Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lots of Photos

We had a brief break in the weather yesterday late afternoon through evening, but late last night, the rain returned. Now the weather people are evidently predicting rain FOREVER. Awesome.

Anyway, here are some photos. At least we had a nice walk in the sun.

See that row of little bushes out there? Not generally under water. The row of trees in the background, however, is an island normally. :)

Trees under water:

This used to be a big, silty beach. Here is a photo that I took on this beach shortly after breakup.

This used to be part of the parking lot.

More of the former beach. See those trees out there on the left?

Everyone came out to check out the river flooding. This park is usually only used by people putting in or taking out their boats. On foot is usually just us and maybe one other dog walker. But last night, everyone had come out to ooh and ah.

This is part of the girls' and my regular running trail:

Here is what is to the right of the frame in the above photo:

Several cul de sacs off the main road flooded. People are still driving through. The water juuuuust reaches the TOPS of their tires.

On a lighter note, here is the Chena Marina, which is used for taking off and landing float planes in Summer. It was looking spectacularly beautiful yesterday with the clean, blue sky. We were at the far end of the marina in the photo on their web site, looking toward where this photographer must have been.

Here is the front of our cabin:

I have more strawberries coming. :)

I got a giant bunch of turnips yesterday at the Farmer's Market! I felt like a beauty queen with my bunch of turnips laying over my arm. It's much better than roses!

That's a dime. :)

Oh, and here are some people enjoying their front lawn from a kayak.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Enough Already!

I like rain in general, but this is getting ridiculous! The rivers are flooding their banks, and flood warnings are being issued for low-lying areas. There has already been quite a bit of flooding, even in my former stomping grounds (what they call "Rosie Creek Area"). Here is a National Weather Service thingummy that reports that the Tanana is well into flood stage.

This morning, the girls and I headed for our regular run to the river park, and whoa! What a sight! The river had overflowed its banks and into parts of the parking lot. The big, silty beach is all underwater. I'll head over there with a camera tonight and take some photos.

By the way, in California, which has had a water shortage for as long as I can remember, it is ecologically unacceptable to complain about rain. You are supposed to nod your head sagely and say, "We need the rain."

The Tanana River is the second highest it's ever been recorded.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Just how hard is permafrost?

These are pilings that someone attempted to drive into permafrost. They are steel, about 3/8 inch thick.

And here is the clump of fireweed that is leaning into our front walkway. Fairbanks is so fertile in Summer that we have to trim back the path to the outhouse about every other week.

Here is Linden. She is quite pushy with her affection. I just knelt down for a second to access the USB port to upload the above photos, and she plopped down and curled up on my foot.

And here is Autumn, smiling sweetly in her nap.

Autumn is on a reduced diet now. I was a bit over successful in putting weight on her. I feel rather terrible about it, because she doesn't carry it well, and I mean that in the physical rather than the vain sense. She stumbles and loses her footing a bit more often since she's gotten chubby, as if she doesn't know what to do with her surplus flesh. Poor girl. But we're working on it!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Still a wee bit early for blueberries

There were a few out, but still not quite ripe and not that many.

It was a drizzly, misty, muddy day, but we still had fun.

It's difficult to believe that this was taken in the same location as this and this:

The girls eat greens, too:

The few early blueberries:

This one bough decided that it wanted to ring in Fall early:

Purple wildflowers:


Future berries:

Fireweed with droplets:

On the way home, we saw a mama and behbeh moose:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Late Summer pressed flowers

I found a patch of late-blooming irises, so I was able to correct my iris of the three grapes.

Iris, new and improved version:


Iris mixes, redundant because two are going to my mother and sister, and only one is for me:

Alaska-grown vegetables are now available at Freddie's. We can get Alaska-grown lettuce and other leafy green things, as well as carrots and potatoes. The AK potatoes will show up all Winter, although I do not understand how!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Fireweed Photos

Everyone on the Alaskan blogosphere seems to be posting fireweed photos nowadays, so here are mine, although I am not so nearly a gifted photographer as the others.

It is said that the fireweed blossoms from bottom to top, and when the top buds bloom, Summer is over...

Warming up

So it looks like our little mid-Summer ice age has come to an end. Today it is warm and sunny. I hope it will ripen the berries for us!

In other news, we are looking forward to the State Fair!

