Malkolm is cycling on! He is now cycling from Alaska to Washington DC, and then continuing on to the UN Climate Change conference in Cancun in December.
It all started with Bird Year, Malkolm and his parents' year-long, fossil-fuel-free journey in search of birds. Cycling a total of 13,133 miles (21,144 km), they identified 548 different bird species and raised more than $25,000 for bird conservation. Bird Year turned them into confirmed cyclists and taught them that climate change was more serious than they had thought.
In 2009, Malkolm biked from Whitehorse to Ottawa as a part of Pedal for the Planet: the project called for the Canadian Government to become a leader in the struggle to come to grips with climate change. The Harper Government did not even meet with the young cyclists.
Malkolm is now 18 and just finished high school. On August 24, he dipped his foot in the Pacific Ocean in Skagway, Alaska. Then headed up and over the White Pass to the Alaska Highway on his journey to Washington and on to Cancun.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Puffin Search (Ken)

We’ve been away from internet access since Sequim and there are too many blog choices for me to write about. I could write about the steep bike ride up to Hurricane Ridge in search of the elusive Sooty Grouse. I could write about hearing the haunting hoots of what might have been a Spotted Owl in the old growth forest near the “Heart O’ the Hills” campground. I could write about the clear-cuts girdling Olympic National Park – part of the network of clear-cut forests that stretch through what was at one time healthy habitat for Spotted Owls from California to British Columbia.
But I think I’ll write about our search for a puffin. We were hoping to see a Tufted Puffin near La Push on the Washington coast. In the early summer, puffins nest on the rocky islands just offshore from the mouth of the Quilayute River. We set up our new scope and searched the grassy summits where their burrows should be. No puffins. We scanned the ocean below the rocks. There were Common Murres, Surf and White-winged Scoters, Pigeon Guillemots, cormorants and Marbled Murrelets – but no Puffins. We asked if we could rent a sea-kayak, but there were none to be had.
We hiked along First and Second Beaches where there were hundreds of gulls but no puffins. Then Malkolm and I decided to walk back to the marina in what I thought was a one in a thousand chance to find someone with a row-boat or a sea-kayak that we could borrow or rent. Maybe it had only been a one in a hundred chance. When we got there we found a sea-kayaking company just finishing a float down the river. We convinced them to rent us a single and a double.
I still didn’t expect to see a puffin. After a couple of hours of paddling though, a Tufted Puffin appeared, right beside our kayaks. We floated about ten yards away and watched as it preened its feathers. Its triangular orange bill glowed in the late afternoon sunlight. It stretched its wings and flapped, ducked its head under the surface and flapped again. About 15 minutes later it finally dove and disappeared.
Wendy said she thought the puffin had made a special visit to us. I don’t know about that, but it was a special time for the three of us, no matter what the puffin’s intentions.

1 comment:

Voyla said...

Hello, Ken, Wendy and Malkom,
I have just visited your blog site for the first time. What a wonderful adventure you are having together! I have so enjoyed it that I am tempted to start my own blog as I would like to have conversation with the three of you. For now I will just tell you that I am a 77 year old wife, mother, grandmother (the best role of life)who became a bird-watcher after retiring to Roseburg, Oregon from Anchorage, Alaska.I will be anxiously awaiting each of your reports. Thanks for sharing. May safety and joy be your daily blessings. Voyla