29 September 2008

Autumn Glory

I've been out enjoying the fall colors this "weekend" (my weekend being Sun/Mon this week). This weekend is probably the peak for fall colors up in the high country. Today I went for an over-the-continental-divide drive with my parents to enjoy the views. My dad and I really wanted to get my mom out to see the color but it was touch and go as to whether we could because she had another set-back with her eyes and was extremely light sensitive. Luckily she was able to go - fortified with heavy black glasses and a big hat. She loves the colors as much as I do and I think it cheered her immensely. The dogs enjoyed it immensely as well - nothing better then going on old dirt road with your head out the window and occasionally stopping for little meanders and walks.

28 September 2008

Blodgett Lake

Today was a good day for a 14mile round trip hike with two friends up to Blodgett Lake. On our way we passed several other lakes some of which, like the unnamed one pictured, reminded me of Newfoundland. It was a pretty steep return and as a result my knees ache.

27 September 2008

Ephemeral Glory

After too many 10 hour work days on my feet it's glorious to take my break out on my bike and see this.

25 September 2008

Fall Colors

There are some mighty fine displays of color going on right now. I love fall, love kicking my feet through fallen leaves and the raspy sounds they make as they fly by. I love the intensity of color and watch it as if I will never see color again. I love the winds that rastle by in gusts - more fickle and tempermental then other times of year. I love the harvest the preparations for the winter, the first dustings of snow, the crispness of the air, and the slowing down of activities after the frenetic pace of summer.

23 September 2008

Family Wedding

I've been away for a long weekend to North Carolina for a family wedding. Out of all of my many cousins the last eligible one got married this weekend. I am smack dab in the middle of them age wise and the only non-married one among them so I got lots of introductions to single men and questions about timing of my nuptials. They were implacable. But as I had been expecting it I had my little tool chest of responses at the ready which resulted in much laughter.

It was a wonderful time though - good to be together again for a positive reason - and there's nothing quite so fun as rooming with your sister and your grandmother. My 82 year old Grandmother is the life of every party and can drink every one of her offspring and theirs under the table. Talking to her when she's been drinking is the best way to get any juicy family gossip out of her. One night she was complaining how everybody treats as if she were old and how she's healthier then the lot of 'em - of course they weren't treating her as if she was old but rather as if she were drunk which she was. Roundly.

Ah, a fabulous weekend with family, catching up, hanging out, a little bit of celebration and even a bit of mourning...it had been too long.


Like our apricots they're rather small in comparison to what you'd find at the market - but they have the richest flavor and I wouldn't trade them for anything. At what point in time did humans decide that looks were more important in fruit then taste?

22 September 2008


And now the later fruits of summer begin...the pears & plums and the first of the apples.

21 September 2008

Cat Under the Quilt

The Poor Disreputable Cat was under the weather for a few days following her annual shots - she didn't come out from under this quilt for 2 whole days. But she's back to her Disreputable self - playing the piano at night and attacking dog tails when they're napping.

20 September 2008


Today was a long morning at work. I took my lunch break several hours too late and went for a much needed bicycle ride. At first I was pedaling furiously, lost in the thunder clouds in my own mind, taking no notice of the lovely autumn day, the wind, and the colors on the hillside when I went around a bend and there, just a few feet off the road sat a beautiful black bear munching on service berries. Suddenly everything was restored in the world and the rest of my ride I could feel the thunder clouds in my head slipping away even as they gathered on the horizon of the land.

19 September 2008

Drying Herbs

Summer savory drying.

18 September 2008


Next on the list for canning/ freezing: salsa!

17 September 2008

Eggplants & Hungarian Hot Peppers

Purple Harvest: a basket of freshly harvested eggplant & Hungarian hot peppers. You can tell I've been eating pretty well lately :)

16 September 2008

Morning Glories

A beautiful morning glory and nasturtium still resist the cold weather nights for a morning
*edited to add: yes, of course it's a nasturtium...sorry, I was busy waxing eloquent about a clematis outside my workplace when I posted this to my mum and I must have typed it in by accident. Thanks for noticing :)

15 September 2008

First Frost & Canning

This weekend's canning projects: tomatoes, peaches, and bread & butter pickles.

We've had our first frost and it's been getting rather cool at night so we've had to cover up the precious vegetables (tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, cucumbers, summer squash) with old sheets. We're a little early for Halloween but they make fantastic ghosts under the full moon.

14 September 2008

More on VP nominee

I've been thinking about your requests to share my knowledge of Palin. Despite my inclination to stay away from politics on this blog, I am strongly tempted, but I also feel like much of what I could say is being said better elsewhere. If you haven't found it already you should definitely visit the Mudflats: Tip toeing Through the Muck of Alaskan Politics which is posted by the AKMuckraker. It's one of those blogs that once would have primarily interested Alaskans - but now one of our small fish has jumped into the big frying pan. I am heartened to see the turnout of the "Alaskan Women Reject Palin" rally and was absolutely mortified the other day when, showing my Alaskan ID in Colorado for a purchase, the woman behind the counter exclaimed "You would look just like Sarah Palin if you put your hair up!". I was tempted to explain that just because we're from the same state doesn't mean we are related.

