1 September 2008
Lots of great Alaska headlines recently, but I want to call attention to the one nobody is talking about. The above graced the front page–above the fold, mind you–of the Anchorage Daily News on Thursday. Maybe it was funnier to me than to you since I was reading it at 2am in the Girdwood gas station, but hey. Being back in Alaska for the first time in five years can do that to me.
1 April 2008
14 September 2007
Corvallis is nice. Almost, but not quite, that sort of little-bit-too-perfect, everybody-knows-everybody-else, Stepford-nice. But not quite.
It does have lots of trees, though, and while I knew that I would be completely lost for a while, I hadn’t counted on the absolute riot of diversity in leafy (and needle-y) things here. Within about a hundred feet of our house are several kinds of maple, fir, holly, birch, oak, elm, and magnolia. The tree map that I got, which covers part of campus and adjoining parks, has about a hundred and eighty kinds of trees on it. No kidding.
Birds are another thing, though it seems strange that I should be amazed by crows, turkey vultures, and
pinyon jays scrub jays, given that in the week before I left, I saw a lot of endangered honeycreepers. But there you go. I am amazed, and even delighted.
I am also enjoying having a large and active public library within walking distance, and while I’ll no doubt rack up fines soon enough, my only monetary expenditures so far have been at the large and active used bookstore downtown. I snapped up a copy of Lost Discoveries, which I started reading before I left Hilo. One of the few hardbacks I’ve bought in recent years, but this book is worth it. From the public library, I’ve started both Song of Solomon and Bomb Scare at the same time. It’s possible that either one is more that I can chew, but perhaps I’ve got a big enough bite I’m deluded into thinking I can handle it. We’ll see.
Back on the science bandwagon soon, no doubt.
29 June 2007
In the spirit of recommending planetarium software in the last post, I’d like to solicit input on good bird books. I browsed for a while today, but couldn’t figure out whether Corvallis was ‘grassland,’ or ‘woodland,’ according to their classifications.
At any rate, I saw five nene flying over the Mauna Kea access road yesterday on my way down from the summit. I’ve seen a few in the same spot (between the runaway truck ramp and the reservoir) before, but never airborne. Cool.