Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Just as the sunlight hitting the tips of the mountain's peaks gives promise of what is to come, may your 2007 be all you've hoped for and more.

Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Weather Front Coming In!!!

The weather was changing, and fast, early this afternoon a I headed down to the post office. Snapped this across Lake Lucille around 1 PM. Looks almost like a small twister in the sky, huh? Given how much the wind has been kicking up, gusts to 50 MPH, a pretty fair comparison, tho' it was just a quirk in the clouds.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas!!!

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday to everyone! With 12" of snow on the ground and more falling, plus more in the forecast for tomorrow, I'm truly living in a "Winter Wonderland."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Mooned Again

Just as was the case on Monday, the moon was up big and bright again at around 4 PM today. I took this shot near Fred Meyers, looking out across Wasilla Lake. The wind had been fierce all day, so the icy surface was largely snow free, creating a nice reflection.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Big Moon Rising

Our days here in Alaska may be getting shorter and shorter, meaning I took this shot, no lie, close to 3:45 PM, but there are obviously perks that help make up for the occasionally all too brief hours of daylight.

Friday, December 01, 2006

My Sourdough columns
I've been busy doing some writing for The Sourdough, an online newspaper, so have sorta been ignoring this blog, sorry. Most of mine will be found under this link, plus those by others. A few of mine may be elsewhere, depending on their topic. For instance, one about the Aurora is under the Science linked one, go figure.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Bruce Linton-Jason Mackey Dog Truck Wreck


That was about all I could say after seeing this photo, sent to me by Bruce, after the wreck. Amazingly enough, not only did Bruce and Jason emerge alive and relatively unharmed, but all the dogs are safely accounted for, too.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Oh, Christmas Tree

After attending a dog show at Raven Hall in Palmer the other day, I opted to cruise out past the bridge over the Matanuska River. Just beyond it a bit, I stumbled across a lovely scene. Huge, snow covered spruce trees with a gorgeous backdrop of mountains. Ah, yes, the perfect Christmas tree, perfectly decorated by Mother Nature. She does good work, doesn't she? I've added it to my CafePress site, and to the . It's a balmy -8 degrees right now outside, so it's definitely "beginning to look a lot like Christmas."

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Holiday Gift Bazaar- Photography

I did something this weekend that I've never done before: took part as a vendor at a market, in this case Palmer's Holiday Gift Bazaar at Raven Hall. Not the way I'd normally choose to spend a day, inside with no windows, but the Reader's Digest version is that I wasn't as bored as I thought I'd be. Even made some bucks before it was all over, which made it even less boring.

Over the last few months, I've been tinkering with creating a web page to offer some of my photography for sale. is the result. I took a selection of the photos to the Bazaar, using it partially to see what sold best and which photo holders people liked, so count the weekend a success.
The photo shows some of the photos as well as my laptop, which I took over on Saturday and ran a slide show of the photo selection all day. The wolf head was Donna's.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Mountain's Out!!!


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Two Year Anniversary for Hazel

Happy 2nd Anniversary, Hazy Dazy! Two years since you joined the family.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Harvest Moon

So full, so bright, it's the Harvest Moon. Some facts about the harvest moon:

Q. What is a harvest moon?

A. Simply put, the harvest moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the date of the autumn equinox in the Northern Hemisphere.
Some people claim that the harvest moon shines brighter and more golden than during normal full moons. However, since the time between moonrises on successive nights is shorter in autumn than at any other time of year, there is very little darkness between sunset and moonrise.

The continuance of the moonlight after sunset is useful to farmers in northern latitudes, who are then harvesting their crops. The full moon following the harvest moon, which exhibits the same phenomena in a lesser degree, is called the hunter's moon. A similar phenomenon to the harvest moon is observed in southern latitudes at the spring equinox on about March 21.

Q. Does the harvest moon always occur in September?

A. No, It depends on the date of the full moon with relationship to the equinox.
While it's a fact that most harvest moons do occur in September you need only to check 2001 to see that it can, from time to time, fall in October.

The one pictured occured the evening of October 5, 2006. I took these shots standing in the doorway of my back door, looking in the general direction of the southeast, where it could be seen shining brightly, the clouds creating a montage of images across its face as they floated past. If you adjust your screen and look closely at the second shot, you can see a dim silhouette of my trees in front of the moon (slightly left of it) and the almost other worldly glow of light about the moon itself. I think I'm ready for Halloween now!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hazy's Christmas Present?

What do you think? Will Hazy like her Christmas present? True, it needs a bit of work, but since she's been to Nome, thought maybe we needed a sled around here.

