Salmon eggs are nutritious and can be preserved by hanging the masses on old fishing nets to dry in the sun. Residents of the villages around Kobuk Valley National Park harvest many chum salmon to eat throughout the winter.
Big hooves for paddles and hollow hair for bouyancy make caribou good swimmers. That's important, because they have to swim across the Kobuk River twice as year as they migrate north in the spring and then south in the fall (as in this photo).
Autumn colors in Kobuk Valley from bearberry, dwarf birch and willow are striking against an old sun-bleached skull from a male caribou. Both the red foliage and the skull speak to the inevitable death of all living things.
Relatively long legs and splayed hooves allow this caribou to easily migrate a thousand miles round trip each year. It would take humans 10 times the effort to navigate the rivers, mountain, and lumpy tundra.
Ranus sylvatica is the scientific name of this rarely seen frog. The wood frog is the only amphibian in Kobuk Valley National Park. This young frog will be about 3 inches long as an adult. Pretty cute!