Friday, February 27, 2009

Driving to Delta with Doug - 2/25/09

Doug went to Delta Junction for training at the north Alaska FSA office this week. Delta Junction is about 6 hours north of us, near Fairbanks. He took these pictures along the way, so you can feel like you are traveling along the Glenn and Richardson Highways with him.
So relax and take a drive with Doug!

Matanuska Glacier

This is the winter view with fresh snow on the glacier. It is about 9:30 AM. The sun is still behind the mountains. If you want to see what it looks like in the summer, check out my blog post entitled "Carter Kids at Matanuska Glacier", posted 7-31-08.


Note that the trees are getting more sparse.

No trees at all.

This flat surface is a lake. You can see the snow machine tracks.

Alaska Pipeline

These are markers where the pipeline is underground.

Notice that the pipeline goes underground at the bottom of this hill.

Road clearing Alaska-style

I thought when I saw these pictures that this guy was throwing the snow a long way off the road. this is true, but he is throwing it across the road, from the left side of the road to the right side. If he threw it up the hill on the left, it would eventually just slide back on to the road in small avalanches.

These videos show how far he is throwing the snow!

Doug did not see the Northern Lights, even that far north. Every day the forecast for the lights is the same: quiet, low or minimum. Here is a story about why we are not seeing them this year.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Furry and Feathered Friends

We have been feeding the local creatures this fall and winter. Here are a few shots of our visitors and a couple of videos. The shelf is about three feet outside our patio door and I stand 2-3 feet inside the door to take pictures. The birds don't seem to mind. This is one of the first times the squirrel has been brave enough to come to the porch. Doug usually puts feed on a feeder out on the tree. It was empty, so he had to come a little closer.
This is a large squirrel for here. They don't have the really bushy tails. They are not as large as the squirrels we had in Nebraska.


Red Breasted Nuthatch

I had some really GOOD pictures of them. But unfortunately, I accidentally deleted them. We had lots of them here a month ago. They have not been around lately. These 2 pictures somehow escaped deletion.

We also had a few hairy woodpeckers on our suet, which is hung in the backyard. I'm afraid to report that not even ONE of those pictures escaped me when I went crazy deleting.

I know those of you who know me cannot believe that I would EVER throw anything away, be it physical or virtual trash! :>) I am trying to turn over a new leaf and stay clutter-free and organized. Then something like this happens and it reinforces my fear of throwing things away.


Boreal Chickadee

These birds were pretty shy and did not come in the large numbers that the other species did. It was more difficult to get pictures of them. They tended to feed on what was dropped to the ground by the other birds.


Black Capped Chickadee

We had LOTS of these guys about a month ago. Since the redpolls ( further below) arrived, our chickadee population has decreased. We still see some single ones occasionally. The species of birds do not feed together. So when the redpolls are here, the chickadees stay away.


Common Redpoll

We have had a lot of these in the last month, sometimes 30-40 at a time. They are not shy at all. They really don't seem to mind if we are moving around inside the patio door.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Drive With a View - February 12, 2009

These first two pictures were taken at my school site. This is the senior housing next door to the school. This snow accumulated after it had all melted once this winter. It snows between 1/2" and 4" every day.

This is the electrical service box outside the student center at school.

These pictures were taken at I drove back into Wasilla. To get to our house, you just keep driving toward the mountains in this first picture. These are the mountains we can see from our bedroom and kitchen windows. Of course, the view from our house is not quite as majestic as this view.

I also saw Mt. McKinley in my rear view mirror several times on my drive home today. Unfortunately, I can't take a picture in my mirror that would do it justice. You'll just have to wait until it gets light enough in the mornings that I can take pictures when I am driving toward it instead of away from it.