I will say this: I do not agree with Palin's politics and I do not believe she is qualified for the position of vice-president of the United States. Quite frankly, her politics scare me. This is true of most Alaskan politicians but luckily their power has been limited to the state of Alaska. It dismays me that this political race seems to have become Obama vs. Palin. Isn't it McCain who is supposed to be running against Obama?

That said I am seriously considering your request to post my experience with Palin as governor of Alaska. I'm just trying to figure out how to do so without attracting total furor and in a way that is most beneficial. So I'm thinking on it...please post any specific questions you might have in the comment section and I will try to address them!

11 September 2008

Home Grown Tomatoes

The juiciest batch ever - like eating candy!

10 September 2008

Jungle Cat

The Disreputable Cat watching us make cider from the safety of an ornamental grass in the garden. Don't tell her that you can see her harness peeking through ever so slightly.

09 September 2008

Wild Harvest

There's a lot of "fun" to be had in finding edible fungi. I've even had the opportunity to write an official book review for the local paper of the book pictured.

08 September 2008

Squirrel Food

Lots of mushroom hunting lately - even the squirrels have been busy. Did you know that they will pick and dry mushrooms for the winter? Well they do. One year a dear friend and I went out to a cabin he had built (in Alaska) and had been away from for a year due to hip surgery. We went in spring and when we went to check out the outhouse we found it piled three feet high with dried mushrooms!

07 September 2008

06 September 2008

Continental Divide

We've had lots of visitors lately - my mother's cousins from the former East Germany on their first trip to the United States for 2 weeks and my 4,000 mile away romantic interest for a week. And for some reason Labor Day brought about several meetings with people I haven't seen in over 15 years - there have been a lot of those this year.

Apricot Cider

What do you call apricot cider? I dunno, but it sure is a pretty color....and I hope it tastes as good! This is the first batch in our experiment.

05 September 2008

Tricycle Parking

My niece & nephew were up for a visit and we went for a tour by bike.

04 September 2008

Surprise Quilt

I'm trying a little experiment of posting a picture and a short blurb for the days that I can't get to a real post - let me know what you think! (And don't worry - I still will post full length real posts - I just seem to have less time for it lately then I would like.)

My mom was given this quilt as a surprise by her sewing group as a get well present for her eyes. She's given away many quilts in her life but I think this was the first one she ever received - she was incredibly touched as was I.

03 September 2008

The AK Governor

Okay...erm, I can hardly stand this...I just listened to her speech. She's the Governor of my state but I didn't vote for her (rather for her opposition). And now she's the VP candidate? I half expected my blog to be over-run by the rest of you by now asking the questions I have gotten in person such as "What is competitive snowmachining?" I've had to walk a fine line at the bookstore cloaking my politics under the multi-interpretable response "I'm still in shock" and I am, it's no lie.

02 September 2008

Awards: Arte y Pico & Brillante Weblog

In my absence several of my dear bloggy friends have kindly awarded me some awards. It is obvious that I have been absentee for some time as they have sort of accumulated and I have not had the chance to pass them on. I am terribly grateful to all of my readers and to the bloggers I read - and for the community they offer even though I have only been able to visit less often then usual this summer (without the usual excuse of being away doing fieldwork in some place without internet connections). Thanks to all of you.


Parlance & Penny, Step-wise Girl , and SciencGirl at Curiosity Killed the Cat have awarded my blog the Arte y Pico Award because, she says my blog" shows her love of the nature that surrounds us". Thank you Parlance! This award was created by Esey from Uruguy to celebrate blogs that are art and commentary. She (Esey) translates the saying "Arte y Pico" as

"Wow. The Best Art. Over the top."

So - I'm supposed to pass this on to five blogs (oh, the decisions!!!). An they are:
1. Silver Fox over at Looking for Detachment
3. Hypoglycemia Girl at 366
4. Vincent at A Wayfarer's Notes
5. Jen at
Bove's Boots

Brigindo over at Dirt and Rocks, Dancing Fish over at Underwater Knitting, and the Bean-Mom have been kind enough to pass along this other bloggy honor: The Brillante Weblog Premio-2008.

Thank you! So nice to think of me! (Ack, 5 more blogs + 2 for a late penalty! How to choose?)

1. EcoGeoFemme at the
Happy Scientist
2. Jen at One Plus Two
3. Chuck at Lounge of the Lab Lemming
4. Chas at Southern Rockies Nature Blog
5. Andrea over at Fine as Frogs Hair
6. CAE at VWXYNot?
7. QT at Can We Kick the Bar Here?

Rules for the Arte y Pico award as follows:
1. Pick five blogs that you consider deserve this award for creativity, design, and interesting material and also contribute to the blogger community regardless of language.
2. Each award has to have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog to be visited.
3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given him/her the award itself.
4. Award winners and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of the Arte-y-Pico blog so everyone will know the origin of the award.
5) In compliance with said rules, the award winner must show these rules.

Rules for Brilliante Weblog award:
First the usual rules
1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4. Add links to these blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.