Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Swans Return~

Almost exactly one year to the day,

the swans returned for a swim

in the Dexter Pond.

It was kind of a buggy day

but that didn't bother them at all.

Looking forward to their next return.....

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cranes in the Neighborhood~

Often we hear the unique sounds of the cranes
as they feed and nest
on the tundra across the river.

But they are a shy bird, and we rarely
see them.

After work last week,
we heard their chatter and I spotted them up the rise
as they calmly fed in the brush.

I like the way the hills to the east have such color 
variations this year.

A few days later I stopped
at the Banner Creek Bridge and watched these cranes
up close.

Could it be the same pair?

Every time I see those delicate thin legs,
I wonder how they hold up 
that big ol' body.....

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pond Tag~

We currently have three beavers living at the pond.
It appears that two are younger because they are smaller.
But, they all love to play tag with our dogs.

The beavers will swim back and forth near the shore
until they see 
the Nursing Daughter's dog, Nike, come to
the bank.

Then they go out just far enough to tease
him down to the water.

He barks and lunges,
as they paddle back and forth,

back and forth.
Nike enjoys the chase as much as they do!

He is not a water dog or a swimmer,
but he has been getting a little braver about going deeper.

When Nike starts to tire of the game,
the beavers "step it up"
and move in closer!

This time Nike actually tagged the beaver.

It must have really surprised the beaver because 
it swam to the middle of the pond,
and wouldn't come play
the rest of the day.

Maybe the beaver isn't used to being "It".....

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Who Crossed First~

There have been muskox herds surrounding town all summer.
I think they are really interesting creatures,
and enjoy seeing them around.

Those more urban, living in town, don't share my enthusiasm.  
The muskox can be intimidating and have been known 
to attack dogs or loaders that they perceive
as a threat.

Over the last few years, the herds sizes have dwindled,
due to predators and harsh conditions.

Lately they have been like range cattle...
back and forth across the roads,
and bedding down in the tundra.

They have stayed much closer to town than usual 
which has everyone a bit

If you are a visitor, you are pretty much guaranteed a viewing,
but the locals might be tired 
of the up close and personal critters.....

Saturday, July 5, 2014

2014 Anvil Mountain Run~

Under foggy skies a herd of runners set out
 in the 40+ degree weather.

Our house had only two runners,
the Nursing Daughter and Pilot Man.

For the first time ever, there were more females than males in the race.
Many of the runners were from out of town and
had never run the course before.

It was the ninth time the Nursing Daughter ran it
and the 30th consecutive Anvil Mountain Run
for the Pilot Man.
Several newbies asked him for directions ;)

A couple of muskox herds idly watched the course 
but they didn't bother anyone.

Through the mist we could see a barge coming into port on the Bering Sea. 
The runners soon dissapeared in the fog as they began up the Dexter Bypass Road.

Greg (below) is UAF professor in Rangeland Management.
He trains with the reindeer and has run the 
Boston Marathon.  
He was tied for third coming off of the mountain.

Can you see what the Nursing Daughter has in her hand?

Luckily this year no one was lost in the fog...for long!
I could hear voices long before I spotted runners.
It would be a perfect place to play Marco Polo!

Several new runners chose to take the Beltz road back to town.  
It is longer, but they knew the way!

According to their watches, the race was 11.3 miles this year.

Both of our household runners finished in less than 2 hours.

After showering the Pilot Man hopped on a jet
to go to a family reunion in Idaho.

Oh, remember the Nursing Daughter's hand?

She collected qiviut to give to me at the bottom of the hill.
What a kid.....

Monday, June 30, 2014

Beach Drivin'~

What might you see if you drove along the beach road
(aka Council Road...
aka Front Street..)
on a sunny night?

You might see driftwood, beach grass or puffy clouds~

Beautiful vistas all around~

The newest Safety Bridge~

Safety Sound~

The Safety Roadhouse~
Iditarod's final checkpoint before finishing in Nome!

The once year-round village of Nuuk (rhymes with Book)~
Most families have camps here and live in Nome now.

Fields of cotton grass~

And little friends along the way.....