Sunday, January 31, 2010

Everyday Things, End of January

Wolf Moon, as seen through the trees

"I'm late, I'm late...." This seems to be a raven with things to do and places to go.

"Who are you and why are you taking my picture?"

"Put your left leg in and shake it all about..."

The string of lights seen in the foreground is a long string of Christmas lights left over from the holiday that marks the border of a make-shift hockey rink on the ice.

Some kids playing on the ice on Wasilla Lake.

The view across the lake.

The post seems to have become a welcome steadying hand for the kids, many of whom appeared to be relatively new to ice skating.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My next home, a castle???

You've heard the ol' saying, "My home is my castle"? Well, in this case it looks like some Alaskans took it literally. I'm not even quite sure where we were when we saw it, but Pat and I came across this place while looking for someplace else today. I felt like we'd landed in Camelot!

Some pretty nice views in the "Camelot" realm, too.

Lunch was back in Alaska-land, however, at the Noisy Goose in Palmer.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Frosted trees, moose, and lunch at the Windbreak, aka Trout House

Heading toward home on the Glenn Hwy. after cruising down to the Thunderbird Falls area (Chugiak) today.

There was no frost on the trees and not much new snow in Wasilla, but it was like we went through a curtain after getting on Glenn, with the frosty special effects hitting at about the Knik River Bridge area. Like night and day, all within a relative handful of miles.

Scroll back to photo 1. This is of about the same scene, only minutes later. The fog that had descended on us as we neared Chugiak seemed to have hurried ahead of us to cover the mountains toward Palmer, too.

Then the sun would peep through again and you'd get a great view, this one of the "Flats", as this area is known around here. Didn't see any moose here, tho', which isn't the norm as this is a common place to spot moose.

Apparantly we didn't see any moose on the Flats cos they were having a moose party in Meadow Lakes. I was just snapping photos out the window, taking what I've dubbed "another generic wooded lot" photo, when I saw somethig move and yelled at Pat to "Stop!!!" Sorry, Pat, I do get bossy when I spy moose, huh?

There were actually three of 'em, this one, I'm pretty sure, the mother of the two smaller ones. She'd been back off the road a bit but worked her way down to check us out before we moved on.

One of the young ones. It was on fairly shallow snow here, but at one point I could see it moving through an area with snow up to its belly, albeit too far back and blocked by brush for a photo.

"Hey, can't you see we're trying to eat?"

There was a house on a hill sorta off to the right and a couple folks had just walked outside, so they were getting nervous. We decided to move on and let them eat their lunch in peace.

Speaking of lunch, our lunch was at Windbreak, aka Trout House.

My first lunch anywhere in Alaska but the Fancy Moose was here, at the long table setting under this guy and his canoe. I was with the TOTT candidates and we'd been cruising around with Peg as chauffeur. Wide-eyed, jet lagged rookie that I was, I thought this was just the coolest place ever and, know what? I still tend to agree. There's something about this place that says Alaska better than many of the other eating places out here, that's for sure.

You've got to admit, it has a killer view.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another Kind of January Day

Sometimes the gray, overcast days of winter weigh us down, so when a gorgeous blue sky kinda day appears, I'm always glad when I can get out with the camera for a few shots. From one of the parking areas at Idita-park.

The rest of these were all taken at Lake Lucille.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Just another January day in Wasilla

We've had some snow and lots and lots of wind, but, as always, it always manages to somehow be beautiful, even a big pile of snow that once covered the driveway.

A couple days ago this was a hard, heavy pack of drifted snow that sorta piled up in a hump about a foot high, snow that had to be moved by hand because the snow blower couldn't even begin to budge it. I chipped and chisled away the middle section to get out, then I got lucky. It snowed five inches overnight and the neighborhood snow plow guy, who I finally broke down and asked to plow the drivway for me this winter, not only moved the huge drift near the end of the driveway, but managed to get most of this with his BIG plow. Seriously, this is closer than I thought he could get with it, plus what was left was an easy shovel, so I'm feeling liberated again. Ha

On the other hand, I haven't even begun to tackle to sidewalk around the house and, quite frankly, may just ignore it and hope it melts. The snow blower just trucks along on top of this mess, so it's not helpful and, well, you already know I'm not shoveling all this. Got some ice skates?

It was really only about 1 p.m. when I snapped this on my way out of the library today, but looked like it was far later. Go figure, once I got home and back into indoor clothes, the sun came out and we even had some blue sky briefly, but I didn't venture back outside.

Huge piles of snow are everywhere, not just in my driveway. This one is toward the back of the library parking lot, looking across to the post office.

In front of the library, facing Main Street, the bicycle rake is pretty much rendered useless and you'd better have on snow pants if you sit down on the bench to rest a minute or two.

More piles of snow....and snow benches

I'm ot quite sure what this is. It was liberated from its original site during the three day windstorm we had (up to 80 mph winds) and is in an open area near Crusey Avenue, down by Wasilla Lake.

The McDonads menu board obviously took a beating, too, and is simply sitting on the ground while strapped to the metal posts that once held it. Out of range of the camera left there is a pile of twisted metal that is being piled up. Some looks like McD's, some looks like it just blew in. Yep, it was a wild few days.

This guy was sitting atop a corner of McDonalds watching us all go through the drive-through.

Back home, wandered out to the end of the driveway to shoot this picture. It's what was left behind in a huge pile by the street snow plow. Fortunately my driveway guy came after that and cleared my path. Phew.

Looking north, toward the Talkeetnas.

Betty's spruce tree with snow piled in front of it, lower left.

From the end of the driveway, looking back at the house. It was in the mid-20s at this point.

This ol' cord swing has hung here since I moved in and I've never once trusted it to try it out, but it does make a nice photo opportunity at times.

Standing in about the same spot I was in for the last photo but looking east past the snow pile toward the back yard.

Looking southerly, down across Idita-Park, Parks Hwy, and toward the Chugach Mts.