Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The light that dies in our western sky tonight is already dawning on a New Year in the east.

I bid good-bye to 2008 with mixed feelings. Our lives have gone through changes this past year and in the larger world, turmoil and challenges have gathered like storm clouds. But we also found resolve in 2008 and can face the New Year with hope.

I wish for us all a happier year to come.

For tonight is New Years Eve,
Uncork your spirits and welcome it in
Who knows what it's got up its sleeve
Can't wait for it all to begin...
--Laughing Into 1939

Al Stewart

Monday, December 22, 2008


From the usual spot at the top of Baycrest Hill...

Sunset and a fishing vessel on lower Cook Inlet...

There are a couple more over at A Quiet Life.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Five in the Evening

Click image for full-sized view...

According to the almanac, the sun set at four this afternoon. One hour later, I was at the scenic pull-out at the top of Baycrest Hill and took this picture of sunset, the sea and Venus.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Subarctic Sunday

The weather has been mostly clear and cold since Thursday.

Despite the clear skies and bright days, I am aware of just how short the hours of daylight have become, as we close upon the Solstice.

At nine am, the sun is just beginning to brighten the southeast horizon.

Not that the sun will get much above the horizon. At high noon, it is Still caught in the trees in the south.

By four-twenty in the afternoon, the day is just a glow in the southwest...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

On the Road to Anchorage

Some photos from our trip to Anchorage and back on Wednesday...

First light on the Seward Highway north-bound.

The next three photos were taken at the rest stop on Canyon Creek near the Hope Junction.

More at A Quiet Life

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Short, Cloudy December Day

This picture was taken about ten-fifteen this morning. The clouds still carried the tints of sunrise.

Six hours later, the overcast retained only the last shades of pink and purple sunset.

It was a day of occasional rain showers, water dripping on ice, the slow trickles of cold rain down the windows.

I'm ready for a white Christmas.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The End of November

The thin cresent moon, framed by spruce trees, caught my eye as it followed the sun down in the southwest.

I took this photo about 5:30 pm. The sun had set about an hour and twenty minutes earlier, a little after 4 pm. Our short days have shrunk to just six-and-a-half hours now as we approach the solstice.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sad News

We were shocked to hear the evening news...

Shooting at Central Peninsula Hospital

Central Peninsula is *our* hospital. Denny and I have both been there several times. Each time we were treated with professionalism and compassion. I can't imagine something this horrible happening inside those familiar walls where we have only known comfort and care.

My heart hurts for the Central Peninsula family.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Stormy Weather

Dark clouds loom over the mountains across Kachemak Bay from us. The town of Seldovia is located on a bay nestled about mid-picture.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Friday, November 7, 2008

Noon Shadows

I noticed the other day how long the shadows were, even at mid-day, as the sun keeps to a southern path. On the other hand, due to the vagaries of the ecliptic, the waxing moon rides high in the night sky.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


The beginning of another clear, cold day. Temperature at dawn is in the mid-teens and the ground is hard and bare.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Autumn Sunset

The end of another clear, cold day in Southcentral Alaska, looking southwest.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


so much depends

a yellow wheel

frosted by the

beside the wood

with apologies to William Carlos Williams....

Cross-posted from A Quiet Life.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Computer Troubles


When I booted up the computer in our bedroom yesterday morning, it informed me that it had found a good registry... Hmmm. The computer booted up but didn't recognize the USB mouse or the DLS modem. I had to re-load the software for those. I had to go to town for most of the day so couldn't address the problems until I got home and dealt with other daily stuff. I spent an hour or more looking for the program disks I needed but eventually got the computer operating at close to normal.

My desktop looked different--the font was smaller and the icons were out of their usual order. But I was able to get on-line to read the news and post to my blogs.

Well, try to post to my blogs. When I tried to post here, I noticed that on my "Compose" page, there were no buttons for "Publish" or "Save." When I tried the hot-key short-cuts, nothing happened. I spent an hour or so mucking about the interweb, trying to find something that addressed this problem (does anyone else find Blogger's Help hard to use?) and really didn't come up with anything I could understand. It was getting late, so I decided to fight another day.

This morning, I accessed my blogs from the other computer--running on a dial-up--and noticed that all the buttons were where they were supposed to be. I'm posting from that computer now. But since it is on the old dial-up connection, I won't be posting photos for now.

I have pretty much decided that my problem is that my browser isn't running ActiveX or java scripts on the other computer. And without ActiveX, I can't get the Windows Update page to load. So I will continue to muck around with trying to find a way to fix it but I may just have to re-install Windows on the bedroom computer and hope I don't lose too much in the way of data.

I was a bad girl and didn't have current back-up disks.

Anyway...I don't want to waste too much more time on this. Today was the first dry day in a long time and I want to do some work outside. Our weird weather continues. The vegetation is slow in changing colors and the temperatures are staying warm. Some of my flowers are just now starting to bloom. It's like they are still waiting for summer.

