Matanuska River Valley – Alaska

mat su valley (640x424)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.

mat su 5 (640x424)

The Matanuska Glacier

mat su 9 (640x424)More mountains…

manuska campsite (640x424)Our campsite along the Glenn Highway along the river

hatcher pass (640x424)Heading up the Hatcher Pass to the Independence Gold Mine

gold mine 2 (640x424)

Some buildings on the way up to the gold mine.

sheep mountain (640x424)This very colorful mountain is called Sheep Mountain

sheep (640x424)And this is the reason why

mat su 7 (640x424)And some final scenes on our way to Glenn Allan. Hope you enjoyed the trip!

mat su 3 (640x424)

New Hampshire in the Fall

NH leaves 3 (640x420)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.

NH leaves 10 (640x424)

ridley falls (640x424)

NH Leaves 5 (640x424)

NH waterfalls (640x424)

NH church (640x412)

NH leaves 2 (640x424)

NH leaves 8 (640x401)

NH leaves (640x424)

Alaska – Denali Highway

DSC_0784 (640x424)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.

DSC_0802 (640x424)

DSC_0857 (640x424)

DSC_0817 (640x424)

DSC_0793 (640x424)

DSC_0734 (640x424)

DSC_0679 (640x424)

denal road (640x424)

DSC_0866 (640x424)This was an unexpected sight along the road but very nice surprise.

Changing Seasons

leaves (640x427)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!

DSC_0162 (640x427)

leaves 2 (640x424)

leaves 4 (640x424)

pumpkins (640x415)

corn stalks (640x424)

Alaska

mountains flowers (640x424)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!

DSC_0657 (640x424)

mat su 9 (640x424)

mat su 5 (640x424)

moose and calves (640x424)

DSC_0707 (640x424)

RV (640x424)Our home as we toured Alaska. Great visit!

Summer Scene

gold finch (640x392) (2)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).

Watching Eagles

eagle on nest (640x368)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

http://hdontap.com/index.php/video/stream/bald-eagle-live-camhttp://

Click on link below to see them breaking free from a mound of snow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vv6zuw9cKRM

Check back around March 21 to see if the two eggs have hatched.

Image courtesy of Pennsylvania Game Commission

Snowy Day

four birds (640x424)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 falling (640x424)Snow fell hard all day and we ended up with around 12 inches.

cardinal and gf 2 (640x424)The male cardinal and goldfinch in the snow.

snow 2 (640x424)

sunrise snow (640x424)Lots of snow yesterday but the sun is shining today

morning light (640x424)Have a Happy Friday!

Tumblr Anyone?

tumblr blog resizedTumblr is another blogging platform that is easy to use to post photos, videos, quotes and to share favorite websites. I am using Tumblr as another way of sharing and viewing nature photos. If you have a Tumblr account, let me know and I will follow you. I am always interesting in seeing great photos. Here is the link to my Tumblr. Take a look!

http://alookatnature.tumblr.com/

Sunrise

sunrise 2A colorful morning as we wait for another snowstorm. I am ready for butterflies, flowers and warm weather!

Winter’s Joy

red bellied BB PS (640x399)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.

bluebird pair 3 (640x373)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.

bluebirdandfinch 2 (640x424)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.

juncoThe 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!

white throat 5 (640x424)red bellied (640x315)hairy cropped 2 (640x424)goldfinch 2 (640x377)titmouse (640x418)purple finch 2 (640x423)

chickadee BB (640x424)

pileated 2 (640x424)

cardinal PS (640x355)

Trust

flyover (640x415)Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
 ~Matthew 6:26

birds of the air

His Eye is on the Sparrow

white throat song sparrow (640x424) ps“I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

~Civilla D. Martin

Seeking Early

sunrise (640x424)“I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” – Proverbs 8:17

Winter’s Blue

bluebird squawk (640x447)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.

bluebird pair (640x424)

bluebirds (640x453)

female BB on birdbath (640x424)

bluebird 2 (640x424)

female bluebird (640x424)

Nature Photos on Twitter

twitter page (640x306)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?

Getting Outside

take a walk in the woods (640x424)One of the joys of the grandchildren visiting is spending time with them walking in the woods or when the weather is warmer, working in the garden. Even though it was cold during the Christmas visit (but no snow on the ground this year), we still spent time in the woods and filling jars with “nature” things that we found.

I read an interesting article about how Scandinavian babies nap outside even when the weather is well below freezing. We lived in Germany when my oldest son was young and I remember the German mothers shopping and taking walks with their babies snug in their warm sleeping bags inside the prams during the coldest weather. Here is a link to the article and a couple of photos of our time outside with the children and grandchildren.

rock pile (640x424)The rock wall is always interesting to explore

woods with steve (640x424)Uncles are great for spending time with nieces

feedng mealworms (640x424)Filling the mealworm containers for the bluebirds

reflection (640x424)Unfortunately a great blue heron found the fish pond this week so not sure how many fish we have left

rocks 2 (640x424)Talk a walk and enjoy all of the great things to see and explore!

Happy Thanksgiving!

thanksgiving (640x418)

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness;

come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God.

It is he who made us, and we are his;

we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving

and his courts with praise;

give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;

his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 100