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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

See the Mendenhall Glacier, Southeast Alaska

Just a few miles from Juneau, Alaska has one of the most visited glaciers in the world.

Also one of the most beautiful streams. 

Where does all this water come from?

Visiting Mendenhall glacier recently, I was surprised how much it had retreated just since my last visit in 1990.
The huge waterfall you see below was just at the front of the glacier then.

Keri was shocked.

In 1968 the photo taken from this perspective would have been of the front face of the glacier. Now the face is well over a mile up the channel from the waterfall.

Mendenhall glacier was also much broader and thicker only a few years ago.

656 feet were lost on its east side in 2004 and 269 feet lost on its west side in 2005. 
And this doesn't take into account the loss of the ice height!

This important video below plays at the Mendenhall glacier visitor center. Constantly.

350 Days of a Retreating Glacier

The next time you hear someone say there is no rapid climate change...  send them here.

See a video of the Mendenhall Glacier Retreat from 1958 to 2012 from

Visit each week for a new The Earth Minute.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Visit Malibu Legacy Park - Hidden Gardens L.A. #2

Take an opportunity to visit California habitat in an easy to access native garden. The Legacy Park Wallis Annenberg Habitats (or Malibu Legacy Park) showcases six iconic California habitats: coastal praire, woodlands, coastal bluffs, riparian corridor, wet meadow and a vernal pool.

snowy egret (Egretta thula)

While the woodlands are still far from established, the other habitats have quickly grown since the park's opening in 2010 and wildlife has been quick to move in. You can almost always see egrets and herons, as well as a variety of waterfowl and shorebirds. The bridge over the Riparian Corridor offers close viewing of feeding birds if you are quiet. Watch for the snowy egret's yellow feet in the video. It uses its feet to kick up invertebrates in the water. The bright color of its feet helps the bird avoid grabbing its own toe.

If live creatures are elusive, a variety of native California animals are depicted as mosaic sculptures. You'll think better of California kingsnakes and western toads when you see them beautifully depicted in these large pieces of art.

This is a great native garden for birding and strolling. Designed to filter urban run-off water back into the environment, Legacy Park is a great example of actions benefiting people, wildlife, and the environment.

Look For:
  • Mosaic sculptures of California native species & bronze sculptures of people
  • Informational signage
  • Native plants
  • Variety of mammals and birds (Including desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii) and California ground squirrels (Spermophilus beecheyi); snowy egret (Egretta thula), great egret (Ardea alba), and introduced great-tailed grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus))

Special Opportunities: Migratory birds stop here in spring and fall, including small flocks of western meadowlarks (Sturnella neglecta) in the coastal prairie area. Winter months can bring Wilson's snipe (Gallinago delicata) and Northern shoveler ducks (Anas clypeata).

A variety of restaurants are only a block away at the Malibu Country Mart.

The Specifics:

  • Open - Daily, 8 AM to Sunset; Free to the public
  • Parking - Plenty. Parking is more accessible if you approach from the north. From Pacific Coast Hwy, turn in at Webb Way and turn right (or south) on Civic Center Way. Parking will be on your right, along the park's edge
  • Restrooms - No, but drinking fountains are available
  • Kid Friendly - Absolutely, a wonderful place to explore
  • Accessibility - All pathways are wheelchair friendly, but some are unpaved
  • Dogs - Welcome on a leash, watch for coyotes and rattlesnakes
  • Restrictions - Parking is more plentiful in the morning and late afternoon

For More Information:
official park webpage

Visit us every week to watch more at:

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Floating the Outlet Stream - Squanga Lake, Yukon Canada

Floating down the outlet stream of Yukon's Squanga Lake
is very quiet.


Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus
are in the outlet stream. 

Located about an hour and a half from Whitehorse, Yukon's capital and largest city, Squanga Lake is a great place to camp, boat, fish and bird watch.

 Now with a new bat box - Bat watch, too!!



Thursday, July 10, 2014

Catch a View and Catch a Pike on Squanga Lake, Yukon Canada!

Squanga Lake, Yukon, Canada has some of the most idyllic scenery. Glassy lake conditions at night are beautiful.

The northern pike here are often in the reeds!! 

Look for the bald eagle landing in a tree at the end of the video!

Squanga is a First Nations word for the whitefish that swim on the muddy bottom.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Longest Day of the Year - Sunset at Glacier Bay, Southeast Alaska

Sunsets last a long time up in Alaska.

The weather was stunning in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

The Glacier Bay Lodge at Bartlett Cove is just a short bus ride from the Gustavus Airport. 

We took photos directly from our room and then an hour and a half walk as the sun painted the sky.

Watch for the ripples of the little fish at the end of the video!