Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kiwi and Pump House in Alaska - May 28, 2010

Friday, May 28, 2010

Today is our day off. I decided to head over to Walmart to find an over the door towel rack for the bathroom. The bathroom door in our apartment is attached to a hydraulic hinge that forces it to shut tightly every time it opens. This means that the bathroom door never stays open, even when you are standing in the doorway, in front of the sink brushing your teeth. It gets annoying when the door is constantly pushing you out of the room. There is also only one towel rack. So, off to Walmart I went to get more lotion, a copper bird feeder, and two living room lamps. One of the plastic bird feeders Dave hung yesterday ended up on the ground, broken. We believe this is a renegade squirrel trying to eat the sunflower seeds.

While I was putting together the towel rack, Dave headed out to hang the bird feeder, and sure enough, a little red squirrel came around and fussed at him. He made such a racket that Dave had to come inside and get me to come and look at this feisty little squirrel!

He eventually got the new feeder up and chased off the squirrel, who obviously felt Dave was invading his territory! 

Dave made a pot of his delicious baked beans, and we headed over to ABO for Carols’ talk. ABO is tucked in the corner of a sprawling apartment complex turned resort. They have a lovely new building that borders the woods leading out to Creamer Field. Inside ABO, is a great gift shop with everything from art and jewelry to ABO logo’d items to field guides to bird feeders.

The mission of the Alaska Bird Observatory is to advance the appreciation, understanding, and conservation of birds and their habitats through research and education. They have several field projects on the Tanana Flats, Yukon Flats, Creamer’s Refuge, Kodiak Island, Alaska Peninsula/Becharof, Arctic, and Innoko National Wildlife Refuges, the BLM’s National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, and the BLM’s White Mountains. While we were there, Sue was giving us updates on many of these projects. This is the happenin’ place for bird research.

Carol “Kiwi” Donovan’s talk was wonderfully entertaining and I can see why Dave is so smitten with her. She is living his dream.

If he could, he would travel the world to see every bird. Of course, I would have to go with him, because you all know how much he likes to “share” what he knows with me! He’s an explorer and teacher, and you know what? I’d go in an instant.

After Carol’s talk, we drove over to the Pump House Restaurant to have drinks with my TA Bonita and her partner Doug.

It was a beautiful evening, probably in the 70sF at 9:30pm so we sat on the deck by the river until the bugs became too annoying. Alaska is a great place to be if you like dark beer. Everywhere we’ve gone, I’ve tried the dark beer – from British Columbia through the Yukon and to Alaska. But, I must say that I really like the Alaskan Porter. Doug is a fisherman. The first 10 years or so that he lived in Alaska, he led fishing expeditions, so he and Dave hit it off from the git go. In fact, we left the restaurant at 1:18am with plans to go fishing the following afternoon. We took a picture of the parking lot when we left and it was as bright as day.

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