Across Kachemak Bay
Four days ago, I was fighting for a national championship with my ultimate team, the Whitman Sweets, at the National College Ultimate Championships in Raleigh, North Carolina. (We made school history and earned a silver medal!)
Three days ago, I was buying my first pair of Chacos in Seattle and stuffing polypropylene leggings into my waterproof duffel bag.
Two days ago, I was flying to Anchorage and then Homer, Alaska and settling in to my bunk room on the second floor of the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. I met an old friend and teammate for dinner (here in Homer, what wonderful coincidence) and fell asleep at 10:30 pm in broad daylight.
One day ago, I took a boat across Kachemak Bay to the Peterson Bay Field Station, a semi-remote campus of the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies where I'll be living and guiding for the rest of the summer.
|We passed Gull Island on our way to Peterson Bay Field Station.|
|Common murres were conspicuously absent in the water... and then we found them all huddled on top!|
|Black kittiwakes coated the cliffs and generated a constant pulsing wail.|
|Tufted puffins bobbed near our boat.|
And this morning, I woke up to gossip of boreal chickadees, the indignant peels of black oystercatchers, and the melody of robins.
|A bald eagle perches in this snag every day.|
A group of eight Alaskan school-teachers are visiting for a three-day Teacher Academy. They'll take back what they learn to provide outdoor education for the students in their classrooms. It's a perfect first group for me because I get to learn about this ecosystem alongside curious educators who ask creative questions and find joy in the mucky details.
|Gull Island, a pillow basalt home to thousands of birds.|
|Otter Rock: can you see the geological sea otter on her back, paws in the air?|
|Can you identify this dead duck head?|
|Our steep ramp from the dock to the Field Station.|
|If you're heading to the beach, take the stairs.|
|Our drinking water comes thrice-filtered from this steam, but it's still imbued with a rich brown color from leaf tannins.|
Today we have a minus 3.2 tide at 7:30 am -- that's really low. We're off to Otter Rock to seek out the Fab Four Phyla and whatever else crosses our path!