Tuesday, October 6, 2015

spotted snowmen spotted...say that 3 x fast if you can!!

 just tried and it is not easy.  past week we got a wee bit of snow so after work i headed out to the back yard to take advantage of the fun white stuff.  snow is not always good for snowmen, but this early in the season or late in the spring it's nice and wet and snowmen are can be made.  i had no coal or carrots but i did have some food colors so in my sleepy state i went a bit wild with it.  thought they looked all happy.
 when i woke up the colors had soaked in and these guys looked pretty cool...a few hours later.  well..melt down!! i had fun though and that is all that matters in life.  give up sleep, skip the dishes, forgo the vacuuming and baking.  get out and play.  life is too short to do otherwise.
 living in Ketchikan for 6 years it rained loads...i mean buckets.  so on a beautiful sunny day only a fool would stay inside.  i recall coming to work after a sunny weekend and asking a co-worker what she had done all weekend...i was shocked when she responded that she had a lot of chores to do so she had done her housework.  what a fool...when you are dead and gone they will bulldoze whatever is in your life in a physical way and toss it...you have to keep perspective.  never waste a beautiful day doing chores.
 i think the trucks are nearly done with their work. not really sure if what they did was a good use of our tax dollars.  they ripped out perfectly decent sidewalks and put in new sidewalks with a section that had bumpy bits.  the trucks are fun to watch and they looked cool in snow.
 this big branch came down with the weight of the heavy snow. my crazy tree in the front yard was damaged but it's branches are all wacky anyway so it may have benefited the tree.  i did the small branch chopping the other day and still need to get the power saw out and do the big section.  will let the wood set up for use in the fire place another day.
 Blossom was thrilled by the snow.  it's mostly gone in town now.  below was taken from an ICU window.  i have a few more days off before i head back.  trying to get some appointments set up. hate making appointments cause i know that i will then have to show up for said appointment and those mundane tasks of life are just annoying.  wish i had peoples for that stuff, right!!
 not sure why this happy guy loaded out of order. :-)  so cute.  they just make me happy! can't say as i'm overly talented in costumes or snowman design.  we are pondering costumes for a night out at Mad Myrna's.  it's a bit of a wild place and they are showing or doing Rocky Horror.  not sure what it will be for real.  the last time i saw that flick up here it was a bit more sedate than my memories of Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Rialto in South Pasadena.  they used to show it there every saturday night at midnight.  people dressed up, acted it out...a party atmosphere for a cult flick.
 a few of us at coffee today were trying to explain it to a few others that had never heard of it.  i did explain it wasn't a flick for the kids and that it really wasn't a movie to rent and watch at home. if anyone in Anchorage can do Rocky Horror justice it would be Mad Myrnas.  i suspect their cross dressing crew will act it out for us as it plays in the back ground.
 gotten goodies for our Halloween Monday walk goodie bags.  fun for me anyway.  i like Halloween...not that i'm great at costumes, but it's just fun and chill.  gotta plan a pumpkin massacre to carve pumpkins with friends.  that is always fun as well.
 still have calendars and stickers to sell...anyone else interested?  very happy that the investigation of those walrus killers has turned up some suspects.  hopefully, they have enough to charge them and hopefully deter others from doing the same.
 in Barrow one of the carvers we met was telling us of a cousin i think it was who had gotten caught poaching walrus and was in jail.  he said he'd thought about poaching himself but after seeing what happened to his cousin he didn't...what do you say to that?  he seemed to think his cousin was caught by satellite.  not sure if that is really possible but if people out in the bush believe that they are being watched by google earth i am not going to correct them.  if it protects a few walrus then i'm all good with that.
 wasn't sure how many would be at the Monday walk . it looked a bit wet out when i woke today.  foggy through the night.  in the end we never got rained on and later this evening the sun came out.  i really should have headed out again but a nap and food called me.  eating is such a bother...
 there were 4 of us walking and 5 for coffee.
 when we arrived at the trailhead there was a sign written on a piece of paper someone had found in their car for the purpose of writing this warning...that is pretty common.  it's common courtesy in Alaska to warn others when you have come across a bear.  this guy had seen a Brown Bear on the Tank trail and according to him...it was a BIG one.  we had a few bear sprays between us, bear bells and i have an air horn as well...i can do my crazy call as well.  2 dogs didn't hurt us either.  we saw no signs of the big bear though so all was well.  this is that time of year...bears are filling up.  there is a late run of salmon in the creek nearby as well.
 the res of these pictures are along the Denali Highway.
 i have all my pictures from the year loaded into Shutterfly.  like that i have my photos stored all over.  not that i will sell them or anything but it is nice to have them secure.  in the blog,from the blog they are saved in google pics, on facebook and on shutterfly.  i make a calendar each year for family/friends.  i have made the WARIS calendar but i have heard from a few folks that are hoping this doesn't mean my annual calendar will go away.  always fun pictures and fun to look over the year and see that you did more than you remembered doing.
 sadly, there is always that stuff that seems to get left undone year after year.  i still have a few basic trips that have been left yet again. Spencer Glacier,  Exit Glacier, Valley of 10,000 smokes and Kennicott.  next year i really need to get these guys checked off the perpetual list.  i've seen more than many folks have and since i walk nearly every day i see a lot of cool stuff day to day.
