Alaska's Winter Horizon

Alaska's Winter Horizon

Monday, May 21, 2018

Last week of school!

 On Sunday morning my friend and I went for our walk on the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.
 This eleven mile trail often offers up some excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. During this time of year you need to be extra vigilant for moose and their newborn calves. Luckily, we didn't meet up with any aggressive moose moms but we did see some large birds out on the mud flats.
There were some Sandhill cranes enjoying their Sunday morning brunch and paying us no mind whatsoever.
They seem to be enjoying our slightly warmer weather. Daytime temps have finally climbed into the mid 50s.
 As you can see from this photo, these cranes are excellently camouflaged against the old vegetation.

We left them to eat and continued on our walk. I had to get back home because Greg and I wanted to get the garden planted today. We did get two raised beds planted with lettuce, kale, spinach, carrots, and radishes. Can't wait to harvest those yummy veggies!

Here is a view back toward downtown Anchorage with the mountains forming a beautiful backdrop. I will miss seeing these mountains for a month as I am headed to visit family next week. I will be back home in Alaska at the first of July. That snow will look mighty refreshing after sweltering in the southern heat!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Walk around the Lake

Well, it has warmed up a bit since our last post. Our temps have been climbing to the mid 40s each day. Some days have made it to 50 degrees! The majority of snow is gone from our yard.
 Greg did manage to fire the grill up last weekend. Hopefully in the next few weeks we will be able to get our raised beds ready for planting.
 Today I took a walk with two friends around Lake Hood. This is a base for many of the seaplanes here in Anchorage.
 It didn't appear to be a lot of activity because the lake is still frozen. In a couple of months this lake will be a hub of activity. Planes will be waiting in line to take off from the water.
 Someone took the floats off their plane. Maybe the plane is getting serviced and ready for summer action.
 The lake has a picturesque setting with the mountains as a background.
 You do have to share the road with aircraft. There is a runway right across the road! You can see quite a bit of snow piled up behind the fence in this photo.
This field of planes looks ready for takeoff! Dirt runways are very common here in Alaska.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

End of winter?

Finally, the first days have come since last fall that our temperatures are not going to fall below freezing overnight! Well, that is what they have in the forecast. We'll see. Either way, the sun and the warm temperature of 50 degrees today felt fantastic!
 This morning a friend and I took our weekly walk. The lakes and streams are still frozen.
 The parkstrip has lots of snow remaining on the ground.
 As we walked along the coastal trail, we could see a boat headed toward the port.
 Here is Mount Susitna, also known as Sleeping Lady. You can see how it got this nickname from this view.
 That boat looks kinda small next to those big mountains!
 Another view across the frozen mud flats of Sleeping Lady.
 Here is the trail we walked upon. I am still wearing my hiking boots while walking. Maybe I will be able to switch over to my tennis shoes for our walks soon.
 Hopefully the forecast will come true and we will be able to dig the grill out for next weekend. The sizzle of burgers and hot dogs will be the official start of spring for Greg!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Valentine's Day Eagle and Snow

Greg and I were able to just relax around the house today on this Presidents' Day holiday. Sure is nice to have extra days off from work. Last week on Valentine's Day, it began to snow really hard with these large fluffy snowflakes.
 I sure enjoy watching it snow!
Driving on the other hand can be a bit dicey.
 As I turned slowly onto our street, I could see that the local eagle was sitting atop a light pole.
 He looked so majestic as he scanned the streets and skies from his perch.
When Greg got home, I begged him to go take some pictures of the eagle.
It wasn't snowing as hard by then but coming down at a pretty good pace.
He managed to get close enough to take a few photos before trudging back through the nearly six inches of fresh snow.
Hope Greg enjoyed today's holiday off because he doesn't get another until the end of May!
I, on the other hand, leave two weeks from today for Spring Break in the South!

Monday, February 12, 2018

School Snow Day!

Today our schools were closed due to some really nasty road conditions. We got about four inches of snow Saturday night. Greg was not pleased to see more snow but he was able to get the drive and sidewalks shoveled yesterday afternoon. It was light and fluffy snow which made shoveling a bit easier. Our temperature warmed up a bit overnight and produced some freezing rain. It continued to get warmer during the daytime which led to a mix of snow and rain this afternoon.
 These temperatures are quite a bit different from last week where our lows were 0 and below.
 We also experienced several days of freezing fog.
 When this happens, it makes for a wintry wonderland.
 The trees look beautiful.
 If you are driving or walking in freezing fog, it looks like it is raining diamonds or glitter.
 One afternoon I was lucky enough to catch the sun shining on some trees in our front yard.
With the gorgeous clear blue sky as a background, I snapped a few pictures.
This fluffy accumulation from the freezing fog doesn't last too long as just a bit of wind will send it floating away.
 If it is really cold and there are no breezes, it will sometimes stick around for a day or so.

As I look out the window, I see that the mix has changed over to just snow.
 Should make for interesting driving and walking tomorrow!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Home in Alaska January 2018

 We spent the Christmas holiday break with our families and friends in Tennessee. It was great to see everyone again.  It was also nice to see the sun for a change! The temps were quite cool the whole time we were there. Most of the trip the temps in Memphis were colder than Anchorage!
 Greg flew back home on December 30th and enjoyed a few days of not shoveling snow.
However, that didn't last long. I flew home on January 3rd and was greeted with steady snow and treacherous roads.
 As you can tell from this pic of the wooden fence, the sun never gets direct or warm enough to melt the snow.
The fresh snow did brighten things back up. Greg did not enjoy shoveling the sidewalks and driveway!
 Even with the new six or so inches of snow, we still have had less than half of our normal snowfall for the season. In fact, there is no more snow in the forecast until next weekend. Guess those poor folks in the lower states are getting our share.
It had also been forecast that this would be a colder than usual winter for us. That has also not happened as our temps have been quite tolerable thus far, but in Alaska you never know!