Friday, July 30, 2010

Berries berries berries!

Leaving early today to go berry picking. Last year, I got one of those simulated bear claw berry pickers from Alaska Feed:

It works pretty well, although you get a lot of unripe berries along with your ripe ones. But it also minimizes contact with your hands, which helps you save more instead of doing that whole "One for the bucket, one for me... one for the bucket, three for me... one for the bucket, a handful for me..." thing!

Photo courtesy of these folks I found on google because I'm too lazy to photograph my own.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Veggie Explosion

I think this is the first week my CSA has truly intimidated me:

Here we have:
Two types of lettuce
A purple kohlrabi
flat-leaf parsley
baby beets
rainbow chard
green onions

Are you impressed? I am crazy impressed. Go Farmer Mike and crew!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sky and Shrooms

That brilliant blue sky, she comes and goes...

The woods have lots of fun guys nowadays:


Help the Lost Ladybug Project!

Edited to add:
I won the Denali Road Lottery! Wowee! Apparently the odds are 1600/10000 = 16%! Lucky, lucky me!

Edited again to add a photo of me with my cuddlebugs, taken by my friend Nancy:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Photos from here and there

My high school physics teacher and his wife came to visit from San Francisco. How cool is that?


Blueberries are ready!

Giant cabbages!

Lots of flowers in bloom now...

Hm... where do you suppose I learned my work ethic from? ;)

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Apparently Alaskan Huskies are a unique breed.
I told all (four) of my loyal readers this a few years ago. :)

Yesterday evening, we had a quick downpour.

Because my life is So Exciting, I took a video clip. I love rain!

When it rains in California, people nod sagely and say, "We need the rain." No-one here says that, because we don't quite have a water shortage. But we do love rain because it tamps down the smoke from the wild fires.

Here is another use for small quantities of miscellaneous veggies--stir-fry:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Walking on air!

Let's see, in the last month:

-Submitted 1 solo paper, and 2 joint.
-Advanced to candidacy.
-Survived annual program review meeting in Mississippi without getting skewered or making a fool of myself. :)
-Survived week in Mississippi without exploding from being unable to stop eating their delicious, deep-fried, ambrosial goodness.
-Finished splitting and stacking all wood for 2010-2011 winter.
-Joined the polar bear club.
-A bit of mind-boggling and absolutely wonderful news that I only tell people in person!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Not much to report

So here are photos and a video of a behbeh rhino.

Photo by Tierkinder.

I love him, don't you? He's just so adorably clunky!

Here is my friend Carl dip netting on the Copper River:

Photo by my other friend Peter.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Things change quickly

It's getting kinda, sorta dark at night. Almost. Barely. Just perceptibly. Crazy!

Here is an interesting article on the challenges of living in utter isolation on Little Diomede.

The article doesn't address the question of why they remain there in such a harsh existence. After my weekend in Barrow, the Interior looked crazy lush, and positively exploding with greenery and fecundity. I could not imagine living in such a barren place. On the other hand, I saw this documentary once about Inuit life on Greenland, and despite not just the general harshness of arctic life, they had the horrific problem of great quantities of the world's pollutants washing up on their shores and poisoning their historical food sources. A solution that was suggested to them--switching from the historical diet of whale, seal, and fish meat to imported farmed meat--was understandably appalling to them, not to mention unsustainable and ridiculous in a world where we ought to be encouraging traditional diets and local food consumption. Even my soul cries out against this, and I'm not even involved. But the thought of leaving didn't even cross these folks' minds. As the camera panned over what I considered to be very harsh and uninviting landscapes, a Native villager's voice breathed in awe, "isn't this the most beautiful place in the world?"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Double Post today in celebration of Mississippi

So, why am I rolling around my hotel room like a beached whale? This is across the street from my hotel:

Petty's BBQ!

I got the catfish plate, with hush puppies, potato salad, and fried okra. They added buttered toast, because, you know, what I ordered just didn't have enough fat and calories.

I also got a watermelon from Piggly Wiggly. Yay!

Oogie. My belly hurts.
Thank goodness I'm going home tomorrow. I'll eat nothing but Rosie Creek vegetables and my own peas for a week!


So every year I complain about going to Mississippi, and every year I go anyway and have a fine time. I enjoy the food, I am touched by the warmth, friendliness, and kindness of the people, and I am stunned by the beauty of the scenery. I could live here, except that it's intolerably hot and humid (currently 98F/37C, and 55% humidity).

So this morning I dropped my adviser off at the airport, and then proceeded to the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge.

Hay bales, grain silos, red barn... what more could you ask for?

Old Robinson Road was very picturesque:

Not to mention Gentry's Store! Now, I wonder if the Gentry family would feel about this photo how I feel about "rustic" photos of my own home.

Another rural mailbox, another farm:

Entrance to the refuge:

Sunlight filtering through the forest.

This looks a lot like photos I take around Fairbanks, but being here is much, much different. The heat, humidity, fecundity... You can smell the richness and dampness of the earth, and the air is filled with all sorts of sounds--birds, insects, frogs. Its definitely an entirely different world. This swamp is positively pulsing with life.

Bluff Lake. That is a tree in the middle of the water.

Cypress swamp. Swamp! I had never seen anything like it.

You can see a water bird heron this page.

It's strange to me that out here in this park, in the wilderness, almost every road is paved. I guess I'm too used to my own neighborhood!

Fishing pier:

Water lilies:

Walkway through the cypress grove:

Isn't it lovely and unique? I've never seen anything like it:

Here is a photo I must post or'egret it:

I'm a tree hugger!

Picturesque fence:

The posts were rough logs.