First Snow of the Season

We woke up to the first dusting of snow today. It kept snowing through early afternoon, but it’s too warm for anything to stick.

This is late in the year for Fairbanks to get its first snow, and after today there isn’t any in the forecast.

The weather is going to do what it wants. All I can do is be ready to react.

*puts studded tires on car*

Fireweed Watch, September 10

We’ve been hitting freezing temperatures overnight!

The mushrooms are wilting. Most of them look like old mounds of mashed potatoes.

The cranberry bushes and raspberry bushes have all turned, too.

The backyard certainly looks different from last week! I would have taken more shots, but as you can see at the top of the frame the yellow jackets are still buzzing around.

Hopefully next year we can keep the yellow jackets away. It’s hard enough to enjoy the Alaskan outdoors with the huge mosquitoes everywhere, but at least bug spray keeps them away. Yellow jackets have proven hard to get rid of.

But winter, it is coming. 😈

Fireweed Watch, September 3

Some of the fireweed is turning yellow, orange, and red. But several stalks are hanging onto the green.

The mushrooms are still growing and multiplying.

Not sure what happened to these big guys. Maybe they got too much rain.

Taking the backyard as a whole, we still have a lot of autumn weather to enjoy.

Fireweed Watch, August 27

The fireweed is starting to rust, and we’ve been invaded by mushrooms.

And wild cranberries.

The heads on these are the size of bread plates.

Last year, I only saw one mushroom on the property and it was a tiny brown thing. But this year we have so much more firewood and have gotten so much more rain, the mushrooms are popping up everywhere. I tried to capture the prettier ones.

I hope they aren’t poisonous for the local wildlife’s sake.

Fireweed Watch, August 13

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The flowers at the top are starting to wilt…

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Still no rust on the leaves.

Our high temperatures have been in the 60s, and it’s presently raining. I had to turn the furnace on two days last week. Another couple of months and the studded tires will be back on the car.

Time to finish preparing for winter so when it (finally) gets here we can relax!

Fireweed Watch, July 30

This is another angle of that patch of fireweed, weeds, and baby trees. Not much rust showing up yet. Bummer. I’m ready for the heat to stop and the snow to start.

The original side of this patch has overgrown with bird vetch, which is threatening to overtake everything that hasn’t been mowed. It’s a relatively pretty vine, but I prefer our trees and the vine will smother them. Add “vine pulling” to the growing list of chores that need done before it snows.

Fireweed Watch, July 9

A patch of fireweed (among other things) in my front yard.

The purple blooms are the first sign that winter is coming. Soon, the leaves will start to rust from top to bottom. It’s started already in a few spots.

And when there’s no green left, you know snow is just days away.

Checking In

Awhile back I had the grand idea of posting a weekly update on this blog. I would post a snapshot of the view from my window at the same time every week, list the sunrise/sunset times, and briefly touch on the weather. Then I’d list my observations from the week before and write out my plans for the coming week.

I was thinking that because I live in Alaska, folks might enjoy seeing how quickly the seasons change and the sunlight shifts. And I thought it would be a roundabout way of getting me back into the habit of writing relatively regularly.

But like NaNoWriMo, because there was a deadline (Mondays) I don’t want to do it.

I don’t like surprises. I like to know what’s coming and plan ahead for as many scenarios as possible. So you would think I would appreciate a similar structure for my hobbies.

Yeah, no.

If it has to be done right now because I say so, it’s not happening. To the point of a toddler-like tantrum.

If it has to be done right now because someone else says so, okay. Heck I’ll even smile.

I don’t know what would happen if someone tried to pay me to write. I think it would be physically painful for me to write something that I didn’t enjoy writing, and so if I was being forced to write, I think my head might explode. Like that guy in Scanners.

Anyway.

The sunrise today was 10:57am and it set at 2:39pm. We’re just about to the solstice and then the days will start getting longer again. After enduring the summer of the midnight sun, I think I prefer the dark of winter. The daylight can get pretty intense after awhile.

The only real drawback to the darkness is that I basically can’t drive at all. My night vision is awful and it’s about an eight mile drive through the trees to get to town, no street lights to help, and moose love to wander onto the highway. Bad combination. Of course the roads have been icy for a couple months so I’m totally fine letting Jason drive always.

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About 2pm at The Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska

We’ve managed to do a bit more sight seeing here and there. The Santa Claus House is basically a huge gift shop with a huge fiberglass Santa out front and a live Santa inside you can take a picture with. By the way, North Pole is the name of the town, but it has nothing to do with the magnetic north pole.

I do hope to blog more. Maybe short stories, maybe life updates, who knows. One thing for sure, I’ll do it when I want to and not before.