Sunday, 9 March 2014

Up in the frozen north

Captain Cook looks across the Cook Inlet

I am briefly visiting Anchorage in Alaska.

The only wildlife that I can see in the city which has a light covering of snow and a temperature hovering just below freezing are some ravens, and they surprise me because instead of just making the characteristic low monotone 'gronking calls I am used to back home, here they also sing. They are babbling happily up in the trees and also from on high on the street lights.

The adjacent Cook Inlet is mainly frozen, but the locals say that this has been an unusually  warm winter and the small flurries of snow that I can see blowing dryly around the streets are almost the only snow that they have had.

The big local news is that the big Iditarod dog-sled race is suffering from the lack of snow, the course is unusually dangerous and participants are getting hurt.

Another local news story also features a canine in the snow and is the story of a Otis Orth whose snow machine overturned leaving him injured, alone and immobilized . He was forced to stay where he was all through the freezing night but his faithful golden retriever, Archer, stayed with him and they huddled together for warmth. Come the morning, the dog heard passersby and was able to bring help and his master is now recovering in hospital. Full story in he Anchorage News HERE.  

Raven in the snow

Raven on the streetlight - note the characteristic beard

Part of the industrialized shoreline of Anchorage - the adjacent sea is open but then there is ice out to the horizon

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