By John Alec Caudill
is for Alaska Day!
Alaska Day is a holiday for the United States and Alaska. It is on October 18th. It is the anniversary of the formal transfer of the Territory of Alaska from Russia to the United States.
is for Bearded Seal
Bearded seals are the largest seal in Alaska and they are found in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas. Bearded seals have become the most important species of seal for coastal Alaska villages because they provide large masses of meat, oil, and skins for things like boots and to cover the wood frame of a boat.
is for Char
The Arctic Char is present in North America in both salt water and fresh water. It is found throughout the polar regions and is the most found fish in Alaska. It is now found throughout North America as well as Alaska.
D ď Ž
is for Dog Mushing
Mushing is a general term for a sport or transport method powered by dogs. Most of the time people in Alaska have races with other people and other dogs too. It has to have 1 or more dogs to call it mushing. But you have to have 7 to 9 dogs to race.
is for Eskimos
"Eskimo" is an American Indian word which
translates to "eaters of raw meat." Eskimos are considered more closely related to the natives of northern Asia. People we call Eskimos originally came from Asia across a land bridge (which no longer exists) into North America (now called Alaska). They spread across the Arctic regions of the continent. Eventually they came to live in four countries: the Soviet Union, the United States (Alaska), Canada, and Greenland.
is for the Forget-Me-Not
The Forget-Me-Not was chosen as the Alaska
State Flower in 1949 for its color and beauty. When Alaska became a state it chose the forget me not as it’s flower. The Forget-Me-Not is found almost everywhere in Alaska. The Forget-Me-Not is colored in sky blue, with a white inner ring and a yellow center.
G is for Gold
The Klondike Gold Rush was when people in North America started moving to Alaska to find gold. Soon many people in Alaska started finding gold everywhere. There were more than 50 gold rushes in Alaska from 1880 to 1915. The official state mineral is gold and there is even a Klondike Gold Rush National Park.
H is for Hunting in Alaska
Hunters in Alaska hunt many types of animals such as moose, duck, deer, bear (brown and black ). There are many places in Alaska to hunt. Most of them are world class. Did you know that there are over 1,000 species to hunt in Alaska?
I is for Igloo
Igloos are like tents - for people in Alaska. They are great to keep warm and they are easy to build. I know what you’re thinking, “How can you keep warm in them if you can’t build a fire in an igloo?” Well you can. AND REMEMBER ESKIMOS DO NOT LIVE IN IGLOOS! They use igloos when camping like we use tents.
J is for Jade
Jade is Alaskaâ€™s state gem. You can mostly find Jade in a place called the Kobuk Valley. The first person to find Jade in Alaska is George M. Stoney in 1865 while exploring the source of the Kobuk River.
K is for King Salmon
King Salmon is one of the most common fish in Alaska. The Alaska King Salmon is the largest species of Salmon on the Pacific Coast. King Salmon live from 2-5 years in the ocean so they grow to be pretty big and they typically weigh up to 50 pounds.
L is for the Largest State
Alaska is the largest state in North America. It is twice the size of Texas. The population of Alaska is about 698,473. It is also about 570,380 square miles. Alaska has a longer coastline than all of the United States combined. There are more than 3 million lakes in the state of Alaska.
M is for Mukluks
Mukluks are a type of shoe that people in Alaska wear to help them stay warm and to help to not get frostbite on their feet. Mukluks were originally from Green Land , Canada and other parts of Russia . The reason for making them was that people in cold places would have some clothing that would keep the cold out.
N is for Northern Lights
Northern Lights are very rare in Alaska and they happen on the coldest nights. In Alaska they can last for 3 days or for 3 seconds so you can be very lucky to see it and if you blink you could miss it. The Aurora Borealis was named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora and the Greek word for the north wind, boreas.
O is for Orca
Orcas are found in the oceans of Alaska. I chose them because they are a very beautiful creature. They are called killer whales because they are great hunters. They are not really whales, but are really members of the dolphin family. Males can grow to be up to 30 feet long and weigh 20,000 pounds. They eat sea lions, fish, squid and penguins.
P is for Parka
Parkas are a very heavy coat that people in Alaska wear to keep warm. They keep the face protected to keep away frost bite. They were originally made from caribou or seals. The Eskimos wear them to keep out the wind chill and wetness while hunting or kayaking.
Q is for Quinhagak
The city of Quinhagak is a city in Alaska. It has a population of 555 people, so it is a very, very, small city. Not many people live there because it is so cold. It has an area of about 5.2 square miles. They have a commercial fishing industry and during the summer salmon season the population increases because of workers from nearby villages.
R is for Rafting (white water ) ď Ž
Rafting is a common thing in Alaska when it is not so cold and when the waters are not frozen. There are tons of rafting in Alaska, but the most popular is White Water Rafting. One of the most popular places for rafting is the Denali National Park which covers over 6 million acres. There are many companies offering rafting tours for visitors to Alaska.
S is for Sand Hill Crane
The Sand Hill Crane is an animal found in Alaska and it was given itâ€™s name for the sandy yellow tinge on its brown body. It is one of the largest migratory birds in North America. Eighty percent of Sand Hill Cranes live in Alaska during the summer months. They live in bogs, swamps and wetlands. The best viewing of cranes would be near the town of Kenai in the spring.
T is for Trout
Trout is a commonly found fish in Alaska. Rainbow trout is the most popular type. The world record Rainbow trout was caught in Alaska in 1970 and weighed 42 pounds. Trout can be found both in fresh water and sea water. There are many companies that offer fishing trips in Alaska.
U is for the University of Alaska ď Ž
Fairbanks, Alaska is where the university is located. It is the largest school in the University of Alaska System. It has about 16,500 students. It is their main campus. They are known most for their research programs in Artic biology and Artic engineering.
V is for Voles ď Ž
Voles are like little hamsters. They have small eyes and a long rat like tail. They are commonly mistaken for other animals such as moles, rats and gophers. Their lifespan at the most is twelve months. Some of their predators are coyotes, owls, hawks and raccoons. Voles eat bulbs of plants in the ground. Some voles found in Alaska include the Tundra Vole, and the Singing Vole.
W is for William Seward ď Ž
William Seward was the Secretary of State for President Abraham Lincoln. His most famous accomplishment was buying Alaska from Russia. Some people think that William bought Alaska for no reason, but it was a really good deal. He bought 586,000 square miles for $7,200,000 (which was approximately 2 cents per acre). Soon when people started to come to Alaska, they found GOLD!
X is for Island X ď Ž
Island X is a snow covered island located in the Bering Sea, 700 miles east of Anchorage. It is one of the wildest places to go duck hunting on earth. Some duck hunters pay $4400 per person for a six day extreme duck hunting experience where they can find ducks such as the King Eiders and Harlequin.
Y is for Yellow Legs ď Ž
Yellow Legs is a type of bird in Alaska and they look very similar to the Sand Hill Crane. They are found in the marshes of Fairbanks and Anchorage in early spring and summer. They have slender legs and a long bill which allows them to wade through water and look for food.
Z is for the Zoo of Alaska
In 1969 the Alaska Childrenâ€™s Zoo opened taking in orphaned and injured animals that needed homes.Â Over 40 years later to this day they are trying to do the same thing. Currently it is home to over 100 birds and mammals. The zoo has nearly 200,000 visitors a year and it is located in Anchorage.