Take Part in the Great Backyard Bird Count this Weekend!

Every year, bird watchers of all ages and levels of experience take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count. The information they gather in as little as fifteen minutes helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing. 

If you lived by the Gulkana Wild and Scenic River in Alaska, you could see all these birds in your backyard.

The Gulkana is one of the most popular sportfishing rivers in Alaska, providing rich habitat for rainbow trout, arctic grayling, king salmon, red salmon, whitefish, longnose suckers, and lamprey. A popular river for fisherman and boaters in the summer, this river has also played an important role in the lives of the Ahtna, providing access to subsistence resources throughout history and pre-history. During winter months the frozen Gulkana River was historically used as an important travel route from the Copper River to the Tangle Lakes and what is now known as the Denali Highway area.

See more photos of the Gulkana Wild and Scenic River here

Title: Wooden Box Drum
Culture: Tlingit
Origin: Wrangell Island, Alaska, United States
Date: prior to 1904
Description: “Box drum Drums sound out the heartbeat of grief, as expressed in the Killer Whale mourning song. Box drums accompany singing during funerals and at the memorial ku.éex’ (memorial potlatch) ceremonies that come later. The box drum is a wide plank of red cedar, steamed and bent at the corners, with a separate top piece attached by nails. The painted design represents the Killer Whale. Box drums were traditionally suspended from the ceiling of a lineage house and played by young men; the technique is to hit the inside with fist or fingers to vary the volume and tone.”
Source: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


Winter in the Mountains by Daniel Leifheit
Via Flickr:
Post sunset light on mountain in south central Alaska.

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Light pillars over Alaska

The eerie sight in the photo is perfectly natural, being caused by the interaction between ice crystals drifting downwards through the air during a night ruled by Father Frost and lights pointing upwards from the human dwellings below, which pick out the tumbling crystals as though they were searchlights. They are the ground to sky equivalent of sun pillars which form the same way as sunlight meets ice crystals high up in the air, but on cold nights the ice crystals form much closer to the ground and can be picked out by human lights.


Image credit: Allisha Libby via EPOD


Sitten Pretty von Wolfhorn
Über Flickr:
View On Black