Don't get too excited, tho'. No, I'm not taking up mushing. What I am going to take up with it is lawn decor, ie it's going to be a fancy lawn ornament with flowers and who knows what sitting in it next summer. Well, unless I hear the "call of the wild."

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Snow on the Mountains, Take Two

As the days grow shorter, there's a crisp coolness in the air that seems to be motivating those of us who've procrastinated to get those outdoor chores done. At the same time, it'd difficult to resist pulling out the camera and sneaking off for a view of the ever changing landscape as it presents its face to us. Taken across Wasilla Lake, this photo shows how far down the mountain the shroud of snow has crept, tho' it's partially obscured by the clouds that seem to be resting on the mountain side.

Taking a more distant look, the colors of fall still linger, made all the more vivid against the blue sky. After a summer of gray clouds and what seemed at times constant rain, we'll take it. Now, true, my yard seems to have suddenly taken on a yellow hue courtesy of the birch leaves that seem to quickly cover it no matter how dedicated I am to making rounds with the bagger, thus reviving my philosophy of, "Whatever. I'll snow soon and cover it up anyway. I'll worry about it after breakup." Ah, yes, Scarlet lives on in Alaska, too.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Color of Fall

Fall is fleeting in Alaska, so we take advantage of it as much as possible. Captured these all too brief displays of color in Palmer on Tuesday.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Donna's on her way...North to Alaska

Donna left PA on Thursday, heading for her new life in Alaska. Bonnie Lundberg snapped this photo in MN as Donna and her brother-in-law (who's driving the moving truck) prepared to leave the Lundberg's after spending the night there.

Monday, September 04, 2006

RIP Amiga

RIP, Amiga

1990 - Sept. 4, 2006

(Photo taken mid-August)

Amiga left me this morning. While there's a huge hole in my heart, had I been given the chance to orchestrate her last day, I couldn't have written a better script.

As anyone who knew her knows, she enjoyed people. Thus, her day couldn't have been happier as she had company. Donna's "Joe the Painter," who is "Joe the Deck Guy" here, was here and she had fun visiting with him and was thoroughly entertained as he pressure cleaned the deck. I watched her taking it in from all angles and would have sworn I heard a doggie belly laugh at one point as Hazy came flying out from under the deck, totally freaked out.

Later, as I joined Joe to talk over the project, Amiga snagged some of my McDonald's fries, prancing around like a young dog. She was the world's worst watch dog but would bark incessantly if she knew you, so we were getting the full "Amiga Mouth" treatement. She'd also snagged some Pepperoni stick treats, too, during a couple visits to the house for a quick nap on her doggie pillow, one she would periodically share with the Foxy or Hazel.

Later in the day, she was even chatting through the fence with the neighbor's dogs. When I called them in that evening, however, I realized she wasn't with the other two. I got her inside, but it was obvious she wasn't going to be with me much longer. I sat on the floor with her, remembering how she always liked to touch you with a paw or lean (or, okay, sit on your feet), so I was making it a point to maintain physical contact, even a touch, giving her ear rubs and just talking softly to her, even telling her at one point that, "It's okay to go, Amiga." I'm convinced Foxy and Hazel knew. Foxy, who grew up with Amiga from the time she was 10 mths old, lay quietly nearby, making no effort to interfere but quietly, soberly watching. Normally she would have been all over me, wanting ear scratches and attention. Even Hazy, normally a bundle of energy, seemed subdued, watching it all pass with those expressive eyes.

It was all quiet and amazingly peaceful. Amiga simply shut her eyes at some point and didn't wake up. Thus, she lived her final day exactly the way she lived her entire life, just enjoying what life tossed at her. I'm fully confident that when she closed her eyes for the last time, she was happy, with some ear scratches and rubs stock piled for eternity.

For Amiga's full story, click on this link.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Alaska State Fair

What do you think of when you think of going to the fair? If you're like most, it's bright lights, cotton candy, ferris wheels, merry-g0-rounds and cute critters in the animal exhibits. The Alaska State Fair has all that and more. From the top of the ferris wheel, you look down on not just the fairgrounds but the surrounding mountains, an awe-inspiring view. Kids flock to rides while their parents chuckle as the browse through the Salmon on Parade exhibit.

