Saturday, January 14, 2012

stuff to do when it's 20 below zero F

anchorage always has an ice carving contest by the center of the arts. i love to check it out. there is a larger contest that occurs in fairbanks and i have been wanting to check those out. can see them online anyway. they are quite impressive. i believe it's an international contest. best time to view them is at night when they are all lit up. thought these dancers were so beautiful! of course, it's extremely cold out there so my thumb is still numb from taking my photo taking hand out of my gloves. i wasn't alone out there. besides the usual downtown activity i believe a busload of asian tourists were dropped at the site right after i arrived. they looked pretty happy. alaska gets loads of tourists from asia each winter to see the aurora borealis. something about fertility and good luck to be conceived under the northern lights? not sure.loved the pink light.not sure if these are iguana's or what. i think iguana's though. green is my favorite color and again, just thought these looked pretty cool all lit up. every year they have a few super impressive ones. these top two were my favorites. the seals were cool too. i really should get a thermometer at my house. it was pretty dang cold out there. far north bicentennial park is a pocket of coldness too so i'm sure it was at least neg 15 while i was out on my stroll. you burn extra calories just hanging out in that temperature. at least that is my theory's good to be home and warming up again. rio stayed home. after going out to pee this morning it was clear she decided to limit her outdoor time. she was quite content on the couch. the tommy train. always forget the name of the train character. you cold climb aboard and get a picture of yourself on the train. there were several interactive ice sculptures. last year they had a maze made of ice blocks for the kids. (the adults always participate too).train with performing arts center in the background.these panel sculptures are the backdrop for the ice rink there . it had a coating of snow on it. it was foggy downtown. could be some cool ice formations tomorrow out there if it stays foggy tonight. love when that happens. it is a challenge taking pictures in these extreme cold temperatures. rev'd up the batteries before i went for my swim and headed downtown. took the camera gear into the gym with me for fear sitting in the cold night for the hour or two i was at the pool would render my batteries useless. got in 25 laps. was so happy when i got in the main pool and the water was nice and warm . felt great! performing arts sculptures. simple but cool.the peacocks were cool too. of course, no peacocks or iguanas in alaska except the icy sort. details of the feathers. who doesn't love seals. hard to get the right angle for a picture, but it was a cool sculpture as well.that movie about the whales is coming to theaters. filmed here in alaska. when they were filming it they were calling it, "everybody loves whales". i see the name is changed to something about a miracle. can't remember. will have to see it if not to just see alaska scenery. these were harlequin ducks. kinda hard to see the details.looked pretty with lit trees. this is the ice rink with the panels on the right.giraffes. someone lopped off one of the heads it seems. always someone gotta mess with stuff. maybe it broke off on it's own. guess i shouldn't jump to conclusions. love giraffes. got to work that string back in my zoo days. i took the zoo keeper course at the los angeles zoo years ago. after you took the course, you were a volunteer keeper. you then built up hours as a volunteer keeper and could apply for a full time position. i volunteered for quite a few years as a keeper but then became a nurse instead. the zoo keeper job was hard work, but i can't say i wouldn't have had a great time doing it. i really should look into part time work as a keeper at the little zoo here. walked about 3+ miles at north bivouac trail system then cruised up the road to the basher road trailhead and caught a bit of the sunset. it's a great spot to watch the sunset. i was getting chilled though so didn't stay long. you could see denali but it was behind some power wires and a bit cloudy.there is the sunset from basher trailhead. pretty!!another shot of the susitna (sleeping lady) with anchorage in when the sun is this deep colour.blossom was a bit confused by this extra ramble, but always willing to join. powerline trails all connect up here.slept in today. originally woke with a headache, fed the beasts, took some meds and crashed again. wasn't awake again til noon. headache free!these should be back to n. bivouac. of course, i had a freezing arse out there. at some point nature called. i try to avoid dropping my pants when it's -15 outside, but emergencies happen. my arse never warmed up. amazing how quickly a butt gets cold. mine was numb in under a minute!!loved the sun bouncing off the snow.sunshine, but not a warm sunshine.....looks like it should be warm though. we crossed the big pond/bog thing. actually were quite a few folks out there. i could hear voices back in the trees. they seemed to echo across the open space. was trying to wave. thought it was cool how long my shadow got! it can be tough to convince yourself to get outside when it gets this cold, but i'm always happy when i do. despite the chill it always fills me up to get outside and see all the beauty that we have been gifted with. hard to imagine that if there is a god, that god is a loving god. who else but a god of love would creat such abundant beauty. god is in the details. i am not impressed with organized religions, but i have come to find that my "church" exists out there in nature. that is the place i feel closest to whatever god is. i don't have all the answers, but i'm not sure answers are required. i just think many humans feel the need to be right and correct, to feel that this god is on thier side. i doubt god selects one church or religion as the one and only. i believe they all have parts of the message. it's more in how you choose to live your life, how you treat those you share this earth with, whether they are human or animal. your kindness, your respect of others, of nature and of your body. if god didn't care about these things that were created, they would have all been just functional rather than beautiful. why have a moose and a giraffe and an elephant and a gazelle, why not just a bunch of cows. why have rugged mountains and deserts when we really just need land to farm. why have eagles and peacocks when we could just have chickens. crossing the great divide!will have to ponder where to hike tomorrow. should go out to the eagle river nature center or out to the arm for a hike out there. hopefully, i get myself to bed at a more reasonable hour tonight. it was a good movie last night though. quite enjoyed it.blossom got some big ice balls in her feet today, but she is still not deterred by the colder weather. her time out on the back deck laying in the snow is more brief. tonight when i got home the second time she headed out she walked about 5 steps, stopped and then just turned around so it must have chilled off even more than negative 20. litter box can wait til tomorrow, so can the dishes..i'm headed to bedgood night....

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