06 September 2007

Beluga Whales & Old Friends

Yesterday, after work, I headed to Los Anchorage in high anticipation to pick up Froghair (one of the few people here who knows me in real life) who is going be visiting through the end of this week. I am so delighted to see her again! The first time I ever met her she had a Alaskan auto license plate on her wall and expressed her wish to "live in Alaska in a tree-house, have a jeep and a goat". Well, at the time I was interested in backpacking in the state but had never given much thought to living there. So I used this as leverage to get her up to visit me as in "You've wanted to go to Alaska as long as I've known you and I've been here seven years....when are you coming to visit?" And she came!

I was a bit late in picking her up though because as I was driving along the gorgeous Turrnigan Arm I kept spotting flashes of white in the ocean. I knew what they were of course - Beluga Whales! And I absolutely HAD to stop and watch for awhile. White adult belugas swimming against the tide with smaller grayish and purplish baby belugas playfully slapping the water and turning gleeful circles the sun gleaming off of their backs. I have never seen them in such numbers. The belugas in Cook Inlet are supposedly genetically distinct from other populations and they are in trouble for reasons not clearly understood. I felt so awed, so privileged to see them there in the wild, happy and free. And every other worry and anxiety of the week and the day evaporated. And luckily, Froghair is the kind of person who totally understood that I had no choice but to stop.


  1. I'd stop for baby belugas, too. Especially if there were in the arid clime in which I live! Hey, enjoy your visit with friends! I've lived in my suburban-smog-filled berg for seven odd years now, too. Seven years feels like an eternity for an immigrant like me.


  2. Your friend might choose to stay for a long, long time! More than willing to stay! :)



  3. WHen friends come to visit, home seems a lot more like H<3ME. I saw belugas in aquarium this year (I know it doesn't compare to the natural habitat) they were amazing. Enjoy a great weekend!

  4. i love that you are the kind of woman who stops to watch the whales. who lives in places where such things are possible.

    enjoy your friend time.

  5. Dammit, every time you post about your surroundings u fill me with envy! Being a veterinarian and a researcher myself I wish I could work more on the field, instead I'm locked in a lab...
    Enjoy the visit and please give me more of all you see!

  6. That is amazing and totally worth stopping for. It is nice that you get to hang out with someone who appreciates the same things you do, too.

  7. Make sure Froghair gives you my hug and will you give her a hug for me? Wish I could have seen the whales, too. What a wondrous sight they must have been!
    Love ya! G^2

  8. Glad you stopped to see the whales, and glad you had a good friend to enjoy them with.

    What a wonderful treat.

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  9. If the whole world stopped to appreciate them then they probably wouldn't be in trouble! Your emotive writing in this post brought tears to my eys. Oh and I LOVE froghair's blog nwo too.

  10. How lucky she is to visit you.

  11. orangeblossoms ~ ah, yes, well, just because I've been Alaska 7 years does not by any means mean I've stayed in one place! And with AK being 3/4 the size of the rest of the US I guess the moves are greater then I would think.

    chani ~ I would not object if she did but her husband might!

    ms chica ~ thank you! we did!

    painted maypole ~ my sentiments exactly.

    jen ~ thank you. I did. It was a good break from the current stresses (of which you & I both seem to be going through at work).

    jonzie ~ Thanks for de-lurking! I'll do my best to share the field stuff! But if it makes you feel any better, I have my lab times too. :)

    qt ~ agreed.

    lady in the redwoods ~ Ah, check your mailbox!

    scarlett ~ oh, it was!

    dj kirby ~ sigh, too many people feel too busy to stop and appreciate the little things.

    hel ~ oh, and I am as lucky to be visited!


Please leave your messages here...I am always delighted to have comments!