Bluebird Society.
If you want to attract bluebirds to your yard, they l-o-v-e mealworms. You can buy live worms but my birds like the freeze dried ones just as well. Wrens and titmice also like the worms and they will gobble them.
I love the splash of color that the bluebirds add to the winter landscape.
The birds do remain in the area year round, however, we have not been successful with getting them to nest in our boxes. Since we live in the woods, they have plenty of natural nesting cavities. They spend a lot of time looking in the boxes and each year our hopes raise in anticipation of a nesting pair but eventually they head back to the woods to build their nests.
We see them occasionally during the summer but it is during the winter, when natural food is in short supply that they spend the days hanging out at the mealworm feeders and bird bath.
Hope you enjoy this touch of blue on a cold winter day and Have a Bluebird Day!
Each year after we remove the decorations from the Christmas tree, we put the tree in the yard to serve as cover for the birds during the cold and snowy days of winter. This year I purchased a wreath made with fresh greens including juniper which has lots of little blue berries. When I finished with the wreath, I threw it on top of the Christmas tree outside with ribbons still attached because I figured some bird would like the berries.
Much to my surprise, the birds who have been feasting on the wreath are the Eastern Bluebirds.
Sometime it is a group of birds on the wreath enjoying the berries. Other times it is just one or two.
And there are more berries…
And still more…
After feasting on the berries, then you need a drink.
And sometimes you are joined at your favorite watering hole by a friend.
In early October we spent a week on the Pine Creek and enjoyed the rail trails in northern Pennsylvania. We continued our enjoyment of the fall colors and rail trails in late October with a day trip to the D & L Rail Trail which goes through the Lehigh River Gorge State Park.
The trail runs along the Lehigh River.
River on one side, colorful trees on the other
Wildlife in the area
Excursion trains go through the gorge, also
The rail trail starts in the very scenic town of Jim Thorpe which is nestled at the base of the mountains
The train station
A great place to visit for riding trains, hiking, biking or just enjoying a scenic small town.
My favorite month of the year is rapidly slipping away as I write this. October means cool enough for a sweatshirt but not bitterly cold, the summer haze is gone and replace by clear blue skies, grilling gives way to chili and soup, college football is in full swing (Go Southeast Conference!), and of course there is the beautiful scenery everywhere you look. Some of my favorites…
The changing farm scenes as the corn is cut and green turns to brown
The sound of the wind rustling through the dry corn
Looking out my front window
Or looking out to the back yard
Did I mention the leaves?
Then there are the fields of pumpkins
Oh, and the leaves
A peaceful autumn stream
Now the winter preparation is underway which includes stacking the firewood, cleaning the flower beds, closing the storm windows, etc. I vote for lengthening October and shortening January and February. Don’t forget the leaves…
Earlier this year while reading some updates from WordPress about photo blogs, I thought “Why not?” I decided to set up another blog to feature photos as another way to focus on improving photography skills. The nice thing about photo blogs is that they do not require writing – just posting photos.
Some of the photos are the same as on this blog but most are pictures I have taken around our house and area. This time of year we have a lot of spring blooms so many of the photos relate to the beautiful world of nature.
If you are interested in seeing the photo blog, you can click HERE. Or you can visit natureandlifephotos.com. Thanks for taking a look!
One of the signs of spring in this area, in addition to the many blooming trees and wildflowers, is the wild azalea, Rhododendron canescens. It comes in varying shades of pink ranging from a very light pink to a rosy pink. The blooms only last for a short time but add a wonderful touch to color as you are walking in the woods or driving along the roads.