Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sightseeing with BT

What a treat! BT and N came to visit last week. BT is quite horribly allergic to dogs and other fuzzies (although, fortunately, not to DL), so she and N cannot stay with us, nor be in our cars for very long (BT and N have a pet tortoise). She pointed out that Alaska, like California, is getting ever more dog-friendly by the year, which is difficult for people with dog allergies. Hotel rooms, apparently, contain pet dander even after being cleaned and vacuumed.

BT was also kind enough to give a lecture to the UAF science and engineering community, entitled, "Intellectual Property Law for Engineers and Scientists (Stuff I Wished My Clients Knew Before They Called Me)".

On their first day, I packed my fuzzies and we took a walk at Creamer's Field. Creamer's Field used to be a dairy (and "Creamer" is the actual name of the family that owned it!). People noticed that migrating birds were flocking there, attracted by the grain spread and the open wetlands and fields. When the family closed the business in 1966, the property was purchased and converted to a refuge as described by the Friends of Creamer's Field:

As the dairy grew over the years, migratory waterfowl congregated at Creamer's Field in increasing numbers. The grain and large open fields provided prime habitat. When the dairy went up for sale in 1966, local residents met to plan a way to purchase the property. Along with money raised by the community, the State legislature provided funds (25%) to match with the federal government's Pittman-Robertson funds (75%) to purchase the 250 acre farm. Management was given to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG). In 1970 an adjacent 1500 acres of state land was added and the entire parcel was designated "Creamer's Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge" in 1979. Since that time, additional acreage has been added to the Refuge, bringing its total size to about 2000 acres.

In the winter time, I've skied there. But I've got to admit, I'm not a huge fan of Creamer's Field in summer, when mosquitoes take as much delight in the wetlands as the birds do!

Leaders exploring the boardwalks!

The pretty golden slanting light:

The standing water was juuuuust starting to freeze, and there was a LOT of it! What a wet, rainy summer it has been!

Creamer's Field has some large pockets of non-permafrost, where large trees grow!

The next day, we decided that BT and N needed to experience that crazy beautiful Richardson Highway, even though we could only do 10 hours' worth of drive since Black Rapids Lodge was closed for repairs, and there were no other dog-hair-free places available to stay. The upside is that as a day trip with no hiking involved, we could leave the dogs behind and pile into their dog-free rental car and visit during the drive.

The day after that, we drove out to Chena Hot Springs. It was another gorgeous day:

We did a short hike to the top of this dome:


bt said...

Such a great visit! Thanks for hosting us. Can't wait for the next one!

Arvay said...

A great visit indeed! Thanks for coming and giving the talk!