Monday, October 1, 2012

Interactive Image

We saw snow on Mt Juneau so I did some weekend canning in preparation for the winter!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Birdie weekend

This was kind of a birdie weekend for us. The weather has been so mild and the forecast for Saturday looked like it was going to be pretty nice so we decided to head out to Boy Scout beach for a nice walk along the beach without the "science equipment" or looking specifically for dead birds. We were interested to see if the eagle carcass was still on the beach. There was talk on the local "eaglechat" about having a permit to collect the features for the National Repository so we really doubted we would see it again.

It did happen to be Backyard Bird Count weekend (Feb 17-20) and our walking friends decided to keep a list and submit it. We counted 1 Fox Sparrow, 3 Eagles, 7 Bufflehead, 4 Common merganser, 36 Canada goose, 2 Harlequin ducks, 7 Mallards, and 293 Gulls (probably Herring). There was some debate if there was 294 or 292 and a few kept flying from one sand dune to the other so we decided to go with 293. It ended up snowing on us which was a little unexpected so we didn't want to lounge around like we had entended.

On Sunday I put up a suet holder that I had gotten for Christmas. I waited until I thought the major wind storms passes as I didn't want it to get up going through a windows. With in about 3 minutes after putting it up and walking away the crows started arriving. Ended up with 60-75 crows poking at it or waiting turn underneath to get the seeds. Talk about an Alfred Hitchcock experience! Tim went out and took it down. We'll have to find a nicer neighborhood for the suet.

We had a lot of birds in the channel in front of the house. There were the usual Barrow's Goldeneyes, Bufflehead, Mallard, Common Mergansers, a Red-Necked Grebe and Glaucous-winged gulls along with Crows (still looking for suet), Ravens, and Eagles. Out in the middle of the channel Tim spotted a large gathering of birds that had the shape of a loon or a grebe. Upon further inspection with the spotting scope we determined that they were Pacific Loons - there were about 100 of them. We've never seen the solitary birds grouped up like that before. I haven't heard anything from the birdie people about the group but we ruled out what else they might have been. Too far to get a good picture - even in the scope it was shaky.

Then to round out the weekend we had chicken grilled on the bbq!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wearable Arts Juneau 2012

Ever since we moved to Juneau I've been trying to arrange my schedule so that I could take in the Wearable Arts Show. Finally, this year I was successful...and so worth the wait! The production was incredible to watch and the concepts and artistry of the creators was very impressive. The theme this year was Fusion. More at JAHC.

Here is the winner–The Beast in the Beauty, a tribute to those who have overcome breast cancer. Padauk and bird eye maple

Second Place
Lady Blue made from blue mussels, seaweed, shells, mosquito screen, plastic ties.
She was probably one of the most striking of models of the night.

Before coming to this show I had thought about what kind of materials I would want to work with if I were to create an entry. Blue mussels was one of my thoughts but I could never have come up with something so elegant.

Amused by Fused Recyclables: this was truly made from all sorts of different materials from plastic straws to bottle caps, to folded paper. You really didn't see the detail until after the show when all the models came out and you could get up close.

Hot Shot: This was one of my favorites. It was simple, yet striking. The model was fantastic on the runway and really working it and making those shells explode!

Seraphina: dyed ace bandages and other materials from the operating room. This one was really cute!

Hair Flair: one advantage of owning your own hair salon...but kind of ewww.

Raise your Glass! Look at this 40 lb dress with accompanying 40 lb cape. No bottles of wine or bubbly were harmed in the making of this garment but a couple bottoms of aspirin were consumed to ease the hangover.

Juneau Tank Top:

Fit to be Tied: 1500 neckties...Dad you might want to check your closet.

If you are interested, I'm told by a reliable source that 360 North will be airing the show in Alaska (find out where) on the evening of March 17 and simultaneously web streamed at the same time (that would be simultaneous in a simultaneousness simultaneously) for those outside the state or without broadcast coverage.

**photos courtesy of the remarkable Claudia Clark

Monday, February 13, 2012

Good Food

On one of our visits to Florida, Tim and I had an incredible dinner out at a strip mall at a place called the Food Shack. I know, it sounds super swanky, right? Well, if you find yourself in Jupiter Florida you really must try it out! The menu is incredible and they offer a lot of different fresh fish.

They have their regular dinner menu online. The servings are very large. I had the tropical paella which was excellent. This is on their regular menu. They also offer a nightly menu which had so many interesting combinations that I was overwhelmed! Tim had the sweet potato encrusted Grouper cheeks over greens and green beans with a lime cilantro sauce. We were too full for dessert but they all looked delicious too!

I found this recipe which is the one that we tried and it comes really close to the tastes at the restaurant. We made one change to the directions when it came to browning the fish. If you decide to use the butter with the oil then remember that butter browns things very quickly (read: fast) so be sure the use a lower temperature than suggested. We tried a sample and followed the heating directions and pretty much burned the first side. The second attempt was to leave out the butter and we had much better results.

The crust is delicious and the Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette is delicious - there was enough left over to have with a couple other meals. The vinaigrette (which actually has no vinegar in it!) has pretty much the same ingredients as a cuban recipe we make for Chimichurri–just the quantity of ingredients gives it a different taste.

We made this dish for the third time last night and decided to try cooking the fish on the grill. We rarely eat fried foods and the smell in the house lingers for days. We have one of those non-stick grilling pans that Tim got really hot and then placed the fish-sweet potato mixture into and turned the heat down. It turned out perfectly and didn't smell up the house!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

February COAAST survey

Despite the dreary-sounding weather report, the sun rose to display a pink sky and continued shinning all day long in a near cloudless sky. It was time once again for our monthly beach survey out at Boy Scout Beach. We packed a small snack and hit the trail a little earlier than normal. The 45-minute drive out to the trailhead gave us glimpses of blue sky and snow covered mountains. We weren't sure what the trail condition would be with the recent 4 feet of snow and then two days of rain. The twice a day shoveling I did while Tim was in Florida has reduced itself into patches of green grass and a few mounds of soft snow. I keep wondering if we shouldn't just ignore the snow when it falls as it always seems to melt a few days (or a week in this case) later.

We had our snowshoes but ended up only needing our microspikes. If you veered off the trail then you fell through the snow up to your (my) knee but it was a pretty wide pathway so wasn't too bad. There was only a few really icy spots but it was reassuring to have the microspikes.

When we finally made it to the beach the view was incredible and we slowing shed outer clothing as we got out of the forest and into the open. It was like a spring day. There was warmth from the sun and no wind.

And then we found a deceased adult Bald Eagle near the high tide mark from the previous high tide (around midnight). The bird had all of its outer parts but was just a carcass of bones and features. We didn't need the identification book this time to know it was an eagle.

With wings measure 110 cm and a tarsus measuring 60 mm it was a very large bird, so probably a female although we can't confirm.

Bald guy with the bald eagle.

We taged the bird with our designated Orange band and since it was our second bird it got another orange tag double orange (in COASST speak).

We remarked that if we had to find a deceased bird, that the weather conditions we had were the best for it. It would have been miserable if it had been pouring down rain or snow while we were taking measurements or trying to make notes on the data sheet.