Thanks to everyone who attended our Tanana Valley Sandhill Crane Festival 2015 despite the chilly weather! We had a great weekend.
Dr. Sammy King
Dr. King from Louisiana was our featured speaker this year. He is the leader of the Louisiana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit and an Associate at Louisiana State School of Renewable Natural Resources. He has been involved in Whooping Crane reintroduction in Louisiana and is well acquainted with the Whooping Crane story. He also is involved in wetlands restoration.
Dr. King will give a lecture "Forest and Wetland Change in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley" at Murie Auditorium at 3:00 PM Friday, Murie Building, West Ridge at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Friday night he will also present "Visit Louisiana's Wilds" outside on the big barn at 10:00 PM. On Saturday he will present "The Whooping Crane at 7:30 PM at the Wedgewood Resort's Taiga Center, 212 Wedgewood Drive. (Please park at the Antique Auto Museum.) Suggested donation is $5.00 for this event.
Julie spoke Friday at 7:30 PM on "Nature Writing," Saturday at 2:00 PM and on Sunday at 1:30 PM she lead a "Writer's Workshop." There will be opportunities (but no pressure) to plant the seeds of a first draft and make solid plans for finishing and revising it.We learned what one writer keeps in mind when she writes about wildlife. Workshop speaker Julie Hammonds is the associate editor and staff writer for Arizona Wildlife Views Magazine, a publication of the Arizona Department of Fish and Game, and has written about Arizona's Sandhill Cranes, some of whom summer in Alaska.
"If seeing sandhill cranes makes you want to share your experience, this workshop will provide a collaborative, structured environment for learning about, and doing, wildlife writing."
Stephen lead a photo walk Friday night at 7:30 PM called "What the Heck is There to Photograph at Creamer's Field?" Stephen has been walking Creamer's Field most mornings, during all seasons, for the last five years. He has posted many Creamer's Field photographs at his web site, Wandering in Alaska, Stephen Cysewski Stephen is a Professor of Computer Applications, Emeritus, at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Stephen's experience is that even after all the walks on the same trails he sees something different and worth photographing each day. The walk discussed the photographic opportunities at Creamer's Field. "The walk was limited to eight people (but a few more came!) and will take about two hours. We will explore and discuss the many ways of experiencing Creamer's Field. We might discuss Why and What to photograph. It is possible, with persistent questioning, that we might even sneak in a little How to photograph! Please bring a camera and dress appropriately for the weather. We will go on the walk no matter what the weather."
New to the festival this year was a guest artist. Our own Randall Compton was the first of our guest artists who highlight the refuge in their work. Randall is known for his brilliant depictions of Alaskan scenery and wildlife, specifically Alaskan birds. Known as an avid falconer, his work depicts many aspects of this passion. Randall makes his home in Fairbanks with his wife and children. Randall has donated artwork to us for the festival this year. A giclee print is being raffled and another original painting that we used for our Crane Fest posters this year will be sold at our silent auction. Both are beautiful!