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Around the World Photo Travel

Alaska, Alaska.

September 24, 2017

Alaska’s name is based on the Eskimo word “Alakshak” meaning Great Lands or Peninsula. Russian whalers and fur traders established the first settlement in Alaska on Kodiac Island in 1784. Russia is only 50 miles from Alaska. In 1867, U.S. Secretary of State, William H. Seward, purchased the entire territory from Russia for 7.2 million dollars, which comes out to only two cents per acre. Alaska became America’s 49th State on January 3, 1959. Alaska is the only state to have coastlines on three different oceans, the Arctic, the Pacific and the Bering Sea. 17 of the 20 highest peaks in the United States are located in Alaska; Denali, meaning Great One, (formerly Mt. McKinley), is North America’s highest peak at 20,320 feet. One-third of Alaska lies within the Arctic Circle, often experiencing days of complete darkness or light throughout the year due to the positioning of the Sun and the tilt of the Earths axis. When the Sun rises on May 10 in Barrow, Alaska, the northernmost town, it will not set until August 2 (84 days of complete sunlight). Consequently, when the sun sets on November 18, Barrow residents will not see sunlight until January 24 (67 days of darkness). The Alaska state flag depicts a blue background and eight gold stars, which represents the North Star and the Big Dipper.

The bald eagle, actually meaning ‘white headed,’ is a North American bird of prey typically found near large bodies of water where it can swoop down and snatch fish out of the water with its powerful talons that act as a vice grip. If a bald eagle grabs a fish that is too large to fly away with, it will swim with it to shore. The bald eagles total wingspan can reach up to seven feet and they weigh up to 14 pounds. They fly at speeds around 30 mph and can reach up to 100 mph when diving through the air. The bald eagles eye site is up to eight times sharper than a humans and can see forward and to the side at the same time. The bald eagles eye site is so fine tuned that it is able to spot a small mammal up to three square miles away. An average bald eagle nest is 2-4 feet deep and 4-5 feet wide and is something that male and female mates will work on together because they typically mate for life, they also take turns incubating the eggs.

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