Sunday, June 27, 2010

Iditarod Summer Picic pix are at...

Rather than double post the photos, I'll just direct you over to my Backstage Iditarod blog for photos from yesterday's Volunteer picnic and Musher Sign-up Picnic. A good time was had by all!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Summer Solstice, Hatcher Pass

On the road Hatcher Pass.

I double clicked the camera to take this shot and the next as close to "high noon" as I could, so they're my Summer Solstice shots. I have no clue what time the "official Solstice" is/was, so figured noon'ish worked for me.

Looking to my left just a few seconds later...

I never tire of the views up here.

That said, by the time I worked my way up to the Lodge/mine area, it was like I'd passed through a time warp. Clouds were slowly rolling in and you could almost feel a sudden drop in temperature. The white building are of the mie from the lower parking lot. It is open to the mine but I hadn't had lunch and figured I'd be back. Gee, what made me think that? Also, for the record, it looks like the Willow-Fishhook Road is open, or at least the gate on this end was. Not sure if that's a guarantee it's open all the way, but that right there is a reason to go back since I didn't take the tempting bait this drive.

The blue skies were still there, but not the dominant color up this high.

Looking back down toward the Valley as I head back to the car to head toward home.
The long and winding road....

Even getting down the short distance to the pull-over that overlooks the Valley, I could feel the temperature warm up, tho' you can definitely see the clouds were beginning to shift that way, too.
Not quite sure what stretch I took this along, but shows the skies are changing.

Do you think this tree wants to be a catapault when it grow up?

Wildflowers alongside one of the pull-overs. Kathy, this is at the one where we pulled over and you first talked to the snow-boarders that day you went up at race time with me. Looks a tad different, huh?
Not sure if this stream has a name or not, but probably an arm of one of the many streams that flow down from the mountains and join up with the Little Su, which would have been on the other side of the road from where I took this shot. It crosses under the road via a culvert to hook up with the river.
Last time I was here, that hillside was covered with white stuff.

More wildflowers. Are these the ones called chiming bells or just blue bells or what? In any case, a lovely end to a lovely, albeit too brief, jaunt to one of my favorite spots on earth, Hatcher Pass.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Random Shots From Friday

You probably can't read the license plate on this one, which sorta defeats the purpose, but this RV was from my ol' stomping grounds, Florida. We were on our way into town to see the Seavey's Wild Ride Dinner Show. Some of my pix from the show itself are on the Backstage Iditarod blog at

Outside of Seavey's Wild Ride in Anchorage.

Love the poster.

We picked up our tickets for the show and still had a bit of time to kill, so Pat and I wandered down the street toward the railroad.

For those trying to orient themselves, that's the Hilton up on the hill.
Considering that my first experience with trains left me feeling like I was being held hostage, I've grown to love 'em and what these rails signify, a sort of endless adventure.

We met Rosemary back at the show gate and while Pat and she chatted, I stalked a few flowers.

Pretty Flowers on a Wet Weekend

You might be an Alaskan if...

You might be an Alaskan if a sighting of a dog truck in a parking lot is no longer not only not a novelty but even knowing others will get a kick outta it, still makes you engage in a mental debate: "Do I really, really need to go back to the car and get the camera to take a picture of this?"

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Seavey''s Wild Ride, Anchorage
I put my pictures from the show on the Backstage Iditarod blog. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rainy Day Flowers

The first two are from the neighborhood but this one is in my yard.

We all live in a yellow submarine....

Friday, June 11, 2010


Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in documenting the big things in life as I try to share bits and pieces of my life in Alaska with you, like the view from the top of my hill. It definitely qualifies as yummy, I'd say.

But sometimes in life, it's the little things, little things we often take for granted that really help make an ordinary day in Wasilla, Alaska, a "yummy" day. Like the flowers.... white lilacs in a neighbor's yard.

Some, like these, even grow wild alongside the road at the bottom of the hill you see so often in my "view from the top of my hill" shots. I can't tell you how many times I've driven past them, noticing but not stopping, but decided they fit the "yummy" theme I'm fixated on today. (PS: They're wild geraniums. Thanks, Lisa!)

This, of course, was definitely yummy, so a tip of the hat to Dairy Queen! Did you know that Alaskans eat more ice cream than anywhere else? I'd have to look it up to know if that's just in the US or the world, but given the cold temps most think of when they think Alaska, rather an amazing bit of trivia.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Sunday, June 06, 2010

First Flowers of the Summer Slowly Appearing

This little one is quite the independent, breaking away from the clump of "pretty yellow flowers" (Globe Flowers) below to take a stand alone. It must have worked cos it's the first one to genuinely bloom.

These were the first flowers to bloom after I moved in here, so the "pretty yellow flowers" as I dubbed them cos I'm hopeless at ID'ing flowers hold a very soft spot in my heart. (PS, I now know their name but they'll forever be "pretty yellow flowers" to me)

My columbines were sorta sad last year, so Pat's given me some new ones to, fingers crossed, kick them into gear this summer. Just planted these in the little cache flower bed and in the process discovered that, dang, there are a gazillion rocks in there just below the 1" line!

And the best kind of flowers, the ones that just appear without you doing anything to encourage them along. There's a whole, big bush of 'em outside the front fence that I'll try to get some photos of over the next few days but these are growing wild along the north fence.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Bees and Butterflies

Despite the cottonwood fluff floating around in the air, it was just too pretty a day to stay cooped up in the house all day. I took some good drugs and ventured out briefly to stalk some bees and butterflies. Not the greatest shots, but since I was lazy and never ventured off the deck and they were determined to flit around the far reaches of the yard, the power of the zoom lens did at least give me some okay shots.
This was about as close as any of them got and it was about ten feet away, giving the fuzzy focus, but you can still see the fragile wings, so a fun pix to have.

Oh, dang, really missed this one, upper right, in flight.

Butterflies should be easier, right? They don't move quite as fast? Yeah, right.

Those familiar with my backyard will be impressed to know that I took this one from where I was lounging leaning on the wind chime post while it was way over by the fence between my neighbors and me.

Not all that bad, given the distance, for a cheap lens and my sometimes shaky hands.