Random (but not really)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Alaska: Potter’s Marsh

On the 11th we went to Potter’s Marsh, part of the Anchorage Coastal Wildlife Refuge. It is a birder’s paradise, and although I am not a birder, I enjoyed using my new zoom lens to see birds up close.

As you can see, it was another grey day, but it was fun regardless.

First, some general scenery:



Now, some birds:


Greater yellowlegs (?) Tringa melanoleuca


Arctic tern Sterna paradosea
Greater yellowlegs (?) Tringa melanoleuca


Common Redpoll Carduelis flammea


Gull of some sort.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (7)  Permalink
Categories: Alaska,Photos  

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Alaska: Anchorage

We landed in Anchorage. Tania drove down from Fairbanks to meet us, and be our guide and chauffeur, a fact for which I will be eternally grateful. Alaska is a HUGE place and trying to figure out what to see was an overwhelming task. Tania helped us see an overview of the areas she thought we’d like, and that gave us an idea for places we’d like to see when we finally get to go back.

Anchorage in the summer is tourist land. In fact, most of the areas we visited catered to summer tourists and sportsmen and adventurers and tourists. Tania helped us to avoid the overtly touristy places, and I tried very hard to make sure stores we visited were Alaska owned and the loot I bought was Alaska made or designed.

This was a lot harder than you’d think, especially in the ports of call for the cruise ship.

But I think (and hope) I did okay. I certainly prefer that my money went to support someone who lives in Alaska year round, not just when the weather is good.

One of the first things we saw–and were warned about–were the mud flats.


Anchorage was surrounded not by beaches but by mudflats there are basically squishy quicksand. That, combined with the the tremendous difference between high and low tide make these ares extremely dangerous.

Anchorage is also, of course, surrounded by mountains.


It was usually cloudy, so I didn’t get many good pictures of the majesty of the surrounding mountains. However, I will say that I liked the various Alaska ranges better than the Rockies. Of course, the Appalachians remain my favorite mountains, and the mountains in Hawaii are also wonderful, but the mountains in Alaska were amazing and impressive.

One of the things we did in Alaska was eat. A lot. And Michael tried to sample as many local brews as possible. I think he did a pretty good job, thanks to Tania’s expert guidance.

While in Anchorage, Michael and I hiked Flattop Mountain. The views were spectacular, despite the grey weather.




We also managed not to be eaten by a bear, which I thought was important.


While in Anchorage, we visited Potter’s Marsh and the Alaska Botanical Garden. Potter’s Marsh will be the next post. The Botanical Garden will be some of the last pictures I go through, since it’s almost all flowers pr0n.

Written by Michelle at 12:50 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Alaska,Photos  


As some of you are aware, Michael and I took three weeks vacation and went to Alaska. We spent just over a week hanging out with our friend Tania from Fairbanks, and were joined by Neurondoc and her family.

Then Tania went home while the five of us went on a cruise down the Inside Passage, viewing glaciers and stopping at port cities.

Then we spent two days (one night) in Vancouver, where we met Jeri, and then spent several days in Seattle.

If you were wondering why I hadn’t been around much, that’s why.

The trip was amazing. I do not have superlatives enough to describe it.

I do, however, have several thousand pictures.

Never fear, I will not subject you to that many pictures. I’m planning on posting several of my favorite pictures every day, and if I feel so motivated, telling you a bit about that area we saw. You can also click through to Flickr to see more pictures there, but I am being aggressive in culling pictures, and putting up only ones that I think best represent wherever we were visiting.

Then I plan to go through I work through the shots I took for myself (things I found interesting/fascinating) and only then will I allow myself to go through all the flower pictures.

Because I took a LOT of plant pictures. The botany of Alaska is not just different from what I am used to here in West Virginia, but it differed from region to region, often significantly.

If you have any questions about where we went and what we did, please feel free to ask.

Alaska is definitely a place everyone should visit–and should do so while they are young enough to get out and hike and see places.

Written by Michelle at 12:32 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Alaska,Travel  

Friday, July 29, 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt: Exhausted Edition

I have a good excuse for being late–I spent the entire day in airplanes or airports returning from a very long, but very awesome vacation (These are just a few photos from the first week. There are many many many more to come.)

So this week’s delayed challenge:

Playing in the grass

Four. That’s all you get, because Jeri gave you all extras the previous three weeks. :)

Written by Michelle at 12:15 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games,Photos  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WWA: Mid Summer Edition

It’s summer, so you know what that means on the east coast? fireflies

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (13)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt: Warmth Edition

Once again, my thanks to Jeri for this week’s list!

Summer sunlight
Something that sparkles
Something gold (not jewelry)
Something ridiculous

Written by Michelle at 1:00 am      Comments (4)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games,Photos  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WWA: Is It Hot in Here? Edition

Today’s word is: air conditioning (as in, thank goodness for)

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (9)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Photo Scaventer Hunt: Patriotic Edition

And again, this week’s list comes from Jeri!

A symbol (not a flag)
Red form of transportation
Blue flower
White dwelling
(bonus if you can find all three above together!)

Please leave a link to your pictures in the comment section!

Written by Michelle at 1:00 am      Comments (4)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games,Photos  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WWA: Muddy Waters Edition

Today’s word is: Blues

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (6)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Photo Scavenger Hunt: Blue Edition

Today’s list comes from Jeri. Actually, the next three weeks come from Jeri. I’m just hosting this game.

Please put your links in the comment section!

A blue food item
A blue reflection
Something else blue
A blue mood

Thanks Jeri!

Written by Michelle at 1:00 am      Comments (8)  Permalink
Categories: Fun & Games,Photos  
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