The Arctic fox is a small animal that inhabits the northern coast and offshore icepack in Alaska. It has a cryptic coloring phase shared by other animals in the Arctic, (like the snowshoe hare, ptarmigan, and short-tailed weasel), in which their color changes to a pure white during the winter months. Unfortunately, I’ve seen the Arctic fox population decline in the region of the Arctic accessible by the James Dalton Highway, and scientists suggest this is in part due to resource competition from the larger and more dominant red fox that have used the road corridor opportunistically to extend their range.
~ little snippets from a big place ~
Alaska is a unique land with a correspondingly unique lifestyle that revolves around a northern climate. Each week, I’ll provide a brief synopsis on an Alaska topic that will include some links to photos from my archives.
March is not the only month of the aurora borealis season, but it is one of the year’s most geomagnetically active solar months. Combine this with Fairbanks, Alaska’s northern location, and often clear skies, and you have the beginning ingredients for successful aurora viewing. Fairbanks is gaining popularity as one of the best places to view and photograph the northern lights in the U.S., and some argue the world. Make sure you come prepared for cold weather, check the aurora forecasts, stay up between 10 pm and 2-3 am, bring a camera and tripod, and have fun hunting the night skies for some colorful curtains of light.
The Festival of Native Arts provides cultural education and sharing through traditional Native dance, music, and arts. The Festival continues the University of Alaska Fairbanks student-led tradition that began in 1973 of bringing together artists, performers, and performance groups in a celebration of Native cultures. The Festival of Native Arts unites the major Native culture groups of Alaska, as well as foreign groups of the continental United States and countries such as Japan, Russia, and Canada. Public attendance is welcome from March 1-3, 2018 at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.
The boreal forest or “northern forest” is the world’s largest land-based biome and represents approximately 30% of the world’s forest. In Alaska, the boreal forest or “taiga” exits between the northern Brooks Range down to the southern Coast Range mountains, covering most of Interior Alaska. It features a relatively low diversity of species, dominated by a few conifers and deciduous tree species. The white and black spruce along with the paper birch, balsam poplar and aspen trees are most common. It is intermingled with meadows, lakes, winding rivers, wetlands, and home to many species of birds and animals.