Sunday, June 19, 2011

wild about wildflowers!!! (and a trek to eklutna lake)

there is a place along the glenn highway by eklutna that the irises bloom about this time. i wanted to get out there and enjoy all the beauty so i planned a day hike out to eklutna, since i'd already be out that way. eklutna lake is always a beautiful place. quite crowded on the weekend so it took a few to get parking spots. a few work friends joined me for the hike portion. blossom and i went out to enjoy the irises and other wildflowers alone.

this is the view from the first bench. beautiful glacier fed lake. this is also the source of the drinking water in anchorage. i've heard that we have award winning water in town. it is quite tasty. don't think they allow motor boats on the lake, but plenty of people kayak back to get a view of the glacier. you can also bike the trail that wraps around the lake. i hiked back over 8 miles with my friend kelly one summer day. it was a bit wet out that day and i was pretty beat by the time we got back.

this picture gives you a better idea of the colour of glacier fed water. the silt gives it that beautiful tourquoise blue colour. nothing like it.

my friends and thier dogs were pretty beat by the time we hit the view point. not sure how far first bench is but it was all uphill and it was toasty yesterday, by alaskan standards. amazing how hot 65 can feel.

got a little sleep last night so hopefully i won't be as brain dead as i was last post i attempted. have been up until 2:30-3am the last two nights. around here that means i was awake to see the light returning to the sky. it's really only "dark" from maybe 12:30 to 2:30. actual sunrise/sunset times make it seem like it would be "dark" for maybe 5 hours, but in truth most of the "dark" of these summer days is more like dusk.

our big trip is fast approaching...always a bit nervewracking for me getting ready for a big trip. i'm not able to relax until the plane takes off and nothing is in my control any longer. all i can do is hope that the pets will be okay while i'm away. mostly planned at this point. will have to figure activities for when we are in juneau and gustavus. a friend from work has said she'd watch the critters. hopefully, that will all work out and i will return the favor by watching her dog several times over.

the one spare room or guest room is all painted. that is why i was up til all hours the past few nights. clearing the room, prepping to paint and then painting. did prime it the first night and the second night painted it up. i think i'll like the colours in there. the brown colour is called "cabin plank" and the blue colour is called, "clear blue sky". always funny all the names for the various colours of paint. love that you can now buy samples to put on wall to help you decide colours before you waste money on an entire can of paint.

that is blossom and i above the lake. i'd tell you how far up the trail this is but everything is all packed up and who knows where at this point. do not look forward to hauling everything back up the stairs and re-organizing it all. i know in the end it will be wonderful to have clean, organized rooms again. amazing how disoriented and cluttered a place gets after a few years of living in it. the best thing to do is totally move out of the rooms and start over. moved a bunch of stuff out of this room tonight and will do more tomorrow. would like to have this primed and painted before i start back at work. still hoping the flooring arrives in time to have it placed before i leave. i know it's a pipe dream. that never happens with any sort of remodeling project.

though it's alot of uphill, this trail is worth it just for this view. you can continue on up the trail and get above the treeline for more amazing views. didn't want to hit my hiking mates and was more interested in irises in the end.

we stopped often to rest and relax.

haven't decided what colours to paint my office. didn't like the colour i originally chose. that was before samples were sold. deciding between "lyndhurst duchess blue" and "spritz of lime". the accent walls would be either "wild hawk" for the blue or "weekend in the country" for the green. i'm generally drawn to green. will paint a small section on the wall and hopefully be able to decide from there. i just want it to be a relaxing colour as i do spend quite a bit of time in here.

thinking of making my other spare room a bit of a music room. have missed having easy access to my drums and my guitars. would be cool to have it all together in there. i think i'd play it all more frequently that way. i'm not sure the neighbors would appreciate the drums, but i could play during the day while they are away at work and school. i'm not a great drummer or guitarist, but i enjoy music despite my lack of great ability.

a long time ago i decided that it was best to be mediocre at many things than try to excell at just one thing. i'm not made for this competitive world where everyone tries to show how smart they are, what great gear they have and how much more they can do. i'm willing to just admit that i am the best at nothing, excell at nothing, but enjoy many things and do alright.

