When I first gazed upon this beautiful symbol of the Tlingit tribe, I felt my soul being welcomed to a new world beyond my own. Wrangell brings a new atmosphere of gracious welcoming that makes it almost impossible to be a stranger; residents are really close and welcome anyone who comes into town. The Forest Service in Wrangell made sure I felt right at home on my first day, and any staff member that needs a field partner has taken me out to their field sites to learn about places and things I would have never taken a second glance at. Though the shorebirds are slowly coming to shorelines, what makes my day is seeing the other bird species that roost in this amazing place, especially the Bald Eagles. The closest thing to an eagle I have ever come across in Texas is the Red-shouldered Hawk and Black Vulture, but here Bald Eagles are everywhere. My supervisor, Joe Delabrue, has been a supportive and an incredible guide to the forest service and the town. We have already visited a few sites to identify shorebirds and were able to find a flock of Black Turnstones, along with numerous waterfowl and harbor seals. I haven’t spotted the big mammals, like bears, moose, wolves and the famous pest of Alaska, the porcupine, but I feel that they, along with the shorebirds, will soon make a big appearance as April approaches.
Truly the spirits of Alaska that the Tlingit tribe worship are working to make the beginning of my journey as magical as it can be. I can’t wait to see what other secrets the spirits will share with me throughout of my adventure. I want to thank my family, EFTA, and God for blessing me with the chance to experience the wonders of Alaska.