Lots of nature in this blog post.

This is the waterfall behind the other intern apartment. It has some of the cleanest drinking water around, except for the water that comes off of Exit Glacier (which tastes delicious).

I went there yesterday just because I could, and went home. When I got home, Dan was there, and he told me about his hike up Mount Marathon, where he saw a Rock Ptarmigan. I looked out the window,  narrowed my eyes, and thought, “Challenge accepted.”

So I woke up this morning at about 9:30 and started my trek up the mountain. There were some cool sites, trees and the like. It was also an avian paradise; I heard and saw Varied Thrushes, Townsend’s and Wilson’s Warblers, and Ruby-Crowned Kinglets. I finally arrived a clearing outside the forest…

…..and I was only about halfway up, if that. I walked along the stream, and stopped to take a drink. Turns out the water isn’t as nice.

I spat it out and got up…to find myself looking at an American Dipper that had interrupted its normal routine to briefly see what the heck I was doing. It quickly went back to dipping its head in the water, looking for food. Don’t worry, I got pictures and video.

Unfortunately, I turned back after I got to the bowl of the mountain because of the rain (oh yeah, that’s right, it was raining. And cold. And there was snow) for two reasons: first, the ptarmigans would probably be a no-show: second, I was colder than an ice cube in a freezer in Antarctica. There were nice picture opportunities, though.

As I was walking down, I noticed movement behind me. It couldn’t have been a moose or bear though…because it was coming from above.

Yep, I was getting divebombed by ravens. For some people, it might have made the experience less enjoyable. Me? I LOVED IT.

I didn’t want to bother the ravens anymore than I was, so I left the area (that, and I didn’t want to get poop on me…I get enough of that at work, thank you very much). Still, it was an awesome experience…I’ll just need to be more careful when I come back up. Oh you thought I was done? I didn’t see my damned ptarmigans, so I’m going back up soon to SEE MY GODDARNED PTARMIGANS.

Okay, back to bed, people.

Total Alaska Life Bird Count: 29 (Townsend’s Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Varied Thrush, American Dipper).

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