September in Sitka . . .

September 4, 2015

I’m struggling to accept this is September already and I know this month will fly by as I complete my last month here in Sitka.  My days off are Thursday and Friday and when I returned to work last Saturday morning I was greeted with the following above my desk.

Thank You Mara
My desk when I arrived on Saturday morning.

When Ranger Emily greeted me that morning she asked when I was leaving. I told her the end of September and then I saw the sign and thought, “Is this my goodbye sign? Are they going to ask me to leave early?” I must admit I did have a moment of panic. Then I recalled Ranger Anne telling me Friday was “Thank a Volunteer Day in the National Parks” and I then knew that it was she who made the sign especially for me.  I was so relieved to know it wasn’t a “goodbye” sign. It made me feel so special. Lesson for all:  never underestimate the power of a “thank you”, no matter how big or small!

Last Saturday was Founders Day in the Park and we celebrated the National Park Service’s 99th birthday. Can you believe it will be 100 years next year for the Park Service! We had games for the kids, birthday cake, and our mascot, the Byson, made a special appearance.  May have been a rainy day in Sitka but it did NOT stop the fun.  Take a look!

James as NP Byson
Rangers Ryan and Emily explaining there was going to be a “Find the Byson in the Park” game for them to play!
Founders Day with kids
The Byson has a british accent. It is our friend, James!
NPS Byson
Here he is – the NPS Byson!
Founders Day with Group
Getting ready for cake. That’s Michael, our newest volunteer, on the far left.

Another event this week was the pre-school story hour which is held monthly. It was a downpour that day and all the little ones came in their boots (Xtra Tuff’s of course) and jackets. They were adorable and they had so much fun with Ranger Ryan and Ranger Becky. They were awesome story tellers!

Pre School Story Hour
Pre-school story hour was fun for all! And it was a full house too.

By the way, if you have a National Park located close to you please be sure to check and see what activities they have available to you and your little ones. There’s nothing better than a face-to-face meeting with an awesome Ranger or a Junior Ranger Program opportunity where the kids (of all ages) can earn their NPS Junior Ranger Badge. Check it out!

The recarving of the Cormorant Pole continues. You’ll recall in one of my earlier blogs I mentioned this pole was removed from the Park trail as it had been commissioned for a recarving by Tommy Joseph. Well, he’s been hard at work as you’ll see by the picture below. Here’s a picture of the red cedar pole coming into the park for carving. This pole was ferried to Sitka from Ketchikan. The second picture shows the progress made on the recarving.

Cormorant red ced
Remember the Red Cedar pole being brought in a few weeks back?
Cormorant Pole 2
Here’s the red cedar pole now. It’s taking shape!

By the way, for those of you who are interested, Tommy Joseph stars in the TV show Missing in Alaska. Not only is he an artist, conservator and Tlingit master carver, he is an expert on the local legends and tribal folklore unique to his state. He stars in the History channel’s show, Missing In Alaska.  I believe there are 3 or 4 episodes completed. Kind of fun to work amidst a local legend!

Weather this week was somewhat different. We had lots of rain Saturday, Sunday, and Monday but then Tuesday came along and seemed to be a bit of a challenge for Mother Nature. She couldn’t decide what she wanted. Here are a series of pictures taken on Tuesday afternoon all in the course of 90 minutes. We had dark clouds, sun, wind, rain, more sun, more wind, dark ominous clouds and more sun. Take a look!

Weather day 8
Mother Nature just could NOT decide what she wanted!


Weather Day 10
It got really dark but the sun was still trying.
Weather Day 3 with sun
The dark clouds moved away and she gave us a glimpse of the sun. See the reflection on the water out by the small island? It was beautiful!


Weather Day 14
The dark clouds came back quickly.
Weather Day 19
Then she moved the dark clouds away and gave us a bit of wind!

We ended my week with sun and lots of it. Here are some great pictures of a sunny day in Sitka on Thursday this week. Check out the snow on the mountains (which you can see because it is so clear!)

Welcome to Sitka sign
Beautiful Welcome Sign!


Sunny Day
Doesn’t get any prettier than this.
Sunny Day 3 with snow
Check out the snow.
Sunny Day 2 with snow
Yet another beautiful picture. Hard to take a bad one.
Sunny Day 1 with snow
Ok, this is the last one of this spot. I just couldn’t stop taking pictures!!
Sunny Day Harbor with snow
Well, just one more of the Harbor.


Be safe and have a great week!

Blessings to all,