Archive for September, 2013

Highbush cranberry

Highbush cranberry

I had a dog who smelled like this when he was wet. Not completely unpleasant; the iconic fragrance of Alaska autumn.

Iconic, because the odor is wild; tangily sweet-tart, musky, a little doggish. It smells red. I envision the bears feasting, the ptarmigan and their offspring gorging, the kuspuk-and-raingear clad women braving wind and wet to bring home a harvest of these fat, succulent packets of concentrated vitamin C.

It is the overriding aroma of my cycling forays at this time of year. Especially on sunny days the crisp air is pungent with highbush cranberry and wet, decaying leaves, that winey fall essence of change. In the year’s dying I am energized, deeply alive to the wild beauty that is my¬†privilege to call¬†home.

I ride.

I breathe.

I smile.




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Four Months

First snow 9-23-2013 (4)

Global Warming, Global Schwarming–I’m freezing my @ss off!

I had the window open last night for the fresh, cold air that I love to sleep in. As I gradually awoke at about 7:30, cozily tucked in under the down comforter and cuddled up to Tom, my eyes suddenly flew open in a panic. I knew immediately what that eerily quiet, muffled not-noise meant.


127 days without snow. May 18th I awoke to daffodils buried in three inches of the stuff; today my beets, leeks, herbs and gladioli suffer the same fate. For heaven’s sake, the leaves haven’t even started to properly fall yet.

Well, perhaps I won’t have to mow the lawn again after all.

First snow 9-23-2013

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Farewell and Godspeed...

At first, I think it is geese.

Crane my neck, peer at the sky, damn near tip the bike over. OK, fine. I stop, dismount, take a proper gander at the wild blue and discover not Canadas, but Sandhills. Admitting the neck craning was appropriate, I laugh out loud.

Silhouettes against the hard blue-copper of mid-September sky; eerie, gargling cries bouncing off the Butte; circling, circling higher and higher until only that call remains, drifting, floating, wisping into nothingness. The cranes are taking wing for latitudes envisioned in their feathered-dinosaur dreams.

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