May 14 – 17, 2009 – Creamer’s Refuge

Just to get you updated…

We have been having lots of fun here learning and meeting people.

On Thursday we attended a class for the volunteers.  The subject was the Farmhouse, the visitor center, the other buildings here and some history.  On our way around we saw the mating dance of the cranes (amazing) and the mating dance of two hawks – WOW!

On Friday, we spent the afternoon in the visitor’s center and museum doing some cleaning and restocking.

And on Saturday, we officially started.  I worked the center and Andy helped at the Alaska Fish and Game Event.  And today I am also at the center and Andy did some outside cleanup.  We both work tomorrow and then we are off until next Saturday.

I do have some interesting tidbits for you:

When the meadow vole goes thru his tunnels, he “pees” along the way.  The American Kestrel (bird of prey) has infrared vision and sees the trail of “pee”.  The brighter the trail, the fresher it is so that is how he finds some of his prey.

The Wood Frog is the only amphibian in the Fairbanks area.  No other reptiles are found here.   They spend their winter in the shallow depressions in the forest insulated by leaves and snow.  From research done at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, it is know that they actually freeze, surviving temperatures down to 22F.  Wood Frogs induce freezing in the extracellular fluids at a relatively warm temperature so that it can be more easily controlled, but freezing does not occur within the cell.  Glycerol, a type of sugar, is released as the frog freezes and serves an an “anti-freeze” within the cell.   How cool (no pun intended) is that.  We hear the frogs every evening but can’t find them so no pictures yet.

The weather here is getting warmer – 60’s during the day and 30’s at night.  And the past 3 days, it has been beautiful with sunny skies.  And of course the daylight continues to get longer….

Sunrise: 4:16 AM

Sunset: 11:18 PM

And lots of civil twilight in between – :-)))))


We hope to do some sightseeing on our days off so stay tuned.

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