Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Eagle Activity

Last night we watched 15 or more eagles spread out across the channel in front of us having some kind of eagle reunion. Most of the juvys were in one spot and the adults would move over and pick at them. Maybe it is time for the juvys to leave their parents, I don't know. There was a young adult that was still showing a few times of imature coloring that was really causing trouble. Flying in and out, giving chase and being chased. We watched them for over an hour. They were so spread out that I couldn't get any decent pictures.

So tonight this guy is down with a spinning rod, fishing for dollys close to the mouth of Bear Creek. He lands one and an eagle flies right over to him and starts begging. He stands there for awhile and looks like he is calling someone. Finally another guy comes and takes some pictures. The fisherman decides to give the eagle the fish. I'm glad he didn't try to feed it from his hand. The eagle took the fish in its talons and hopped over a food and then chowed down.

The guy went back to fishing and now has an audience!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Don't you just love the Growing Season!

I got a very late start on planting vegetables this year. This is my first attempt in SE Alaska. Yesterday morning when I took the garbage can over to the street for the weekly pickup (yep - curbside!) I walked by my little garden area and saw nice rich dirt. When I left the hours 12 hours later I found new seedlings reaching for the sky! WOOT!!! (That's a quarter, by the way)

I've got some lettuce, greens and parsley planted in a couple of pots.

And I just planted carrots, radishes and some beans by seed and picked up a cilantro and rosemary plant for this spot.

I'm experimenting with adding some flowers to the bank by the water - I really expect them to slide down and be washed away but I'm hopeful that I found enough crannies in the rock for a secure stronghold. We'll see!

But what I'm really excited about is getting the chance to wear my new rainboots. I got them several weeks ago in Fairbanks and have been waiting for the opportunity to give them a try.

and what really strikes me about this picture is how much the creek rocks at the bottom of the stream looks so similar to my granite counter top in the kitchen!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Perserverance Trail

One of my favorite hikes it still the Perseverance Trail just east of downtown. Its a good climb up but it eventually levels off and doesn't feel like the 3.5 mile one-way hike that it really is.

This is looking back towards town following the pathway of Gold Creek.

I guess one of the reasons it doesn't seem such a tough hike is that it really was once a road. Its all pretty wide and most of the grades aren't too much.

Its a great place to see waterfalls like Ebner Falls

and the pathway pretty much follows gold creek and other tributaries.

There are clusters of trees where warblers like to hang out, as well as thrushes and robins. There are so many salmon berry bushes just full of blossoms and seeds that will lure us back in about 6-weeks to fill our berry buckets for the winter.

There are beautiful wildflowers and a chance to see Dall's sheep and bear on the hillside...its a real treasure, especially since its so close to town.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Yukon Re-Run

I just finished reading, Yukon Re-Run by Mary Hervin and Karen Martinsen. This memoir is a recollection of a trip along the Yukon River that Mary Hervin and Phyllis James Kingsbury took 42 years after their original journey. Their first journey began in 1941 from Juneau when they were 20-year olds. They motored and rowed a 17-foot skiff from Juneau to Skagway and then loaded the skiff on the train to Lake Lebarge. They the rowed across the lake and entered the Yukon river ending up at Circle City after 5 weeks on the river. What an adventure for just young adventurous girls. Sections talk about the people they met along the river and all the stops that they made. What must have some of those early homesteaders thought of these two young ladies showing up at their doorstep! I just can't get over the spirit of adventure that these ladies had in striking out on their own into an unknown, naturally dangerous environment. Even thought I grew up here I'm still struck by what people are capable of doing if they just have the guts to try.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Happy Solstice!

Here is Juneau we don't have as long of days as we're used to in the interior - but we still have 18 hours of daylight and with the incredible weather we have been having its been a full 18 hours!

Monday, June 21, 2010

I think someone heard this tree fall

We had some wind last weekend - we've had stronger winds but it was enough to blow down one of three maple trees. It was the one in the middle so now we are digging out the stump to make room for a new tree. We decided to go with a white flowering crabapple tree to add some variation and color.