 there are deals on shutterfly so i wanted to get ready to get the calendar made this week before those deals are gone. i may even try and get my Christmas Cards done up as well.  i know it's pretty early...but more and more the calendars take care of the bulk of the gifts for family and friends...photography and shutterfly make for some nice gifts.  most people i know have what they want and buy what they don't have. it always seems silly to just toss gift cards back and forth to each other. at least with the photo's it's a bit more personalized.
 got to the post office. not orders for calendars when i checked our PO Box.  it was pretty hollow in there.  haha.  mailed off 3 though so hopefully they are well received.  may have to ask for donations of photo's for a calendar next year if we have one. we will see how this years run goes.  i'm for sure still learning about seeking out donations...not a comfortable thing to do.  would be nice to try and get enough money to book a room and do a lecture about walrus and round island for the locals.  maybe tape it for those far away.  would be good to see if other groups of special interest areas would want to work with us for the good of all.
 the Anchorage Coastal Refuge leader had written a letter to fish and game and the Governor and got the leaders of the other groups to sign off...this was to plead for Round Island to be funded.  very kind of her to help us out.  would be great for us all to work together to protect these amazing places in Alaska.
 love those all across the sky rainbows.  not sure this one came out in the pictures as spectacular as it was but you never know until you shoot it.
 spoke with my resident Catholic friend and like me, she felt that the Popes visit with the nut job Kim Davis was not really one he had planned for himself. it just seems like a silly person for him to have chosen to visit.  he is a Pope in general that many in the Catholic Church can be proud of.  he seems to live the life closer to how Jesus would have done.  he seems to have gone back to the philosophies and teachings of Christ and stepped back from the pomp and circumstance that has taken hold in so many religions.
 i have always felt that the message that Christ brought to the earth was simple and simple for a reason.  it wasn't meant to be complicated.  the average human hasn't always been given opportunities for education or time for study and philosophy as so many are poor and simply trying to keep a roof over the heads of themselves and their loved ones and keep them fed and find them clean water to drink.
 i feel at the baseline all of the worlds religions began with simple messages from perhaps more humble leaders...over time though man tends to complicate everything.  when we complicate things as they become more entrenched the original message gets muddied.  rules and guidelines become more detailed until all is lost in a bureaucratic bungle.  so many religions are wealthy and they have become the money changers that so angered Christ.  Money does become the root of all evil.  as these churches acquire money those who lust for power and are greedy seem to rise into command positions and further destroy the simple messages that were taught.
 it does feel like this current Pope is at least attempting to reverse some of that.  will he be successful?  will whoever comes in after him simply undo his good works....?  it's interesting to watch.
 there is an island way out in the Aleutian chain.  i guess researchers head out there. it's super isolated.  it's pristine...would be an amazing place to be at.  if you are a scientist/biologist, it would be an awesome place to land on i'm sure.  Buldir Island.  sea birds are in a rapid decline across our planet...Buldir is a great place to monitor migrating birds and the population changes apparently.
 not much luck this week moose spotting.  the big boys have been seen all over Anchorage, but they have not been where i've been.  will keep looking.  every day is an adventure here so i just go where i go and see what i see.
 another rainbow pops out as i gas up in Cantwell.
 these are at Byers Lake where we had a cabin for a few nights.  so beautiful there.  we picked a great time for the drive across and for the cabin i think. i was nervous that the bears would be all over but we saw no tracks or scat that weekend.  this despite the fact that there were some spawned out salmon all over the place in the lake.
 heard on the news that a plane landed safely after the pilot became incapacitated.  he later died.  pretty sad.  thankfully, the plane landed safely as the co-pilot took over the duties.  must have been pretty sudden whatever happened.
 these last group are actually of Reflections Lake.  this is in another special use area.  the special use areas, 32 in all, were what  our last Governor and the last director of Fish and Game went after to dismantle and help make them more open to business.  Round Island just got the deepest cut.
 i suspect they figured it was so remote and so few folks visited the place that nobody would notice if the funding went away.  we did notice and that is what prompted me to start up WARIS, the friends group.  it's been needed for years and sadly, a voice in my head told me both times i went that "someone" needed to start up a friends group for Round Island.  i often wonder if i had followed on that years ago, would they had ever been bold enough to cut the funding like they did.  probably not and now we have to deal with what is.   we all always hope that "someone" will do what needs to be done.  this time that "someone" was me.  i am happy that we have stepped in now to form this group and do hope that we will be able to prevent them from ever treating this gem like a throw away again.  still it's tough to get that cut by those jerks reversed
 Reflections Lake always seems to live up to it's name.
 was able to take a nice soak in the tub tonight. it's been awhile. i should have headed to the pool for some laps...i've gotten totally slacker on my exercise routine aside from walking.  will pick up on it as the light leaves and the outdoor opportunities dip a bit.

