Potter Marsh is also a refuge for moose, bears, and smaller mammals like
fox, rabbits, and rodents. It's a beautiful place to take a walk, especially in the
early morning or late afternoon when it's cooler and the birds and animals are
Today was absolutely gorgeous -- 54-73 F. temps and beautiful
blue sky with some puffy white clouds, which increased by evening. There
was a nice breeze in the city, JBER, Potter Marsh (next three photos), and Bird Ridge, and a
stiff wind along the large body of water called Turnagain Arm south of
I was out enjoying the great weather with Cody most of the day. Jim
stayed home to rest up for a long solo bike ride tomorrow but he did
take Casey for a slow eight-mile run on his bike while I was gone, and
she got to swim.
On the way out of JBER I saw a bunch of soldiers training in the grass
along Richardson Rd. Just before the RR tracks near the runways I saw a
large moose run into the woods (no picture). Then three F-18s or 22s
took off in front of me.
That was a fun beginning to the day!
My first stop was Potter Marsh on the south end of town. I enjoyed these
wetlands when we were here in
2012 and wanted to walk there again since it was on the way to
my main hiking venue today.
I went early because dogs aren't allowed on the extensive boardwalks
-- over a mile total out and back in each direction -- and I
didn't want Cody to get hot in the truck.
Only a few people were there when I first arrived but soon two tour
buses pulled in. The passengers headed for the south arm of the
boardwalk so I walked to the quieter, north end of the marsh first.
I saw only a
few birds in that direction but the scenery was peaceful and pretty:
There are several large and small observation decks
with lots of interpretive panels to read.
A volunteer who works at the refuge was showing other visitors a bald
eagle on a tree about 200 feet away, and a type of falcon I've never
heard of (Merlin).
I tried to get photos but they don't show any of the birds clearly.
End of the north boardwalk is highlighted; the
eagles and falcons were in the woods beyond.
woman said a moose had been visible about an hour before. She often sees
them in the early morning or evening but I was there too late.
I'm glad I at least saw the JBER moose this morning.
Everybody's eating! I saw lots of duck butts
in the air this morning.
By the time I got back to the boardwalk entrance the people from the two
tour buses were either returning to their buses or were spread out nearby
and not blocking the boardwalk any more.
Although I don't like the southern boardwalk paralleling busy Seward
Hwy. because of all the traffic noise, I walked to the end of it, too.
There were more geese and other birds along that section. I didn't see any
chicks like we did three years ago in that area, though.
View SE toward the highway and lots more boardwalk
Birdhouse with an Alaska plate for the roof
Red leaves add more color to the marsh.
Lots of ducks right in this area, mostly hiding in
(one of my favorite photos from 6-27-12)
After I got done walking at the marsh I continued heading east on the
Seward Hwy., stopping at the Beluga Point lookout to hunt
for whales and sheep.
I didn't see any whales or sheep but I was fascinated watching the
water in Turnagain Arm. The tide was pretty high but receding. The wind
was causing a lot of whitecaps, and the water closest to shore was moving
a different direction than the main channel:
east on the Seward Hwy. this morning (toward the sun, so not the best
track along Turnagain Arm at Beluga Point
Whitecaps and water flowing different directions
It was interesting during my hike high up on Bird Ridge and driving back
home along the water to watch as more and more mud was exposed while the tide went out.
I had especially great views of the process from Bird Ridge, the subject
of the next entry.
Next entry: a new hike to me, up Bird Ridge
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
Cody the ultra Lab, and Casey-pup
© 2015 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil