Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer fun

Last weekend, the White Mountains were cool and sprinkled with rain showers. Very pretty and enjoyable for us non-heat-acclimated creatures. :)


The wild roses are out!

Cricket enjoys the view:

Starbuckeroo is happy that it's cooler:

Rain across the valley:

I'd never noticed this green patch in the fold of the mountains before:

We saw wolf tracks, a few days old:

And tracks from all of these critters! Tiny hands! Tiny paws! Birds!

I also left the dogs at home for a visit to Creamer's Field to see ducklings. Look how cute and fuzzy they are!

Creamer's Field's visitor center was staffed by an outreach/education guy from Fish and Game. I later emailed him the photos of the ducklings to thank him for his guidance, as well as the one with all of the tracks. He wrote back, "Tiny paw prints are probably from an Arctic Ground Squirrel, they’re common in the white mountains.
Wolves are common there too, the large paw could well be a Wolf (if not someone’s large dog). The bird prints are from a perching bird (i.e. songbird) such as a gray jay."


Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Last Friday was this:

I, being a dumbass, decided it was a great day to go for a hike in a place without shade! Poor Starbuck, with her thick, black coat, could have gotten heat stroke due to my stupidity! Fortunately, I did turn around when we got to half our water, and I did continue to offer her water every half an hour in a shady spot the whole way back to the car, but still. It was Not Good. When we got home, it was about 2 p.m., and that is when I snapped the above photo. Needless to day, Roo was Not Delighted, and flopped on the floor for the following 36 hours (although she did leap up for meals, and at every opportunity for a snackie...)

So... Lesson: Just because your elderly, non-heat-tolerant dogs have passed away, and your comparatively youthful remaining dogs are MORE heat-tolerant, it does NOT mean that you can take said dogs traipsing through the sun in record heat. I'm so sorry, Roo. (Cricket didn't seem to mind at all though.)

When we started out in the cool morning, there was some shade and a slight breeze:

But when it came 'round noon, the temperature climbed easily 20 degrees, and we were over five miles from the car:

These photos are very beautiful, but they sting my heart with guilt.

Fortunately, there were spots of shade in the shrubbery, and I gave the Roo water and rest for ten minutes every half an hour for the long, hot slog back:

When we got home, I saw that it had been so hot that this awesome spider, whose diligence and cleverness I had admired over the last several days, had died. A victim of climate change!

On Sunday, clouds gathered, and it proceeded to rain in a cool, steady pour until Tuesday, when the storms took a turn for the violent! Bolts of lightning came down, and thunder crashed overhead!

Today, it's cool and sunny, but we are looking at a forecast for frost tonight!

Monday, June 12, 2017

I finally got to pet a behbeh reindeer!

As a wedding gift, RS gave us a gift certificate for a tour at Running Reindeer Ranch. The family raises tame reindeer and gives educational tours, while they talk about reindeer and take you on walks through their birch forest with the reindeer. I followed their Facebook Feed, and one day this spring, they announced that their new calf was joining the herd on walks with visitors! So I immediately booked our visit. BEHBEHREINDEER!





Obligatory tourist photo:

I got to pet her and fuzz! She was fuzzy!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

More White Mountains photos

These teeny tiny flowers:

View to the top of Wickersham Dome:

We have to cross a low spot before we start climbing the dome. It's usually muddy, but it looks like BLM has done some improvements. Look! Fresh gravel!

And grates! Now isn't that just grate?

Climbing the dome:

From the top, it's all more rolling mountains to the North:

Starbuckeroo wants to snuggle!

I forget sometimes how much she looks like a wolf!

Sniff sniff!

Woolly lousewart:


Friday, June 2, 2017

Wickersham Dome

The dogs went over the mountain,

the dogs went over the mountain,

the dogs went over the mountain,

to see what they could see.

The other side of the mountain,

the other side of the mountain,

the other side of the mountain,

was all that they could see.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

It really does take all kinds...

I was google-stalking some childhood acquaintances the other day and found that quite a few had found success in their lives. There are quite a few Sili Valley folks in high tech firms, and there is probably some selection bias there: the more high-tech the life, the more digital visibility they have. But I also found some low-tech classmates who came into their own in the analog world. There is a police officer in San Francisco, newly married to a beautiful wife. There is a fashion consultant in Los Angeles with a list of young Hollywood clientele. She took great joy in being able to spend her life choosing beautiful handbags for beautiful people. There is a travel agent, a realtor, and an "organization consultant" who apparently helps people with their closets and pantries.

I've been very happy with my life here in Fairbanks, but realize now that what's perfect for me wouldn't be perfect for them, nor the reverse. I'm sure the fashion consultant would find it repulsive to live in a log cabin covered with dog hair, and I could never give up my mountains and hiking for Los Angeles, nor be asked to dress fashionably on a daily basis. It's great that in this world, there is room for everyone to find fulfillment that suits their personalites!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Blueberry pie...

Berry season will be here again soon! Time to use up all of last year's!

Alaskan blueberries have so much liquid that I put half a cup of flour and a quarter cup of cornstarch in the berry mixture, and it was STILL full of liquid! Oh well, it was great with ice cream!

This is how tough the dogs' lives are.

Indoor floppage:

Outdoor floppage:


Do you think Cricket is comfy?

I sure hope she is comfy!