Saturday, March 8, 2014

My Favorite Place in Kodiak

Full speed ahead for the Pugbull
We've hiked in this area a bunch of times, and it's most definitely my favorite place in Kodiak.  That would be Fort Abercrombie.  I've blogged about it before, but it's so diverse and beautiful, why not share a little more about it?  Plus - truth be told, I was kind of flailing around for something to write about this week.

I was planning to write about the St. Patrick's Day wreath I was working on, but I wasn't happy with how it came out once I finished.  It's cute - and I hung it on the door - but I didn't think it was blog worthy.  Why share something when the end result turns out just eh?  It's like, "Hey check out this mediocre project I did!"  So instead, another hike is what you get this week!  Hope you're not tired of hiking posts yet.  We're getting to the point where I should rename the blog Adventures in Hiking and Crab Eating.

One of the reasons why I love Fort Abercrombie (besides how beautiful it is) is because I can always count on seeing all kinds of bird species whenever we go exploring.  During this visit, I saw a ton of different species of Ducks, - too many to even begin to identify - Cormorants, Bald Eagles, Black-capped Chickadees, and so many others.  (birding nerd alert!)

So far every time we've hiked here, we've found new trails to check out.  I'm sure eventually we'll hit all the trails the park has to offer, but we haven't gotten to that point yet.  Some of the trails are in the forest, with enormous Sitka Spruce trees towering above you, and others wind around along the cliff side. The view is always spectacular, but a little less so on those oh so common overcast days. - Which not surprisingly, this one happened to be.

I've been thinking about upgrading to a camera with stronger zoom capabilities, because I'm constantly trying to get shots of birds that are just too far away for me to capture.  Can you even see him here?:

Can you see him?

He swooped down and landed on the cliff, and had a few of his buddies in the trees and on some of the other rock outcroppings.  What I've noticed is that once an Eagle lands somewhere, he usually hangs out for a while.  They're not the kind of birds that flit all over and move from here to there like so many other types of birds.  So if you catch one landing, you have a pretty good opportunity to get a picture since he probably won't be going anywhere for a while.  I'm sure it takes a lot of energy to haul 15 lbs of Bald Eagle grandeur into the air! 

That Puggy Boy cracks me up. - He's like a damn Admiral with his posture!  I bet if he could salute, he would.

We hiked along the boulders on the shore line until we got to a dead end, where as you can see in the picture above we climbed up the rocky side of the cliff.  I thought it looked too steep when I first saw it, but it wasn't bad at all.  Adventure dog hopped right on up as usual.  I managed to not sprain an ankle.  I love hiking, but I'm also perpetually clumsy - so I find myself being overly cautious most of the time.  If anyone in this little trio is going to have an accident, it'll be me!

View of beautiful, but overcast Monashka Bay off of Fort Abercrombie

Sometimes when I look out at the horizon and contemplate how truly vast it is, it's almost impossible not to think about how really far away we are.  Time to cue the Carole King again.  ♪ ♫ "We're so faaaaar awaaay..."  ♫ ♪  But hey, if we weren't remote like this, the birding wouldn't be anywhere near as diverse as it is on this enormous, bear-filled island in the middle of the northern Pacific.  It's still a little surreal that this is where I call home these days.

Ta ta for now.

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