Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fall is upon us

I've done it again! I waited too long before posting and I've got another whopper of a post today! :/ I'd better start with the property we were trying to buy before I forget AGAIN! The property sale fell through after a great deal of hemming and hawing and much consternation. The driveway we had been told we could use to access the property was not actually a legal access route. There was access via public trails but those trails were barely even ATV worthy in spring and fall. At any rate, we weren't willing to pay what they were asking without more reasonable access. It was quite a disappointment, but we were glad we discovered the problem before we bought the property. Meanwhile, we're still living in paradise so it's hard to complain. Frankly, I'll let the pictures do the talking and I think you'll see what I mean.

Pink Pyrola or Wintergreen
Yarrow, Daisies and some Foxtail.

Delphiniums have always been one of my favorite flowers. I could never get them to grow in NY. They were here when we came so I take no credit.

Who's on first? Woodpecker and squirrel. The woodpeckers had their young nearby this summer and they would make a HUGE racket whenever I'd run out of suet in their feeder. Spoiled birds!
Mr. and Mrs. Beaver raised a litter of young chewers nearby. One of them was particularly bold and liked to hang out under the pontoon boat in front of the house.

And of course there are the ever present moose mommas. Just mom here?

Look a little closer.
Aha! There it is!
We're not sure if this is a different pair of swans than the ones I posted a few posts ago or if they were here all summer. It seemed like they were here all summer, but it does not appear that they raised any young. At any rate it has been a joy to have them around.

And of course we've enjoyed the loons' songs this summer.

No blog post is complete without the fabulous scenic shots.

The Matanuska River really runs hard when the weather is warm and the glaciers are melting.

Rodney went fishing for reds in the Copper River with Marlin Beachy. They hit it just right and came home with 40 salmon each. It kept us quite busy all day fileting, cleaning and packing but it was soooooo worth it! This is the best salmon ever in my opinion!

Despite all the beauty, it has not been as peaceful as it would appear. Summer is quickly winding down and we've been incredibly busy preparing for winter. I decided to try making Fireweed jelly so Andrei helped me pick the flowers for it. Quite the impressive way to start!

And quite beautiful when complete. Unfortunately my first batch is also my last. I discovered the hard way that I'm quite allergic to Fireweed, as in the tongue and throat swelling kind of allergic, not just a stuffy nose allergic.

Rodney and Marlin also went caribou hunting. Fortunately I am NOT allergic to caribou for which I am quite thankful! It is absolutely delicious and we now have a freezer full of meat. They are larger in body size than a white tailed deer, though not much taller. They are also relatively easy to hunt. You just need to find them close enough to a road not to have to pack or haul them miles and miles to get them out. It is sort of a modified road hunt. You aren't allowed to shoot them from the road, but you do want to be fairly close to it! Rodney said they also didn't run unlike a normal white tail. You shoot and they stand there until they die or they try to circle around you to get your scent so they can figure out what you are.

They got the caribou up on the Denali highway which also has lovely scenery.

And sunsets. We're into that time of year again where the sun goes down! The days are still long, but there are dark breaks in between them now.

Winter preparations also include a great deal of cutting of firewood.

Look at the muscles!

And canning rhubarb.

Andrei was trying out my "foolproof" method of not crying while cutting onions for rhubarb barbecue sauce. The only problem is that the goggles fogged up. Oh, and that sneaky mom caught him on camera with the goggles on.

But we'll enjoy the end result all winter!

Since I manage not to kill orchids, and can actually get them to bloom, I added a few more to the collection when I found some really nice ones at Lowes for reasonable prices. The smallish purple one in the back is one of my originals that not only bloomed from November through May this past winter/spring, but it also has a baby (keiki) and is blooming again!

And for a parting shot, seeing that we're mostly ready for winter to come, it's time to start to snuggle in for some quieter winter days! Andrei and Sergei started back to school today and Oksana started already on Monday. That routine makes my life a little smoother. Hopefully.

Morning commute

Morning commute