i do what i do for my own enjoyment and for the enjoyment of others. people seem to enjoy my pictures so i share them. a few people have told me i should try and sell them. seems like alot of hassle for very little financial return. did have the anchorage daily news contact me and they purchased one of my photo's for thier annual moose calendar. was a little moment of pride and excitement. would enjoy entering a few pictures into contests just cause it's fun and a little victory is always great for the soul. life has a way of keeping you grounded and humble though. as for photography, for the moment, i'm happy with my status as a hobbiest in photography. fear trying to become set on selling would consume my time and energy and suck the fun out it.

i'd rather be out in the woods, exploring and seeking out new and beautiful things to try and capture on film as it were. i do believe i have a good eye when it comes to camera work. i also believe that if you live in a place as beautiful as alaska and take loads of photo's you will surely get some decent ones. much of photography is being out there where the beauty is. you won't get many great photos sitting in your home watching television.

one thing i have just decided is that the light in this office is lousy and i will have to fix that. this ceiling fan/light is way too big for this small room. want to move it to my master room and get a better light for working in here. just painted a small section of the room. the green looks very yellow in this light so that leads me to the blue colours more.

got to the gym for my swim today. the water was cold! got in and managed to get in 50 laps. quite a few people there today. the pool looked quite clean. i do like the swimming and i can tell my body does as well. it's great for your lungs as well. can tell my lung capacity has increased over this past year.

was rather disappointed in the watermelon quarter i purchased today. always a drag when you buy fresh fruit and it disappoints. watermelon and apples can be very disappointing if they are less than optimal. i really just can't eat it at all when it is mushy and tasteless. was so excited for it...bummer.

the next bunch of photos were taken out at the flats by eklutna exit. there is just a small pull off. not even sure who owns this land. there aren't any signs saying don't trespass. never even thought of that. it's no official park that i'm aware of. people do pull in there on the side of the road and wander about. there were some girls out there painting when i was walking about. no moose sighted.

was happy to see all the various wildflowers. it wasn't just irises. there was an abundance of all sorts of flowers. the pinks are wild roses.

loved this of the irises. wasn't sure how to show the vast numbers of flowers out there.

can't recall what these are called, but i almost like them more than the irises. there were zillions of these out there as well. i'd look it up, but again, that book is somewhere...where oh where could it be....

blossom was uninspired by the wildflowers though she happily joined me on the extra walk.

there is a path that leads back to the cook inlet. blossom got a bit of a swim in out here.

a few footprints out there. adult and child. this person has a very high arch. thought the footprint looked cool. blossoms print is below.

clouded up a bit before i left. rained today and is expected to rain more over the next few days. the good part of that is that it will help me to get stuff done at home.

the smell was so sweet and wonderful. was wishing i could capture that and bring it home. nto sure what was making it smell so nice. it did smell like lillies and i love the smell of lillies. there were many chocolate lillies out there. some people say the chocolate lillies smell bad, but some people don't like the lilly smell anyway.

fathers day today. my father has passed away. we didn't always see eye to eye on things and when i was younger we had some battles. can't say as we ever became super close but we did come to terms with each other and we did have mutual respect. my dad was never one to give a compliment. i could have used a few growing up. i do believe he was proud of me. he seemed to really love that i'd moved up here and that i was independant. got binoculars from them after i moved up here. i suspect my dad had alot to do with that. probably selected them. it was one of the few gifts i recieved over my lifetime where i really felt like it was well thought out.

my dad was excited about me being in alaska. i'm so happy that he got a chance to fly up to ketchikan and see it. i remember we all went on a flight out to misty fjords and the plane landed out on this remote lake. my dad and i stepped out onto the floats. joy, i could see that he loved that experience. with 7 kids and all the responsibility that comes with that i suspect my dad had few opportunities to experience the beauty of our earth. he did get to see quite a bit with his stint in the navy though. he loved taking pictures though he rarely had that opportunity either, especially as the years passed. he would love this blog and being able to see the beauty of alaska through it.

my dad had parkinsons. it was terrible to see him lose independence. he'd been staunchly independant. we were probably more alike than different. often being alike creats clash. we both were honest to a fault, spoke our minds no matter what and independance. i suspect my independance has been a hinderance at times. in general men like a girl who needs them, who depends on them. they are often put off by a female who is independant. i also find that i'm not the person people come to the aid of, i suspect people just assume i am fine and need no assistance. mostly, i guess i don't. it can be very tough for me to ask for help when i do need it.