It is supposed to eventually look like this: http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/SiberianCrabapple.htm

But there's that ol' stump. Anyone have any good MacGyver tricks? We don't have all of our tools yet, no chain saw, chains, pickaxe...dynamite. We dug for awhile and then tried to move it with a tow strap and the Yukon. Didn't budge. Broke the strap. Didn't break a window or get a black eye from standing too close.

I'm think that after a little more digging that maybe I'd rather have the new tree about a foot to the right of the old stump. That way it isn't too linear...yep.

Friday, June 11, 2010


A friend gave me some rhubarb - nice big thick stalks, lots of juice and not woody. In fact after I chopped 8 cups of it I had about a cup of juice in the bottom of my bowl!

I have some wild rhubarb in the yard - quick tall and starting to flower. This isn't the type of rhubarb that you can eat and in fact, I've just found out that the juice of the plant when combined with sunlight, can actually burn your skin.

I have two friends who on separate occasions were wacking through some wild rhubarb and accidentally got some juice on their skin. Both of them developed blisters and burns on their arms and legs. They had scars for months afterward. I had no idea that this plant was so toxic and am glad I found out before falling victim. I did break off a few stacks of those plants that were starting to flower and obstructed the view from the master bedroom but I guess I was careful enough not to get it on my skin. If I remember right, I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt but I had gloves on. I need to get out there and really clomp down some big bushes. They all kind of got away from me when I was gone earlier in May.

I was looking for information on this toxic effect, when I came across this resource on edible plants in the north: http://hubpages.com/hub/Edible-Far-North-Plant-Foods. There aren't many good resources for things like this so I thought I would pass it on.

But the stalks of domesticated rhubarb sure are good!

Rhubarb-Ginger Jam
I made some of this last year and it sure was good! I'm planning on make some more when I get a chance. I won't use the cracked ginger that I used last year. It never really softened up and got stuck in my teeth! I'm going to stick with the crystallized ginger.

Rhubarb Salsa

2 c chopped rhubarb
1/2 chopped onions
2 cloves minced garlic
2 T lime juice
1 T diced jalapenos
1/8 c sugar

Simmer together until rhubarb is soft. Makes about 1 cup

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dear Tim,

There are still some good things about Fairbanks - what you find at the dumpster! xoxox

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June Boy Scout beach

I got sunburnt. I was so careful the previous weekend when we were hanging out at the beaches and in the woods for 18+ hours a day. Then I got carried away. There was just enough breeze to keep the heat away and fooled me into thinking my skin could handle the rays. The sun god is LOL.

It was another absolutely gorgeous weekend so we didn't hesitate to head back out the road to conduct the official COASST bird survey.

No dead birds. We did find lots of litter and picked up quite a few aluminum cans, chip bags, juice straws and other misc. items. Why is it that people who drink Rainer Beer can't pick up after themselves?

We did run across a structure that is noteworthy and you wonder what the story was behind its creation. Does it represent a real place? What is the story that goes along with it?

I believe that this is the kitchen living room with built-in table.

and this is the sleeping area

and this would be the outdoor bath area complete with cockle shell tub

and every community has a dump or are these actually the sea creatures who came to invade the village?

When I was young I used to spend hours with neighbor kids building cities in the dirt/mud/sand. Having grown up in a toystore I had quite a few of match box cars that got used as props in the building process. We would work for days and into weeks creating roads, buildings, parks and making up stories along the way. It was always fun getting out the hose and filling up the riverways and ponds and then getting into water fights. Oops...I didn't mean to spray you!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Camping Trip Day 2-3

After spending a day in town and playing tourist, it was time to hit the woods and start the camping trip. On Saturday we packed up all the cars with our gear and headed out the road towards to Methodist Camp at Eagle River. We had set a departure time for noon and we were actually ready ahead of time!

