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


Susitna Writer’s Voice– “Osprey Nest” by Robin Song

Monday, December 21, 2015

My last story involved a nest of Blackpoll Warblers whose nestlings did not survive to fledge. I wanted to have this story be about two nests I observed that same summer who had spectacular survivals. Because there is a lot to tell about each family, I will divide it into two segments.
3-mom returns to nest after sending dad to get food
052615-dad lands on the yearling
dad leaves yrlng,joins female on nest

This first story is about an Osprey nest located atop an A T & T tower near the Capitol Raceway, west of the Parks highway, at mile 75. It is a fairly recent nest, having been there only a few years. I noticed it three years ago, and pull off the observe its progress whenever I make a trip to Wasilla. I noted this year that someone had applied spikes to the horizontal bars atop the tower, no doubt to dissuade the birds from building their nest there. However, the birds do not use the horizontal bars. Rather, they perch on the tall vertical poles at each corner, which gives them the best lookout in all directions. The nest was built in the center of the tower, where there were no spikes. The birds drop down onto the nest from the poles. So whomever erected all those spikes went to a lot of trouble for nothing.



Susitna Writer’s Voice–“Lessons from a Nest”, by Robin Song

Sunday, November 8, 2015


This story does not have a “…and they lived happily ever after” ending. It’s more in the vein of “harsh reality”, so please be forewarned. I want to tell the story because of what I learned from the birds involved. I wish to honor their amazing dedication and tenacity in the face of overwhelming challenges.


Susitna Writer’s Voice–“View from the Kitchen Window”, by Grete Perkins

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Grete Perkins and John Baker

A look at the change of the season in September 2004,

after a summer a lot like the past one.

Susitna Writer’s Voice–“Rainwalk”, by Deborah Brocke

Sunday, September 6, 2015


The special rewards of walking in nature on a rainy day.

Susitna Writer’s Voice–Robin’s Birdathon, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015



Talkeetna resident Robin Song tells the story of her participation

in this year’s Talkeetna-Trapper Creek Birdathon.




It’s a remarkable thing, to me, that every Birdathon is different. It’s held on the first Friday and Saturday of May each year, in the same fifteen-mile radius, and yet it is unpredictable. And that’s what makes it fun.

I had invited a newcomer to the group, Maureen, to join my long-time birding partner-Richie-and me, and I picked her up at her trail head at 5:30 Friday evening. We arrived at the pullout at the same time and noted a Grey Jay in a spruce, watching us and my dogs. We couldn’t put it on our species list yet, as Bird-A-Thon starts at 6 o’ clock. We felt sure we’d see another ‘Camp Robber’ during the 24-hour birdathon. (more…)

Susitna Writer’s Voice–The Bridge Time of Year, by Robin Song

Sunday, April 5, 2015
Robin and friendly redpoll

Robin and friendly redpoll

Robin Song thinks of this time of year

as a bridge between seasons.

She found very unusual tracks

in the crusty snow on a recent walk.




It’s a quiet time in the yearly cycle; what I think of as a “bridge”.

The winter is behind us, and the frenetic energy of spring hasn’t quite begun.

Migratory birds are just beginning to trickle into the North Country.

We’ve been gifted with an early spring,

coming on the heels of an exceptionally mild winter. (more…)

Susitna Writer’s Voice–Winter Bird Count, by Robin Song

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Robin Song looks back on her Audubon Christmas Bird Count day.






The activity at my feeders began well before the sun broke over the treeline in the south the morning of January third- the annual Christmas Winter Bird Count Day in our area. As usual, I made sure the feeders were full and ready, for the birds had survived another long, cold winter night and were in need of fuel right away. (more…)

Susitna Writer’s Voice–Wild Goose Chase, by Maureen Chambrone

Sunday, November 30, 2014
Maureen as a witch

Maureen as a witch


A very unusual way to catch your Thanksgiving dinner.








(For audio, please click on player below!)

For me Thanksgiving is about celebrating the foods gathered, hunted, and picked from the wild or the garden.  My favorite Thanksgivings are the ones with as many foods as possible having been harvested by me or friends.  When I was growing up most of our Thanksgiving food came from the grocery store.  Food was just food for me in those days.  Thanksgiving was a celebration of eating.

Now age has tempered my appetite, and the joy is in being together with others and celebrating the wonderful animals, plants, and berries that come from this land.  These foods are rich in flavor, the colors dazzle a dull November day, and behind much of this harvested food is often a story that you just don’t get from grocery store food.  This is one of mine from a couple of years ago.



Susitna Writer’s Voice–Blueberry Retrospective, by Maureen Chambrone

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Talkeetna resident Maureen Chambrone picks LOTS of blueberries on the lower Yukon in the summer, and then here in the fall.

While usually a pleasant pastime, it can become a bit of an obsession…


I have picked blueberries every one of the 18 years I’ve been in Alaska to varying degrees of obsession. And every year I felt like a kid again, discovering blueberries for the very first time, seeing something so beautiful and delicious and hopefully abundant. Now it is late October and I’m still snacking on berries off the bush which causes me to reflect upon this past blueberry season, memorable for the sunny, bug free weather and one which may have been a personal record for me!