 debating heading this way as well today.  oh well. did get some of those other things done that build up....since i'd already been for a nice walk i could do stuff and not feel like i was missing out on the great outdoors.
 no idea if any of those bulbs i planted will survive and bloom in the spring but...worth dropping them in.  the ground isn't frozen yet so my plant expert told me i still had time
 we took a walk out to the water this day as i often do.  never know what you'll see out there either.
 not much that day...but still worth the walk.
 yesterday Blossom and i headed out to Kincaid.  we did a loop out at the Jodphur trailhead.  it meanders back to the coastal views so that is nice.  Blossom loves the dunes.
 of course, i always ponder the risks of the big earthquake when i am on the dunes...that is not a good scenario.  with the shaking you would be sucked under the sand never to be seen again.  needless to say, i generally don't linger too long on the dunes.
 life is life and when it's your time, you will be taken.  on that cheery note i shall turn in for the night and see what tomorrow brings .
grateful for:  A. friends, old and new  B.  laser lights and chuck its....grateful to those who were clever enough to invent these cat and dog toys...so cool.  C.  fog. no good fog photo's it had cleared these past few days, but it is still cool

Sunday, October 4, 2015

crazy colors!!

 these colors just always seem so unreal in the fall.  still fall colors to be enjoyed out there.  They are getting harder and harder to find though
 today i eventually headed to powerline pass.  no luck on moose sightings.  only went so far, got in 4 miles wandering around a bit, but no moose. wind and rain,yes, moose no.
 i cruised by Potters later and there are some swans but they were further back.  then i drove up Campbell Airstrip Road...again no animal sightings. so a bit of a bust today, it happens.
 did get started chopping up that rather large branch that ended up down.  will need to get my power saw out for the last bit, but powersaws in the rain seemed like a bad idea.  raked in the rain, which is a bit silly as well, but you gotta give it a try.  trash day is coming soon.  wanted to get a bag of leaves out there.  most of the leaves i'll just toss in the back 40 and see what comes of it.  it's always amazing how winter takes care of the mulch back there.
 settled in at the computer and started loading zillions of photo's on to the shutterfly account.  it goes much easier than it did years ago and i think i'm over half done.
 always a fun stroll down memory lane.  a little reminder that even though in my head it seems like i did very little this summer and all year...well, actually i did quite a bit.
 life is such a competition and Alaska is not spared from this.  Facebook has made that competition worse.  it's so easy to go on social media sites and be made to feel so inferior.  everyone elses lives just seem so much fuller and better.
 always have to remind yourself that we all put the best forward and a day spend vegging in front of a tv or computer is not memorialized on facebook.  no selfies taken while doing the dishes or picking up dog crap in the yard.  we all do those mundane tasks though.  it takes up time, time that we are unable to spend adventuring.
 there is also many hours of work that never make the cut on social media...and sleep.  my sleep is under documented.  i seem to play catch up on my days off.
 my life is little lists...i have them all over the place.  tiny bits of paper that have some significance.  so much paper in life.  occasionally i do a paper purge. i am totally due for one.  i love my paper shredder.  i really need to empty out one of my file drawers...so much stuff in there i never look at.  WARIS needs a drawer i think. that will help with some of the paper bits.
 i feel i need to sit down with my starting and building a non-profit books.  so much to learn.  i try to remind myself that i have done a lot...it can be hard to convince myself of some days.  there is so much more that should be done.  so much that could be done.  for sure there are people out there who have mad skills and could help Round Island way more than i am capable of, however, in all these years nobody has stepped forward.