my dad was a great father. he took the job very seriously. he never drank, smoked, gambled, slept around. he worked hard and we were always fed and housed. in the end he allowed us to grow up and be who we wanted. when i left the church of my youth my dad simply was comforted that i had done a great deal of reading and prayer and had come to the decision that was best for me. he didn't rant or try to convince me to change my ways, he accepted me and he accepted and respected my choice to live my life as i felt best. that was the greatest gift a parent can give you. he wasn't a hugger, he wasn't there with a compliment, but he was there, always. proof of his love was not outwardly expressed but he gave up alot for all of us kids. how he lived was surely proof. i've come to see that there are great dads and great fathers and sometimes great dads who are great fathers as well.

who knows if that makes sense, but i've come to see that my dad wasn't always the "daddy" sort, but when it came to be a father, he was stellar. my brothers have all been wonderful to watch with thier kids. often it seems they made up for the lack of compliments and such in thier own lives by giving it fully to thier own kids. so happy fathers day to all those fathers out there who take the time and energy to be great fathers.

back to the flowers.

it's 12:30 and it's dark.

can't believe it's almost solstice. my sunshine will begin to go sad!

watching paint dry. the green still looks pretty yellow, but a bit more green with drying. strange.

aren't these flowers below cool looking.

these are the chocolate lillies.

haven't selected a hike for tomorrow yet. will depend a bit on the rain. have so much to do. will hopefully have a fun dinner out with friends tomorrow night as well. we are all off and in town at the same time. haven't decided where yet.

the computer system has been up for some time at work. funny to see how people react to it. i really worried that i'd have a difficult time transitioning over, but it has gone fairly well for me. i see some co-workers in my same age group that struggle more. felt very happy to have adjusted as well as i did. perhaps i'm just more adaptable than some. adaptability is a great gift in this world of ours.

life is always changing and throwing you fastballs and the like, you fare better if you roll with it all. funny too how cranky people get when thier lives are stressed by change.

our beaches around anchorage are mostly mud flats such as this. impossible for having a picnic on or toasting marshmallows. kinda a bummer. has it's own beauty though i guess.

this grass has adapted to life on the mudflats. i was always impressed with how plants and creatures adapt to the ever changing world of the intertidal zone. changes in salinity, temperature, moisture. took several courses on oceanography and marine biology. can't say as i remember it all, but it was always fascinating to me. hopefully, we'll be able to enjoy the intertidal zone out on our paddle at pt adolphus in july.

hopefully, you aren't bored with wildflowers at this point. had a spike in readership last week with my posts on byers and halibut cove. fun to have so many readers. fun that anyone looks at my blog. doubt many actually read it.

will have to try and make the annual trek out to see the wildflowers out there by eklutna, well worth the drive.

even with it being officially "dark" outside. was just outside and you could easily set up a tent without the aid of artificial lights. it's currently 1am. i keep getting up and doing other stuff,then back and write another line. got some stuff out of this room, but more to do...and i'm still watching that paint dry. can't decide!!!

still want to find some of those slipper flowers. can't remember thier name. i have pictures of them so i have seen them before, just didn't realize what i was looking at.

today was a bit wet out. took the dogs to kincaid to do a loop out there. nice and wide for rio. lots of flowers out there as well. an abundance of wild roses, wild geraniums and bluebells.

and dandilions, don't forget the dandilions. i love them everywhere but in my yard though i prefer them to that annoying creeping weed...can't remember it's name, but that crap gets everywhere and totally invades my lawn. gotta get my mower fixed, it's just a push mower, but for some reason the little clips that hold the handle on have both dropped off. now the handle falls off as i'm mowing. was out mowing the lawn tonight at about 9:30. with the light, you just lose track of the actual time.

blossom seemed happy today. lots of tennis ball chasing. this doesn't happen when other dogs join us on our walks. seems most other dogs don't get what to do with the tennis ball. seems very distressing to blossom that they just take the ball and run off with it. she always looks all perplexed at them...why don't they drop if for the humans and let it be thrown again.

if it rains perhaps spencer loop as planned for the other day, if it's sunny maybe head to eagle river for a stretch out there.

my green paint still looks pretty yellow. maybe it needs another coat? hmm. if it's gonna be that a colour i'll have to go with the other paint combo.

we shall see what tomorrow brings, for now, it looks like i will make my goal of getting to bed before the light returns. goodnight

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