Friday, 20 May 2016

Alaskan Journal Part 5

Although we are heading back up north we broke our journey with a night at Homer, which is on the tip of the north side of the Kenai Peninsular. Homer terms itself the 'Halibut Capital of Alaska' which gives you an idea of what its primary preoccupation is - fishing, both commercial and sport. Its other claim to fame is the Homer Spit, a narrow bar of land that juts out into the bay some 5 miles. Oh yes, it's also a good spot for bald eagles.

Our 160 mile drive up went through some fantastic scenery and we broke it by stopping for enormous and incredibly unhealthy sticky buns in Soldotna and a spontaneous visit to a Russian Orthodox church in Ninilchik.
Looking across the Little Tern Lake back towards Moose Pass, a place we'll long remember. But not for positive reasons. If you are ever there, don't be tempted to stop at the grocery store for refreshments. Unless, of course, it's your day for self-abuse.
The Transfiguration of Our Lord Russian Orthodox Church at Ninilchik, dating from 1846. It still has a very active congregation although it was closed to visitors.
An interesting graveyard which, although a little overgrown, was clearly currently used. Many of the names on the headstones were Russian sounding - Kvasnikoff, Oskolkoff,  Resoff, Jackinsky ... Apparently these families are descendants of the original settlers who were Russian Orthodox missionaries.
A bald eagle sitting on a ship's mast.
Closer inspection shows that it had a bloodied head..
..the reason for which became apparent when it flew off carrying what looks like a rabbit or, if that's a large bushy tail I can make out, maybe a small fox.
I like the colour, shape and lines of boats in a harbour.
Bald eagle coming in to land on top of a restaurant.
And another. At one time I could count 10 of them perched on various buildings. In lieu of trees, I presume the buildings give them a vantage point for spotting prey. They did not seem to be at all perturbed by the hustle and bustle going on beneath them.
Our B & B host tells us that it's a prolific year for dandelions in Alaska (we noticed that they were everywhere) and the shoreline was prolific with these vetch (but I can't identify them at the moment).

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