Dry Creek to the Nenana

Every few days Andrew and I take a long four-wheeler ride somewhere new. These rides normally don't depart until after 9 or 10 pm and we don't return home until after midnight. During that time a gorgeous rose color baths the mountains around us and it seems to last forever. It is a very special time of day in Alaska.

Between our place and town there is a creek or creek bed called Dry Creek. We have passed by here many days and there will be water running down the gravel bed, then the next day it will be dry...that's the beauty of melting snow and glaciers. Anyways, we have gone up the creek before so this evening we decided to go downstream towards the Nenana River.

When we entered the creek bed this evening there was no water running. Then on downstream a bit it seeps up out of the ground and becomes a decent little creek.

The silty Nenana River with Mt. Healy behind it.

Now the best part of the night...on our way to the river Andrew spotted something in a hole on the steep river bank. He said it might be an owl or some bird. Sure enough it was a Great Horned Owl. We rode a little closer and it flew away, so we continued heading towards the river. We figured the hole in the wall was its nest because there were poop streaks on the rock wall at the hole and several places near it.

Owl in the hole

Not far from there the mate flew up from the creek bed and landed in a tree near us. After watching it for a moment it flew upstream in the direction of the nest.

Later, on our way back by, both owls were at the nest and it looks like the one on the left is nesting. What an awesome thing to find! We plan on returning soon to see if there are indeed chicks at the nest.