I’ve always gotten at least a few good responses when I’ve posted pictures of Alaska in the past, so I decided to share a few from our last adventure. Sometime back I bought a Groupon for the Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward. We realized last Sunday that it was going to expire that day, so we took an impromptu trip down. I picked a few of the more interesting and beautiful pictures for you.

Unfortunately we are not such skilled photographers as to keep reflections in glass from interfering with our shots, but this mother octopus is so tragically beautiful, I can’t help posting her picture. She’s just begging for a short story, I think. Eventually I’ll get around to writing one for her.

Female Octopus

Momma Octopus. This species of octopus waits until the end of it’s life to mate. Momma here will die before all of her eggs have hatched. In the meantime, she guards them unceasingly, not even taking time to eat. Some of her little ones have already hatched. We got to see the tiny things in their own little aquarium by the touch tank. Most of them were smaller than my pinky fingernails, smaller even than Alana Terry’s pinky fingernails. It’s hard to believe such tiny things grow to be about 100 lb.s!

 

Octopus eggs

Momma Octopus guarding her eggs. Sorry the glare is so bad. Those lumpy stalactite things are strings of eggs. There are thousands and thousands of them. My children were highly indignant at the thought of this mother octopus starving to death watching over these little ones. Beloved and I did our best to explain that the babies would know everything they needed to know at birth, but our son absolutely insisted another mother octopus would come along to adopt them. Nice to know he appreciates the necessity of mothers.

 

Momma Octopus wasn’t the only amazing octopus we saw at the SeaLife Center. This one also inspired quite a bit of discussion, though for completely different reasons.

Marine Debris Octopus

 

Marine Derbris Octopus

Yup. That’s ALL trash. Eeeeewww….

 

Winter in Alaska is long, even as far south as we live, and usually cloudy. I was a bit worried about the drive down. The road to Seward boasts several treacherous stretches. More than once I came upon a string of potholes so quickly I only had time to grimace before we hit them. Happily, there were no ice patches. We were blessed with a beautiful day for our drive.

 

Snowy mountains and ocean.

View from the Alaska SeaLife Center parking lot. That’s the ocean, not a lake.

 

It’s a long between to Seward fand Anchorage. About four hours the way I drive. I’m told it’s possible to do it in three. I wanted some coffee for the trek home. Unfortunately, we didn’t find any convenient places (that we knew wouldn’t cost more than the usual arm and leg) open until we got into Girdwood, a mere hour away from home. Oh well…

Coffee cup hut

Drive-through coffee huts are very popular up here. I thought this one was pretty nifty.

 

Unless you’re an extreme sports person yourself, you would not believe some of the places we spotted ski tracks. *shudder* I had to wonder about the sanity of some of the people blazing those skinny trails. Nice day for fishing, though.

Group of people ice fishing.

A group set up on the lake for ice fishing.

 

Theoretically it’s break-up time. I won’t hold my breath until May.

Mountains, green ocean with ice

Ocean. Not lake.

 

This is probably not the most interesting picture to you. To us, it’s always nice to see after a long drive. This is Potter’s Marsh, welcoming us home from our journey down the peninsula. In warmer months, this area is populated mostly by fish and water fowl, although moose and bears visit it, too. There’s a minimal-impact boardwalk on the end closest to town. If you happen to letterbox, there’s one nearby.

Frozen marshland

Potters Marsh in winter. Potters Marsh is on the edge of Anchorage and is one of our favorite places.

 

Well, that’s all for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed my departure from the usual WIP fare.

~ReGi

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