We stopped for lunch at the Shrine of St Therese and managed to snag a couple of picnic tables right on the water so that we could enjoy the view. I had looked into booking a couple of the cabins here for our camping trip but wasn't able to find a weekend that worked with our schedules.

The view of the Chilkat Range was spectacular and getting everyone willing to move on to the next spot was tough.

Here is my sister Lori with her kids Naomi and Zac - this is actually one of a series of images which consisted mostly of a lot of goofing around pictures!

As many of you know, Boy Scout Beach is one of our favorite places to spend time so we were very pleased that we could show it off. As with the previous two days, the weather was incredible and it truly felt like we were at the beach.

Too bad this wasn't the week for the bird survey that we do monthly, with this large group we could really spread out and cover the beach from water's edge to the high tide mark.

The group on the beach!

Skunk cabbage leaves bigger than Bella!

We've just added our pictures to a shared flickr account and have over 800 images to review. We were able to get them all uploaded and shared within a couple of days. God bless digital cameras!

those kids

It all started in the Valentine's house in 1989, when all the grandkids were in the same place at the same time. I'm sure it was Roxi's idea to get them to all sit on the chairs in her main room to get a group picture.


Melody, Naomi
Zac, Robert, Robyn
Shaun, Tisha

We all know how hard it is to get everyone to look at the camera and smile!

Then again at my mom's condo most of the grandkids plus one great-grandkid (and Rune really is a great kid!) gathered for a redo.


Melody, Naomi
Zac, Robert, Robyn
Rune, Tisha

So when the opportunity came around again this year, we couldn't resist trying it out again! Thank goodness for the apple iPhone - we actually had the 2005 picture to use for comparison.


Melody, Naomi
Zac, Robert, Robyn
Rune, Tisha

Rune got a little confused - after taking the posed picture the next picture was supposed to be the one with the tongues sticking out!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

All about building Sand Castles

Who knew that the sand at Sandy Beach would be the very best for building sand castles. This was the first of many sand castle building adventures. This fortress was completed with a ditch that went all the way down to the water.

And much shrieking as the water came in to bust down the walls. Save the women and children, Jayson!

Eagle Beach was our second spot for building sand castles. The sand was a little rocky and the tide was very low but some important building practices were put into practice.

Rune with Fort Lind
Notice the 9x9 symmetrical structure

And the Great Wall of Sanddom...complete with 1% for Art in the middle of the spade.

And Boy Scout beach proved just to be too hot! The sand was fine but it wasn't wet enough for sand castles. Bella is putting the finishing touches on Rune's Sand-body treatment.

Camping Trip - I'm with Ohlsen

Everyone arrived in Juneau on Thursday, including me! Tim met the first arrival (Naomi), then they met me, then we met Zac, Rachelle and Bella. Naomi and Heidi went to Costco and Fred's to stock up on fresh provisions while Zac and Tim met Jayson. We then had a chance to visit and lay claim to a spot for sleeping before getting Melody and Rune and then our final airport run to get Roxi, Robyn, and Tisha, we arrived on a delayed flight. We pretty much owned the airport! Lori, Richard, and Robert arrived on the midnight ferry from Haines.

On Friday afternoon we got all dressed up in our "I'm with Ohlsen" t-shirts and hit downtown. There were about three cruise ships at the dock so we were just some of the many tourists running around. We were pretty easy to spot and we had everyone looking and waiting in anticipation for who was "Ohlsen" or what's an "Ohlsen." When you get 15 people shopping you don't always stick together so when it was time to regroup we had a lot of help from people saying, "oh - they went that-a-way!"

Lori, Roxi, and Heidi:

Lori, Robert, and Roxi

I'm with Ohlsen!

Zac and Bella are Ohlsen!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

When did this happen?

I've been out of town for awhile but luckily I was around just in time to see the Rhododendrons blooming!

Thanks Terry for suggestion a fertilizer that I put on in April!