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Inspiring Alaska

In crafts, Etsy, travel, wrinkled sea dog on February 15, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Alaskan field research gear is typically not very flattering. Particularly if you’re only 5′ 1″ and everything is made to fit bigger people. Here’s Connor demonstrating some of my Alaskan gear – although he sure looks a lot cuter in it.Alaska ready dog

After spending three whole summers in a tent in bush-county Alaska, I am now seriously considering living there full-time. True, most of my time in Alaska has been in the summer AND I spent a significant portion of my time there in a boat – but, I think we’re ready for this change.

The greater part of my idyllic Alaskan adventures involved stalking these critters.

Oh sea otter, how incredibly cute you are with your fluffy fur coat. That coat has the most hairs per square inch of any marine mammal, and self-grooming helps to keep air trapped in their coats for insulation. When resting in the water, the hair on their heads and paws dry out – and otters will do their BEST to keep their paws dry until they absolutely have to dive. I have seen many an otter perform  contortionist worthy feats while rolling in the water in order to keep their paws dry in the air. However, that air-trapping ability of their fur is completely lost if an otter’s fur gets oiled. A well-groomed sea otter is perfectly happy in the frigid Alaskan waters, but an oiled otter risks hypothermia.

Another great quality of sea otters is that they are incredibly photogenic, and they inspire countless pieces of art, which now includes this addition to my Etsy shop. Here’s hoping that the increased oil extraction activities off Alaska’s coasts does not leave otters seeking warmth in the future.

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