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Town Square 49

The Idle Hour Country Club

The Idle Hour Country Club

idle-hour

It’s been years since I was at The Idle Hour, an upscale supper club that began life in 1938 with white tablecloths and floor to ceiling windows that overlooked spectacular sunsets and the silvery Lake Spenard. In that romantic setting, I had an almost proposal over lobster and prime rib that left me with fond, if embarrassed, memories.

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November 6, 2014
Richard Estes, Central Savings (1975)

Art is Comfort Food in the Age of Ebola

Richard Estes, Central Savings (1975)

It was time to hug our East Coast kids and see some fall art. Husband Dave and I flew to DC for a weekend of soccer starring our grands, Tess (8) and Kai (6). Late October in Alaska is not conducive to outdoor activities but soccer fields adjacent to George Washington’s Potomac home were still verdant with parents decked out in polar fleece cheered for their toddling players who often put the ball into the wrong goal—to grandparents it’s all love.

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November 3, 2014

Live Video: The Annual Polar Bear Migration In Churchill, Manitoba

Catch a glimpse of the annual polar bear migration in Churchill, Manitoba, brought to you by Explore.org, the philanthropic media organization and division of the Annenberg Foundation.

November 3, 2014
Old-Fashioned Navy Bean & Ham Soup

Old-Fashioned Navy Bean & Ham Soup

bean-and-ham-1

Fall in Alaska is that glorious 3 days of the year where the leaves turn beautiful shades of yellow and orange, there’s a distinct smell of sour cranberries and wood smoke lingering in the air, and the Chugach mountains look like they’re on fire with all the brilliant red of the dwarf birch and blueberry bushes.

October 20, 2014

Instead of Golfing, Vacation with the Environment

Recently I met up with Jay Sargent, a former high school classmate, and discovered that not only does she still love horses, she now loves dolphins – enough to go on vacation with them.

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October 1, 2014

Why Was Interior Alaska Green During The Last Ice Age?

Foraker-and-Denali-web

During our planet’s most recent cold period, a slab of ice smothered Manhattan. Canada looked like Antarctica but with no protruding mountains. When the last glacial maximum peaked about 20,000 years ago, most of the continent — from the Arctic Ocean to the Missouri River — slept under a blanket of white.

September 29, 2014

Counting Salmon for the Alaska Department of Fish & Game

Nuyakuk Cabin, 1962. © Jean McLane

It was June, 1962, and I was in Anchorage, living temporarily at Terry D’s, waiting for July. Then I would fly to Dillingham to begin a temporary summer life as a salmon counter for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

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September 9, 2014
Adventure Within Range

Adventure Within Range

Adventure within Range from ATMI on Vimeo.

Alaska Teen Media producers Barae and Aviva Hirsch explored Hope with U.S. Olympic Skier Holly Brooks. Brooks explains why she loves to train in the Chugach National Forest.

September 4, 2014
Bounty, Pilfered, by Pam Longobardi.

Taking Granddaughter, Averyl, to the Anchorage Museum was beyond Priceless

Bounty, Pilfered, by Pam Longobardi.

My daughter Jenn’s 20th wedding anniversary coincided with Labor Day. So my husband, Dave, and I adopted Averyl for the weekend which included an afternoon at the Anchorage Museum. The three of us headed for the exhibition Gyre–The Plastic Ocean.

September 3, 2014
Forager’s Delight: Blueberry Cornmeal Skillet Cake

Forager’s Delight: Blueberry Cornmeal Skillet Cake

wild-alaska-blueberry-cornm

I have a massive issue when it comes to foraging. Some would call it my gift. Others (like my berry-picking friends) would call it my curse. You see, deep in the incomprehensible double-helix thingy of my DNA structure, I have an unmistakable gene for hunting and gathering. I love it.

August 28, 2014
Friendly’s Fried Clams Go Down Nicely With Art

Friendly’s Fried Clams Go Down Nicely With Art

jean-august-1

As Jerry Seinfeld says, buying fruit is a gamble—so are some art trips. In mid-July I headed to Providence, Rhode Island to take my art-philosophy Ph.D. orals. My husband, Dave, came along so he could eat tons of lobster and give me hugs. Happily, I passed – though going before academics is scary, even if you’ve studied hours and hours. Stay tuned as it’s going to be fun to report on my project: The Art of Winston Churchill.

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August 15, 2014

Barrow Youth Study Lemmings And Endangered Species

Young Barrow scientists study lemmings and endangered species. Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

There is an increasing effort in Alaska to engage youth in hands-on scientific activities.

One group of teens is collecting data way up in Barrow.

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July 17, 2014

Lesser Sandhill Cranes: Feeding the Colt

Feeding a colt (that’s a baby crane) is a full time job. These Lesser Sandhill Cranes are finding leeches, worms, snails, fish, and other invertebrates in the mud.

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July 16, 2014

Three Great Summer Shows (Back East)

Alex Katz, Ada and Vincent in the Car (1972).

Alex Katz’s “Ada and Vincent in the Car”, portrays the stay-at-home mom driving her son–note the ubiquitous post-war American Chevy/Ford steering wheel.

Typical when routinely transporting teens, Ada and Vincent don’t converse.

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July 15, 2014

Volunteer Opportunities with Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska

Boys and Girls Club Logo

Every day, an average of 2,975 youth attend a Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska Clubhouse in one of 32 communities across the state.

One of the most important components in allowing these organizations to run smoothly and effectively is participation from community volunteers.

Learn more.

July 11, 2014

Salmon: The Hidden Migration

Juvenile salmon spend important parts of their lives in stream habitat, but this part of their lives is often hidden from our eyes.

Go into the forest with Richard Nelson to discover the amazing terrestrial lifecycle of Alaska’s salmon species.

July 2, 2014

Herb-crusted Alaskan Salmon with Roasted Lemons

Heidi Drygas Herb Salmon8

Deciding what to make for Solstice dinner was easy.

During spring and early summer, us Alaskans engage in a traditional pastime known generally as “Cleaning Out the Freezer”.

See the recipe.

July 1, 2014

Alaska Guide to Boletus Mushrooms

Natasha Mushroom 1

I was raised an Anchorage forager. From fiddleheads to blueberries, some of my fondest childhood memories are of gathering food from local parks and forests and preparing our edible treasures to be enjoyed throughout the year.

One of my favorite foods to collect is boletus mushrooms — a.k.a. wild porcini. My mouth waters just at the thought of the dense, earthy fungi sizzling in a pan with butter and garlic.

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June 27, 2014

Working for the Gov.

William-Egan-Excerpt

In January of 1966, I returned to Anchorage after a semester of graduate school at Oklahoma State University.

According to OSU’s catalog, their department of Clothing, Textiles and Merchandising had courses in design, but when I arrived design had been eliminated.

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June 26, 2014

Preserving Our Homestead on Dandy Lake

1013-MTSU-AK-1423_credit_Carl_Johnson

We found the property by accident in 1971. An ad in the paper offered a plane ride to view a 120-acre parcel of land outside Palmer.

We’d been in Alaska five weeks to teach at a local elementary school and had just begun exploring the area.

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June 20, 2014