BIRDS, ART, AND DINNER
We disembarked in the town of Hoonah on Chichagof Island, part of the Tonglass Rainforest, known for having more bears per square mile than any other place in the planet. Guesstimates are three per square mile. Hoonah is the largest Tlingit village in Alaska. We were met by Amy our birding guide. Only seven were on our tour and none of them avid birders. Our first find was a pigeon guillemot, followed by mew gull, glaucous-winged gull, and black-legged kittiwake - all lifers for me. We also spotted two Sitka deer. When we arrived at our last stop - a short hike on a path used by locals to trek to their homes, I turned around to see Amy - a wee bit of a thing - shoving bullets into a large silver-coloured gun (a 44). A precaution in case we ran into any bears! As Amy said, "It was not for us". On this hike we saw two red-breasted sapsuckers - beautiful birds. We saw almost too many eagles to count. It took Norma a bit of time to master her binoculars and the scope but she enjoyed her first birding outing. On our nature hike on the previous day, we learned about a moss that hangs from the trees and only grows in unpolluted air. Here we saw this moss growing everywhere. The scent of the coniferous trees wafting in the air is heady stuff.
I picked up a couple of birds to adorn my kitchen window in one of the tourist trap stores - a snowy owl and a puffin.
From there to art class - no time for lunch - where we created two more pieces using a different technique. Norma's turned out well but mine was a disaster. Painting is not my strongest suit obviously.
Back to our room to relax reading (Norma) and nap (me), before getting dressed for our fancy dinner at Prego, the specialty Italian restaurant. After that it was early to bed and early to rise to write this blog and prepare for our day of whale watching in Juneau.