KTNA Studio – Dave Totten, artist

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by Dora Miller

KTNA Studio

KTNA On Air Studio, Jan 2013

Photo by Deb Wessler

Photo by James Trump

Winter Black-capped Chickadee

winter chickadee

Photo by Robin Song

Fish Lake morning

Fish Lake morning

photo: Robin Song


The Ecology of Glacial Rivers: Fish diversity

Monday, July 10, 2017

SSC image from facebook

The first of a new series from the Susitna Salmon Center: The Ecology of Glacial Rivers. This segment, by Jeff Davis, is about how habitat diversity in glacial rivers means more species of fish.

It’s surprising for many people to learn that large glacial rivers, like the Susitna River, support over 20 species of fish. This includes all five species of salmon, Chinook (or king), sockeye (or red), coho (also known as silvers), pinks (or humpy), and chum (or dog) salmon. Three of these salmon species (coho, chum, and sockeye) spawn, and three species (Chinook, coho, and sockeye) rear for one to three years within the Susitna River. Other fish that are popular in the sport fishery, rainbow trout, Dolly Varden char, burbot, and grayling are also found in the Susitna and other glacial rivers. Less common resident fish species include longnose suckers, two whitefish species, blackfish, sculpin, stickleback, and lamprey. The Susitna River also supports an isolated southern population of Bering cisco.


Susitna Writer’s Voice–“Robin’s Wild Hare”, by Robin Song

Sunday, June 11, 2017


The many years I lived as caretaker at Birch Creek Ranch, I rarely saw a Snowshoe Hare. I looked for their tracks in winter, and noted the rise and fall of cycles in the population. Occasionally, while driving the six and a half miles of dirt road out from the ranch, one would dart across the road, or I would glimpse a hare in the forest, nibbling on something tasty.

When the cabin in which I now live was being built, the crew told me they often saw hares in the area – in and around the clearing. I was heartened by this, for this was one animal I wanted to know better.


Good effort, lower rewards in annual Birdathon

Monday, May 8, 2017

Better 2017 group photo?IMG_2553

Birders worked hard for many of their sightings in this year’s Talkeetna-Trapper Creek Birdathon, held over the weekend. Though the weather was pleasant, and lack of snow made for easier bush-whacking, migrating birds of many species were scarce. This year’s group list total was 68 species, ten less than last year.

The twenty-four hour event, in its twenty-seventh year, is an informal individual competition, as well as a group effort, to find all the resident and migrating bird species within the count circle.

Several birders with longer lists of species reported making many stops at favorite birding habitats, watching their lists grow ever so slowly. They lamented the absence of large flocks of waterfowl, and the scarcity of birds of prey and shorebirds. Several species which are often found in greater abundance were represented by only a few individual birds, even though there were over forty people trying to find them.

There were no new species added this year. Notable sightings were a black-backed woodpecker, Pacific Loons, a Bohemian waxwing, and female hooded mergansers.

Notably absent were Canada geese, seen every other year since 1994, though there was a mysterious dark goose (lacking white cheek patches) flying above the sewage lagoon. Birders also watched otters, a fox, some moose, and spawning grayling.

Winners of the “green birding” category were Doug Smith and Ellen Wolf, who biked and walked. With totals of 45 species, Jim Trump and the team of Jeff Robinson and Deborah Brocke shared the “crowns” adorned with stuffed toy birds.

Susitna Writer’s Voice–“Talkeetna’s Brown Magpie”, by Robin Song

Sunday, April 2, 2017

It was in December of 2016 that I first read about a sighting of an odd-colored magpie in downtown Talkeetna. It came over our Mat-Su Birder’s Group email and my curiosity was sparked. The bird was described as being colored brown in the areas where a normal magpie would be black, with crème and white in its wings and tail. While I was familiar with leucistic birds-partial albinos- I’d never heard of this kind of coloring. In partial albinos there are usually patches of white throughout the plumage.


StarDate Susitna 2-12-17

Monday, February 13, 2017

Kathleen for StarDate

Host Kathleen Fleming brings our attention to the waning moon, four planets currently visible, the bright winter stars, and the two solar eclipses this year.

Here’s a link to a site showing the phases of Venus







Susitna Writer’s Voice–Jessa’s First Canoe Trip, by Robin Song

Sunday, October 9, 2016



Jessa the banty hen had been part of my family for almost four months, and was doing splendidly with the dogs and my other birds, so I decided she was ready for her first canoe trip. She’d already been to Hatcher Pass twice with me and my two dogs-”Lyra” and “Darby”- and on several short hikes in the Talkeetna area. She had bonded nicely with us and I thought it was time to see how she’d do in a canoe, which requires a substantial amount of trust. You don’t want a hen panicking while out in a canoe with two dogs.


Susitna Writer’s Voice–StarDate Susitna, by Kathleen Fleming 10-2-2016

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Kathleen for StarDate

A regular winter SWV program…about the night sky over the upper Susitna Valley. Hear about Mercury in the morning, Venus in the evening, the moon’s social agenda, more about next year’s total solar eclipse, and how this is the beginning of the new year, based on calendars from two worldwide cultures.







Susitna Writer’s Voice–StarDate Susitna 9-18-2016

Sunday, September 18, 2016

 Kathleen for StarDate

The September equinox,

the moon’s path through the winter stars,

Mercury in the morning, and more.

Susitna Writer’s Voice–Nature’s Dance of Light and Sound, by Bill Was

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Fall & the Kidz cropped

Growing up in the Midwest I saw all kinds of extreme meteorological conditions from ice storms to heat waves, blizzards to cold snaps and tornadoes to severe thunderstorms. Without question one of my favorite kinds of intense weather involves the aforementioned severe thunderstorms. (more…)