Friday, June 18, 2010

Whales - Part 1

Here's a coolest of cool thing about the Last Frontier - the whales. One type is the bowhead whale. These giants (adults can be 60 feet and weigh in at 100 tons) hang out in the Arctic Ocean and don't migrate south to feed like most whales. Instead, with over a foot of blubber as padding and a massive head (perfectly suited for ramming ice), they swim north in April.

Bowheads are black with a white spot on their snouts, and their calves or babies are blue/gray. Bowheads have two blow holes and can pop through a foot of ice to breathe.

Unlike other whales, they're not very social, preferring to have pods of three or so buddies while feeding in the spring. In the fall, the buddy number shoots up to fifty.

If they visited Suskeegach, these bowheads could easily explore the bottom of the Narrows as they can dive to 500 feet.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Ding-a-ling-ling! That's the sound of the bears' inner alarm. They've been waking up in the mountain forests of Suskeegach for over a month now.

How do I know? Easy - skunk cabbage. The other day I went for a walk around Chinook Lake Trail and the center pistil of the skunk cabbage was missing. For some reason, bears like that center spear as a tasty wake-up snack.

Now that they're up, that means - BEWARE! Especially because the most aggressive bear will be a Mama protecting her cubbies.