Been a while . . .

Posted by lwpetersen | July 18, 2011 | outdoors

Open the door and there is another gorgeous day in front of you

The trees are enjoying the Sun and the blue sky, again. I love walking out the front door to this sight.

Wow, it’s been almost 15 days since my last post. I haven’t been busy, I haven’t been working, I haven’t been chasing down screaming kids or arguing grades with college students, I haven’t been driving all over the state . . . I’ve been mostly sitting, staring, reading about glaciers, cooking, and taking some pictures. It’s been hard remembering how to relax, but after about a week and a half I have it down pretty good. I’ll be posting the huge backlog of photos below.

The Sun is under the horizon a full 6 1/2 minutes more every day. Kate noticed the other night that it was actually almost dark at 3 am. We keep hearing about heat waves in the lower 48, but here we’ve been having highs of 70, maybe. Sometimes its a little hotter, we had a week were it almost never got up to 60 and the nights are around 40-45. When I wake up in the morning I can sometimes see my breath when I go outside. In July.

Kate and I bought a canoe last week and went out on it for the first time on Chena Lake. There are so many different kinds of duck up here it’s really pretty amazing. They all had babies except for a common loon that was splashing like a fiend back in one of the slough-like parts of the lake. Other than that there aren’t really any other updates. We’ve been planning future canoeing adventures and getting ready for Kate’s parents to visit in a few days.

Quack

American wigeon at Chena Lakes. We got too close and it flew back and forth a few times before we could get some distance away.

Loon
Common Loon at Chena Lake

Following Mom
Common Goldeneye with chicks

We’ve spent some time at Creamer’s Field and also took another trip out to Angel Rocks. Both are really different than we’ve become accustomed to with the summer greenery.

Sandhill Cranes

A few Sandhill cranes have stuck around this summer. Here are a couple just chilling at Creamer’s Field on College Road in Fairbanks. They have a really cool distinctive call that really distinguish them from other kinds of cranes. They are also fun to watch dance in the fields.

Creamers Dairy
The old Creamer’s Dairy Farm. Now part of the migratory bird refuge and connected to the Alaska Bird Observatory. Great for walking in the summer and skiing for the other 8-9 months of the year. The farmhouse in front is now the visitor’s center.

John Deere
Out at Creamer’s Field on College Road.

Summer at Creamers Field
Wildflowers bloom everywhere in July. Just another shot from the trails at Creamer’s Field in Fairbanks.

Granite Skies
Angel Rocks near Fairbanks, Alaska out off of Chena Hot Springs Road. A nice little 3 mile loop to the rocks and back from the north fork of the Chena River. The rocks offer a fantastic view of the Chena River valley that you don’t normally get to see when you’re just driving out to the hot springs.

On the edge
Little yellow flowers precariously growing out of one of the granite summits of Angel Rocks off Chena Hot Springs Road in the interior of Alaska.

View from lower part of Angel Rocks
After hiking up about a mile you come to the first granite outcroppings of Angel Rocks and you get the first nice panorama of the area. We had nice blue skies with fluffy white clouds until we arrived at the top. Then we got thunder and hail.

Otis on the Road
Otis protests going inside by stubbornly sitting in the road. He’s been getting pretty adventurous in the yard lately.

Otis the Hunter
Otis hunts mice and butterflies in the thick of the backyard. Not at all a successful endeavor, but fun anyway.

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