Oh--and I will post on my cat blog when I can, but I managed to trap the black-and-white boy who has been hanging around for the past three years. He is inside the cage in the shop right now and slowly calming down. He's not feral, just distrustful but he has let me scratch behind his ears and seems to be relaxing a little bit. I am glad he is inside now and safe from all the cruelties of the raw world.

I'll write more when I can.

Cross-posted from A Quiet Life

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Still In the Mist

Cross-posted from A Quiet Life

Monday, September 1, 2008

Typhoon Season

I woke to the sound of rain hitting the leaves of the alders outside the bedroom windows and beating on the tarp covering the woodshed. In a strange synchronicity, it seems often when a major hurricane threatens the southern United States, we in Alaska are experiencing the death throes of a Pacific typhoon. So I watch television images of wind-lashed reporters and waves of rain breaking across pavement while outside the warm, wet, wind bends the stalks of fireweed and rattles the tin siding.

Cross-posted from A Quiet Life

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Almost Like Summer

A surprisingly pleasant day for late August. In fact, the hot sun and the scent of wood smoke from the neighbor's slash pile give the day a feeling of late June, not the latter-days of summer.

I headed out to the back lot to transplant some wildflowers out of harm's way. Or at least safe from the bulldozer. I was walking the area last night and noticed a small stand of Touch-Me-Nots (Impatiens noli-tangere)mixed in with the nettles next to the dozer-tracks. So I loaded the wheelbarrow with tools and plastic buckets and went out back.

It was hot and dusty in the sun, but shaded and cool where the plants grew under the old spruce trees. The soil was soft and the plants weren't deep-rooted so it went fast.

I was having trouble cropping this photo to highlight the eagle who was watching me. Then I realized that I liked the sky and the interesting curves of the clouds too much to discard them.

Back home, I snuck the first potatoes out of the garden, using my fingers to feel them out underground.

I had them microwaved with peas and butter for dinner. They were pretty tasty...

Friday, August 29, 2008


I woke up early this morning--about six-thirty--and as usual turned on the local TV news. I figured something unusual was going on when the news anchors kept tossing the words "Palin"and "Vice-President" around, all with an air of thrumming excitement. It took a moment for my un-caffeinated brain to figure out what they were suggesting. That woke me up and sent me to on-line news outlets, because it just seemed so unreal. About half an hour later, sources began confirming that John McCain was going to name our governor as his vice-presidential running-mate.

Now, "The Governess" (as Ko-Kon likes to refer to her) is fairly popular in Alaska, even among those--like me--who didn't vote for her. Since getting five Alaskans to agree on anything is problematic--we are a fairly ecletic group--I suppose that says something. I obviously don't agree with her politically but she's done okay for our State. The thing is, I just don't think she is ready for the national stage.

Now, I am not a political blogger. My circle of friends is inclusive and embraces many whose political leanings aren't my own. There are some Alaskan blogs I follow with relish and I am happy to direct attention to them.

*points to sidebar*

I imagine many journalists and analysts are Googling "Sarah Palin" and stumbling upon some of those blogs and I am glad that thoughtful and amusing folks like Ishmael and Art are suddenly enjoying a wider readership. But to have national attention focused on our out-of-the-way State is somewhat disquieting. Politics in Alaska can be enormously entertaining for those of us looking to pass a long, dark winter but I don't know how Alaskan issues and perspectives will translate into the national arena. Usually, the big news organizations get it wrong and end up misunderstanding our issues or mocking our quaintness and naivity.

Right now, I think Cathy at Keeping it Real at 66 Degrees North Latitude sums it up for me:

"Now there are going to be millions of people with half a clue making half ass presumptions about the place that I call home. Maybe that is what is causing my unease...the spotlight."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

What August Looks Like

Another drizzly, humid day. This is more typical August weather for this part of Alaska.

The plants soak up the warmth and moisture in a last spurt of growth before the frost.

I'll want to remember this lushness during the coming winter, remember when the vegetation was so tall in our yard...

Life in Alaska is all about changes.

Monday, August 11, 2008

OnThe Kenai River

On the Kenai

At the launch area

Big Rock

(Click the photos for larger views)

Read the post at A Quiet Life.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


What's sad about this is how excited I am...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Late Evening

I took this picture last night, about ten-thirty or eleven, looking south out of the bedroom. The same little hill that blocks the rising sun in December reflects the light of the setting sun in summer.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Looking North

Looking north just before midnight.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

View From the Bluff

Cook Inlet 26 June 2008

We were up early this morning as Denny had to go back to work. I drove him in to the airport for the seven-thirty flight to Anchorage.

I stopped at the top of the bluff on the way back home and took this photo of Cook Inlet, looking south toward the Gulf of Alaska.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

On The Road To Kenai

We drove up to Kenai on a supply run this afternoon. It was the first trip we have made since green-up. The fresh leaves of the birch and alders were vivid against the dark green of the spruce trees.

K Beach Road

Of course, the other sign of Spring in Alaska is road construction and repair.

Construction on K Beach Road

We had a nice wait on K-Beach Road on the way into Kenai.

We took the Spur Highway back...