The merry-go-round, with its majestic, brightly colored steeds circles endlessly, delighting those to cowardly or perhaps even sensibly "mature" to tackle the more thrilling rides. It's a time to forget your troubles or, here in Alaska, the approaching winter, and simply remember what it was like to be a kid again. Ol' fashioned and a bit hookey, true, but fun.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Rainy Daze

I took this picture in late June while having lunch at the lodge in Hatcher Pass. Two months later, it's just as applicable today. It seems as though all it's done this summer is rain, rain to the point that the Mat-Su Valley has suffered flooding. Roads have been washed out and homes lost, with even a couple mudslides adding to the mess here and there. Makes me glad I live on a hill, even if I am beginning to think the dogs may be sprouting webbed feet any day now.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Snow on the mountains

Hmm, after days and days and days of rain, the clouds finally lifted, giving us our first real view of the mountains in some time. This was the sight that greeted us. Oh, my, termination dust in August?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Sad news....Susan Butcher is now on the trail with Joe Redington, Sr

This is how I prefer to remember Susan, with a smile that could light up the world. RIP, Susan, and don't forget to call "Trail!" when you, with Granite in lead, pass Joe Sr. on the trail.

Susan Butcher
Dec. 26, 1956 - August 5, 2006

Photo (1999) Courtesy Bonnie Lundberg

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Here's Looking at You, Kid!


No, that isn't what the bear says....well, I guess it could be ... but what I'm saying right now. My website, took a nose dive when the provider suffered a crash. Everything uploaded since Aug. '05 went missing and has yet to be recovered. As a result, I've posted a selection of my bear pix here for those who've asked to see them. See the "A Bear-y Good Day" post for another shot (My Favorite) and the original date.

Wet Bears

Let's Fight!!! (Bears)

Make a beeline...

Okay, so what does one do to entertain themself on a rainy day in Alaska? You go out and stalk "wildlife" in-between the raindrops. I've tried to capture bees with the camera before, but this is probably my best effort so far. Even better, only had to go as far as my own front yard!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Russian Orthodox Influence

Just about anywhere you go in Alaska, you'll find evidence of the Russian Orthodox influence. A bit of research revealed this basic facts about the "onion"domes and unique crosses that represent the religion.

One dome represents Christ as the one true head of the Church, two domes, the human and godly nature of Christ. Three domes represents the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and five domes Christ and the Apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

A blue dome represented the color of the heavens and mankind's desire to one day unite with the heavenly church. Gold domes represent Christ as the king, while green symbolizes the Holy Trinity. The domes are elongated for a very earthly reason, however. The slender, elongated domes are meant to represent the flame of a candle, one leaping up toward heaven.

Each bar on the cross has a meaning. The top bar represents where the words written on Christ's own cross were carved, words reading "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." The second bar marks where Christ's arms were spread and nailed. The third bar where his feet were placed as he hung on the cross. Finally, if the third bar is slanted, it might be deemed directional. The side pointing upward (to Heaven) represents the man crucified alongside Christ who asked Christ for forgiveness, guaranteeing hm a place in Heaven. The side pointing downward is meant to remind of of the man who did not repent of his his sins and would not make it to heaven.

Beauty in the Front Yard

I'd like to wax eloquently about this one, but sometimes pictures should be allowed to speak for themselves. Just another example of the simple pleasures in life to be had as close as my own front yard.

Friday, July 21, 2006

A Perfect Place for a Picnic

"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." -- Helen Keller

Lake Lucille, behind Lake Lucille Inn, in Wasilla, AK. I can't imagine a better place to put your picnic table! Looks like the dog wants to steer!

Blue Skies

Every now and then, we have skies so blue as to make you simply stop and go, "Wow!" Wednesday was one of those days.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

More Under the Sea

Hey, if you're going to be warped, it's so much more fun to be warped with similarly warped friends. These two versions from Donna Quante.

All that's missing is a Yellow Submarine...

"We all live in a yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine..." The Beatles, albeit not one of their more profound lyrics

In an octopus' garden...

I'd like to think that each and every photo I take will be wonderful and worth sharing, but, well, who are we kidding? On the other hand, with an assist from Photo Shop and a quirky mind, even an otherwise forgetable picture can be fun. I'd just read a story about the Beatles, so my thoughts that these flowers seemed to be swimming around in the air quickly lead me to dub this one "In an Octopus' (Alaskan) Garden."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Friendship... the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person,
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but pouring all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together, certain that a faithful friend will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of comfort,
blow the rest away.

I have no clue who wrote this, but it's SOOOO true....

Delicate Beauty

Don't overlook the simple, delicate beauty to be found in your own front yard.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A bear-y good day

I've had company from the Lower 48 and we were lucky enough to see bears at play on Monday. This one was scratching where it itched.

More photos at

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Iditarod Picnic

Lance Mackey signs up first for Iditarod 2007

Jon Little, right, chats with Lance

Perry Solmonson signs up

Jeff King signing up to defend his Iditarod Championship

Kathy Chapoton-Buser taking photos of....

...hubby Martin signing up.

Mitch Seavey chats with Lance Mackey

Martin Buser, left, and Jeff King, had a good thing going with a campfire as they greeted fans and signed autographs