Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Solo"  "Two months by waterway in a river that runs north to the Arctic Ocean, tracks of Caribou all around, with bears and wolves making their way in the shadows...a good camp"

"To walk out from this river in the Arctic, at least for the ancient nomads that lived here forty thousand years ago in northern Alaska, was an endeavor that took generations to complete.  To constantly live in the out-of-doors with just a few in the family, and a small number of  total friends in a subsistence life-style, the gatherings of a successful hunting, discovering an amber stone for an ornament and to watch a bull Mammoth walk the ridge line...just over there"

"River of ancient ivory"  'Not just floating down a slow river, solo, but exploring it, searching under the surface for signs of  'color' gold and oranges to indicate ivory, sometimes quite deep in 'ice cold' clear 
water."  "Occasional fish,  fan tailing,  Arctic Char, Grayling and Northern Pike...and a nice Woolly Mammoth Tusk buried in gravel just under the boat."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

"Sculpture from my studio of  'Shaman'  Indians 'singing' the 'Bear' song, Athabaskan, interior Alaska...sculpted from 'Woolly Mammoth Ivory' discovered in the Bering Sea."
"Woolly Mammoth Tooth as it is discovered in an Arctic river, Alaska...some of these small rivers drain out their water in late July and becomes very shallow and as a result, is much easier to 'spot' fossils in the bed."

"Woolly Mammoth Tusk, Immature Bull, Arctic Alaska, discovered twenty miles from the Arctic Ocean"

"Woolly Mammoth Tooth, as newly exposed from the 'thawed' permafrost."
"Eroding out from 'thawed' permafrost, a 'bull' Woolly Mammoth Tooth (Molar) on a river's bank. Arctic, Alaska"

"This is his second time 'circling' me.  He is not distracted from my stance and this far north, it is very doubtful he has seen another human.  Location is thirty miles south of Barrow, Alaska."

"Woolly Mammoth Tooth" as discovered in river gravel and limestone.  A  Mammoth can go through 'six' sets of molars during it's life as the teeth erodes just from feeding on the high 'silica' content grasses and sedges. Many occasions I have discovered teeth to exhibit a very wide range of typology.  It is the most common fossil discovered in Arctic rivers from the many extinct 'Ice Age' animals of ten to forty thousand years distant."

"Ice has gone...and high waters of  spring  'run-off' has turned the gravels in this stream as a farmer plows his fields.  Some Woolly Mammoth tusks are buried and some are 'rotated' to the surface.  The cycle continues from thawing out of permafrost initially and carried downstream north to another gravel bank...'secondary'  deposition."
"Tundragon"  "Warrior Ipiutak Inuit of 2000 years distant, sculpture by William Sidmore of prehistoric 'walrus' ivory, no other photos available for this piece, many photos have been lost from the early years.  'Tundragon' was sculpted in 1982 in Skagway, Alaska."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

"The day cleared, clouds left with the wind, and in the distance a mountain behind the 'Yakatat Glacier' looms in deceptively rugged terrain.  Forty miles over the 'Dangerous river' is the sleepy village of  'Yakatat Alaska'  of mostly commercial fishermen staying in the 'Glacier Bear Lodge.'  "We reserved a 'park service' cabin where all of the corners of the cabin and sign were 'chewed' off."  Bears the size of 'quarter horses' were splashing most of the water from the creeks in their pursuit of salmon and steelhead.  The little boat, left by the park service, drifts down the Dangerous river towards the sea after trying to kill us by sinking offshore in this lake 'Harlequin' as we pushed away from the glacier face.  "Saved the gear and still dream of the alternative of spending the night on an ice-berg drifting towards the Dangerous."
"1974 in Alaska, headed for a 'televised muzzle-loading shooting competition in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with the main sponsor being Hollywood movie star 'Slim Pickens.'  Got a hundred mountaineers competing for first place a new (Greenriver 58 cal. Indian Trade Rifle) 'shoot until you miss' elimination.  Television cameras rolling "Wide World of Sports" with smoke rising and good old 'Slim' handling his custom made 'turn-barrel' blasting away.  Targets, such as a small pan dangling on a chain, with my good friend 'Lee Walsh' and I showing these 'pilgrims'  how it's done.  He and I couldn't miss this particular target in every volley so the judges moved the target back ten more yards...too see...and Lee stands up and after the smoke clears...he misses...cleanly,  I stand on the line and 'bowled' over the pan, chain and hook as it fell to the ground.  And that is how it went through the entire match and finally when the smoke cleared 'Alaska' won the rifle.!"

Saturday, March 6, 2010

"Thirty Days in camp and another month to go...searching both the river's pools and gravels and even under roots and bushes that hold bones and tusks."

"Discovered on the tundra, in gravel, in a very small stream with rocks surrounding the 'projectile' of the same color and material.  A very exciting find, as stone 'arrow end blades' are uncommon, especially in unbroken condition."
"Faithful  'Watch Dog'  "Looking to roll on something 'dead,'  hair shedding,  disappearing, no commands taken, good old friend for 18 years on many expeditions and travel.  "Gretchen"  with other 'nick names' such as 'Bacon- Eggon,'  'Gregg,'  'Keg,'  and liked drinking beer til she got drunk."  "Faithful  'Mascot' of the 'Gold Rush' town of Skagway, Alaska...the most photographed dog in town."

"Ancient "Old Bering Sea" belt or cord attachment of  'Walrus Ivory' also incised in a variety of geometric elliptical motif."  "The location of this discovery was 'Kokulak village' (now extinct site) near 'Savoonga' on the coast of St. Lawrence Island, Alaska"...2200 years age...

"Woolly Mammoth Ivory 'Fore Shaft' supporting a very intricately 'knapped' projectile end blade, very narrow in profile to have the best possible penetration through very thick winter coats of 'Polar Bear' This artifact was discovered beach combing the Bering Sea region of Alaska, "The 'tie' lace was recently replaced."
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Friday, March 5, 2010

"The Incredible "Ice Age" and all of it's most interesting 'mega-fauna' to such a degree that this 'Irish Elk' had an antler spread of twelve feet."
"These 'Big Bulls' favored the 'solo' trails and were hunted by our earliest ancestors, we knew these animals and the ecology of the time...we lived it"

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"A very rare 'Mature Cow Woolly Mammoth' tusk as it was discovered in the river, about three feet deep, 'note' the darker tusk's 'tip' in the upper photo" "The next photo 'below' is 'out of the water' and on the boat"
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"Lying in shallow water... this mature 'petite' 'Woolly Mammoth Tusk' , right hand tusk , and in perfect condition was an exciting find as I was walking on a gravel bar, bare foot, and actually looking for dinner, a nice fat 'Grayling trout.' "To this day this tusk remains as a specimen." "That evening I lost interest in fishing"
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"Toklat Grizzly" "This 'close' ...there is no eye contact, when there is, it will be when he attacks" "He keeps his distance when I photographed 'him' at about fifteen feet" All the while, I keep a 'one sided' conversation with him as he walks circles around me... 'clapping' his teeth"
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