Edit: And now it is afternoon and clouds are gathering, but it is still bizarrely warm. It is - dare I say it? - muggy. Gross! Good thing we don't have much pollution!

Because we often get these tiny, localized rainstorms on otherwise sunny days, we get lots of rainbows. I hope to see a few today!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

And the angels sang...

Well, well, what do we have here?

Oh yeah, Alaskan broccoli, baby!

The locally grown mesculin mix is quite abrasive, but it is rich in nutrients:

And here are some more flowers from around campus:

Macro doggie faces:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Belated photo post

This is from maybe a month ago, on top of Chena Ridge. As you can see, it's quite desolate up there, but it's nice because there is no mud. The trails are steep and rocky, and marked only with rock cairns. There are no large animals up there because there is nothing for them to eat. There were still isolated patches of snow on top, which all three dogs dove into with delight.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Winter is Coming!

Oh yes, it is. :)

The roads are lined with fireweed, the beautiful pink blossoms giving color as far as the eye can see. And everyone knows that fireweed means the beginning of the end of Summer.

Last night, it got sort of darkish. Not dark enough for stars or aurora, but dark enough to require turning on lights in the house. How novel.

Autumn and I practically sprinted our run this morning. And I kept my shirt on. :)

And the mosquitoes have thinned down fantastically.

It won't be long before we get to go skiing!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Linden is feeling much better today!

Thanks to everyone who sent good wishes. She actually recovered much faster than Autumn did. She was alert last night and ate her dinner. She was a bit more whiny, but I think that's just her personality as she loves to have lots of attention. The vet did a fantastic job with the incision and the suturing--it's three quarters the length of Autumn's and neat as a pin.

She is acting like her normal self again today (I must confess I enjoyed a bit having her drugged)--bouncing off the walls, wanting to be my proctologist, pushing Autumn aside in her quest to be the only dog who ever gets petted, et cetera. But we love her and are pleased to see her feeling fine. :)

The only challenge now will be to keep her from bouncing around too much for a whole week!

For Autumn's part, she was so distressed being without her sister yesterday that she tore down and destroyed two of the sets of venetian blinds. I was shocked that the world's most perfect dog had actually done something bad! But at the same time, I was pleased to see that she obviously had bonded with Linden, rather than finding her to be merely an annoying overgrown puppy!

Have a good weekend, all! We will obviously be home-bound, but the weekend after, we get to go blueberry picking!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Linden is getting spayed today

Please send warm thoughts for a speedy recovery!



Linden is up and awake and I can go get her now and bring her home! Yaaaaaaay!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Suggestion for Sili Valley Folks

Have you had a cantaloupe lately? They are particularly wonderful this year, even after a 3000 mile journey from California to Alaska. I love that even with giant agribusiness, we still have nature pulling the strings. Unusually cold or mild Winters, unusually early or late springs, extra rain, less rain, subtle combinations of these things and more change the yield and flavor of the following crop season.

So now that I am gone from the Sili Valley and no longer need to protect my secret, I will tell you where to get the World's Best Melon. Go to the Mountain View Farmer's Market on a Sunday morning, and find the guy who sells only corn and melons. He also has wonderful corn, white, yellow, and mixed, five ears for a dollar. People will be swarming all over his pile of corn, peeling back the leaves to peek inside (why do we do that? I'm always peeling back and looking inside, and I've never found anything of note). Anyway, off to the side, he'll also have a giant box of melons, with only four or five melons left since they've mostly disappeared before you got there since you like to sleep in on Sundays. But even the five rejects will be wonderful--sweet, fragrant, perfect. They are pale green and smooth-skinned on the outside (like honeydews), but have orange flesh (like cantaloupes). He sells them perfectly ripe, so you should eat them that day. Mmmmmm

You're welcome.

P.S. if you are my sister you may be able to get a discount since he might think you are me. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Some SEM Micrographs of Aged Snow

These snow crystals had been sitting in the freezer for over a year, so they had had plenty of time to metamorphose. All of their edges are rounded, and there are dimples where I am guessing the ice sublimated away. You can see where different crystals sintered together where they were in contact.

But the coolest part to me is that you can see grain boundaries! I wasn't sure if you could do that with SEM.

Aren't these cool? Get it? Cool? Haha.