Smith Mountain Lake Mystery Writer
Contemplations from a quiet cove on Smith Mountain Lake.
- Name: Sally Roseveare
- Location: United States
I'm a Southern gal who loves life, my husband and our family (which, to date, includes 13 grandchildren). I enjoy being with friends and family. But I also like being alone and thinking up plots for future books. I've published two novels, both mysteries, and I'm working on my third. For more about my books, visit me at www.sallyroseveare.com. If you ever hear me say, "I'm bored," please get me to the ER immediately! Paddling my kayak and snapping pictures of the critters I see relaxes me. Beach music has the opposite effect--when I hear those old "doo-wops" I want to dance.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
LOVE AFFAIR WITH ALASKA: Part 7
Taking a photo of a golden eagle in flight (above) through the dirty window of a moving bus isn't exactly a piece of cake, but this is one of the two non-blurry shots that came out. Remember to click on picture to enlarge. Golden eagles, who usually mate for life, eat rabbits, squirrels, mice, marmots, other birds, and sometimes even young Dall sheep. Females are larger than males. Dark brown with a wing span of 72.8 inches to 86.6 inches, they range in length from 27 1/2 to 33 inches in length. Folks, that's a lot of bird. I thought they were beautiful, but not as regal as the bald eagles we have in Virginia.
Mt. McKinley, also known as Denali by Alaskans, is 20,320 feet tall, the tallest mountain in North America. Only 30% of the tourists visiting Denali National Park see it because of the weather. In a single day, one can experience sun, wind, rain, clouds, and rain. Two days out of three, the peak is covered with clouds. Conditions change in an instant, but we were lucky.
See how it towers over the other mountain and the cloud.
From Denali, we traveled to Fairbanks and visited the Alaskan Pipeline.
LOVE AFFAIR WITH ALASKA: Part 6
The above picture looks like a painting, but it's not. I took it through the bus window. The first few miles of the road are paved; the remainder of the 91-mile ribbon of road is composed of fine gravel or dirt. Meeting another bus on this road is frightening. We all gained a lot of respect for our bus driver (also our tour guide).
Look closely at the picture below and you'll see a bus near the top. The two white spots in the center are Dall sheep.
The Dall sheep in the pictures above and below didn't care that we were invading their territory. The sheep always stay in the same group or flock, and prefer steep cliffs and wind-blown ridges away from wolves and other predators. Adult rams weigh 200-250 pounds; ewes weigh between 110 and 150. Their diet consists of sedges, moss, willow, grasses and lichens. I learned that their hair is hollow, which insulates their bodies in the cold weather. There have been times this winter when I would've loved to have had their hollow hair!
Caribou are plentiful, and we saw many herds. I learned that reindeer and caribou are the same animal, except that caribou are wild and reindeer are domesticated. Besides, it would sound weird to say "Rudolph the red-nosed caribou."
Below is a picture of the tundra and the mountains. Photo taken from bus.
Denali may have been one of the most fascinating and beautiful places I've ever been. I'll write more about Denali in my next posting. I do so LOVE Alaska!