Category Archives: Weather

Reflections From The Morning Mist

I arose early this morning, sometime around 4 a.m., and went outside to find my neighborhood quiet. There was a low hanging mist in the air, a remnant of last nights spring rain showers, and the temperature was cool, but not unpleasantly cool.

I like it around here when it’s quiet. It doesn’t happen much any more, quietness I mean. Too many new homes have been built nearby over the years and the lonely little dirt road which used to run in front of our home years ago has turned into a busy paved thoroughfare for the newly developed sub-divisions scattered about in the forest. From further away, a couple of miles or so, comes the continual low roar of traffic on the George Parks Highway and also Knik-Goosebay Road.

Too many people in my Alaska nowadays, and they make too much noise, but I can’t do anything about that, I guess

No, my best bet is to get up early, before anyone else, like I did this morning. Then I can listen to the beautiful, although temporary, quietness…and pretend that it’s still 1986, the year we moved to Alaska.

This morning's low hanging mist over my neighbors home. I've never met him, my neighbor, but his house, along with several others, stand where there used to be only thick forest. In times past I'd nearly always see a moose standing where his driveway is today.

This morning’s low hanging mist over my neighbors home. I’ve never met him, my neighbor, but his house, along with several others, stand where there used to be only thick forest. In other early mornings, from times past, I’d nearly always see a moose standing where his driveway is today.

Waiting Patiently For Beautiful

This morning. because it looked like we may finally have a colorful sunrise, I forced myself to be patient while I stood out on the deck in the cold, camera mounted on a tripod, waiting for it to happen.

And it was beautiful. I’m glad I waited.

Oh yeah!

Camera: Nikon D300s @ 1/60th. sec -  Lens: 80-200 at 92mm and f11 – ISO 200

Benteh Nuutah, Wasilla’s Native Care Center

I was up before sunrise this morning, which doesn’t really take much effort at this time of the year, in order to take this night picture of Wasilla’s newest public building before the winter’s snow begins falling in earnest.

This beautiful and very modern 84,000 square foot building is the new Valley Native Care Center, located at the corner of Knik-Goose Bay Road and the Palmer-Wasilla Highway. Called Benteh Nuutah, the clinic’s Native name, meaning “Among Lakes and Islands” the clinic expects to have 8,500 customers by this time next year.

Short Summer Blues And Benefits

The wind. I really don’t like it very much. It always seems to blow when I’m trying to sleep.

Or when I want to take some long exposure night time pictures.

I could hear the wind blowing outside this morning as I lay in bed, a dull roar that regularly rose and fell in volume as gusts rolled around my house. Occasionally it howled, too. But I’d already planned on getting up well before sunrise to refresh my night time photography techniques, and being stubborn, I wasn’t going to let the wind interfere with my plans.

  Pulling on some long johns, a pair of flannel lined jeans, a heavy shirt and a pair of insulated boots I made my way out to the studio, where I donned an additional two coats, a wool hat with ear flaps, and a pair of gloves. Not until then did I feel ready to stand around outside with my tripod and camera, taking pictures in the darkness.

The sky was clear at least clear, and the stars shone like those proverbial diamonds we are always hearing about. I didn’t really have any special  photographic compositions in mind, I just wanted to re-familiarize myself with exposure settings and such,  thinks like ISO settings and shutters speed/aperture setting for various lenses. The above photo of my home was among the first of my experimental photographs this morning, and probably the best out of the two dozen or so images I produced with my Nikon. In fact, I probably could have just stopped after I took it and made my way back to the studio, where I could of sit at my computer, right next to the wall heater.

Why?

Because, after I took it, I realized that last summer wasn’t really long enough for me to forget much of anything that I did during the previous winter.

In fact, I remembered it all quite well thank you.

Now, that’s gotta one of the benefits of having very short summer here in Alaska, don’t ya’ think?

But alas, I think it’s the only benefit.

The Road Is Passable Again..Now I Need Gas Money

It’s sure good to be back online again after the incident with my computer last week, although I did get some stuff done around the house I hadn’t planned on, mainly because I had a lot of free time on my hands with out a computer to sit and stare at.

A couple of evenings ago I drove up Hatcher Pass to see if the road to Archangel Valley was opened yet and, surprisingly, it was.There was still some patches of snow on the ground towards the end of the road but otherwise it was beginning to look like spring up there. Lots of new beaver activity, too. I took the above photo from the parking lot at the trailhead to Reed Lakes.

Got the news from close friends early this morning that a dearly beloved one had passed away yesterday…and that a new grandson is being born today.

I’m hurting and happy for them. Life is so….unusual….sometimes.

Early Morning Musings

Not getting enough sleep at night is beginning to make me weary. This morning I was awake again at 3 o’clock, watching as the light of the new morning began to creep slowly into the bedroom.

Couldn’t get back to sleep, though.

So I quietly got out of bed, went down the stairs where I warmed up a cup of yesterday’s coffee in the microwave, then I grabbed my camera and sat out on the deck for a while.

The scattered clouds in the sky were beginning to turn pink already, the sun comes up early in this part of the world in the summertime, and I enjoyed watching them change shapes and colors.

The birds were awake too, singing joyfully at the top of their voices. I heard Robins and Chickadees, as well as a few Sandhill Cranes as they flew overhead. There were even a pair of Kingfishers swooping swiftly across the sky as they flirted noisily with one another.

So I just sat there on the deck being mellow, enjoying my coffee while taking a few pictures whenever something caught my interest, including the one above. It’s of a small spruce tree with the distant Chugach Mountains blurred out behind it, the rising sun turning their peaks and flanks pink for a few moments. I used a flash to light the tree and I kind of like the way it turned out.

Yes, it was all nice for a time. But as the sun rose higher everything began to lose it’s magic. Neighborhood vehicles began passing on the road as everyone went off to work, the sky lost it’s luster and color, as well as it’s clouds. Even the birds turned silent, they must have found perch’s in the trees somewhere, catching up on the sleep they missed because they got up so darned early.

Smart birds.

Somehow I wish I was one of them.

Gull’s Wind

There was wind this morning. Strong, gusty, chilly. Annoying. At first I chose to ignore it, staring at the computer monitor with an empty mind in my head. But when I glanced out of the window I saw birds soaring and gliding in the strong currents of air. They seemed to be laughing & having fun. Enjoying the wind as if it was a gift from Mother Nature. So I joined them for an hour, stood outside letting it blow in my face, and watching the trees whip forward and back from it’s force. Actually enjoying myself.

I decided that the birds were right. This wind was indeed a gift.