 one of my brothers posted yet another link to an article that says global warming science is all a scam.  i live here...i see the warming.  i see the results.  i am for sure the black sheep of the family.  conversations are never relaxed with family...there is always a debate waiting to happen.  there is no simple conversation with several members...it can all be twisted and turned and then you are there again.  in the debate.  you can't win the debate....they fly, circles, dizziness.
 my best defense is to just not take the bait...ever!!  some people are hell bent on being right and there is always going to be an article or something that will give them the fuel they so need.
 it would be great to have a normal relationship with family.  that whole Norman Rockwell picture.  it does seem that each family has it's own quirks though.  my family is big so the quirks are many.
 i have my quirks as well.  i'm advocating for walrus and Round Island...this puts me right in the middle of the whole global warming debate.  walrus are impacted by the warming.
 it really does highlight how far i am from the political beliefs of so many in my family.
 look at this mountains...isn't this color unreal!!
 crazy reflections!!
 love when i get lucky and hit the peak of the fall colors.
 Blossom and i did enjoy our walk today.
 i was apparently "the flash" today.  i like my mapmyfitness app but every so often it totally fails.  sometimes it just doesn't work at all, when i'm out of range
 other times, like today. it goes haywire.  as i was getting ready to start walking, tossing my pack on, getting Blossom leashed up.  suddenly my app said i had just walked 4 miles..in one minute!! pretty amazing...i mean i really should be in better shape if i can walk 4 miles in one minute!!
 oh well, got my 10,000 steps in anyway.  that app seemed to be working.

 made some potato salad tonight.  i know that is some wildly healthy dinner. i'm sure you are supposed to eat something with that.  i make it just like mom used to...except no celery. i  always just ate around the celery anyway.  no point putting it in just for me if i'm going to eat around it.  i'd rather just eat the celery on it's own.
 i have the picky eater gene,though i think i'm pretty good compared to a few others in the family.  did try a baked item at the work the other day...it had deer meat in it i guess.  i couldn't tell there was any deer in it, but i am willing to try out new stuff.
 sorry, lots of reflections...everywhere i looked i was in awe!!
 i'm over half done with my loading of pictures.  there is a deal on calendars if i can get them ordered by wednesday.  i want that deal!! should also get the Christmas cards done too.  since i'm headed south it would be smart to pack lots of Christmas stuff and be done with it....much less to  mail this year which totally saves cash.
 my body is a bit beat from the extra yard work along  with the walk.  leaves are heavier wet.

 already starting to plan for next year.  a few friends want to go kayak...i need to get more paddles in next year.  i may see if i can rent Holgate Cabin and convince them to head that way. it's been a few years.  don't want to wait as long...it will soon no longer be on the water...yep, no warming here!!
 Blossom, my travel companion. Rio was pretty ok with staying home today...not too keen on the rain and the wind would not have thrilled her either.
 every season here has it's own personality.  winter for sure has a personality. you just never know what it will do. all you can do is go with the flow of the season. the scenery is constantly changing as is the light.
 i love this constant change.  i love that i can hit the same trails over and over and each time little details will emerge and evolve.

 what will this winter bring?  i am hoping lots of snow...and lights.  we all love the lights.
 i am beat and it's almost 2 am...i really need to crash.
 tomorrow is another day.  the to do list is always with me...
thankful for:  A.  being able to relive the year through the pictures.  B.  being able to share this beauty with others through the blog and photos.  C.  paper and pens...so i can write all sorts of lists and silly notes.  it takes the madness in my head and gives it reason