Sunday, October 19, 2014

Down on the Reindeer Farm

A trip to the William's Reindeer Farm before the snow flies. The kids love it and I think their mom & dad does too.
 From hay maze to horse back rides to a horror barn, the kids checked out it all.
 All the kids rode this beautiful black Clydesdale. It was as gentle as it is big.
 Smiles all the way around.
 I constantly heard from in the crowd on how nice the staff is.
 All kids love pumpkins.
 I think his eyes are bigger then his stomach.
 What cotton candy???
And of course the reindeer. This big guy had his own bale of hay.
Mom & Dad always make time for kid fun.
What a fun day and the weather cooperated. Temps were in the high 30's, no wind and no rain or snow.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Rainy Days and beagles

It's that time of year. Pre-winter. The leaves are mostly off the trees. Termination dust (snow) is more then half way down the mountains. Macy likes the smells this time of year brings.
 We don't get a lot of rain, but it's been drizzling since last night.
 That nose goes 24/7. If anything gets her in trouble, it's that nose. It amazing how many people come up to me when we're out for a walk and say "I use to have a beagle" or "Does she bark a lot?" or "Hi puppy". Well the puppy is 5 now. I don't have her exact birth date, so I go by when I got her.
 This is the second beagle in my life. I understand why people do have them, not why they don't. She's well behaved most of the time, barks very little and steals the covers.
 She doesn't care if it's raining, lets go for a walk. She'll sit patiently while I play with the camera but doesn't like posing.
And probably wonders why I'm taking photos of dried up berries with rain dripping off of them. Lets go home and get a cookie.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Happy Anniversery to Me

Well, I'm not talking about my blogiversery which was last month, since 2007. I'm not married. Well, it is mine and Macy's, but that's not the one I'm talking about yet. It's the one of me not making it to the end of the road just yet. Well, maybe one...
 And because of great doctors, nurses, hospital staff, family and friends I got to see a lot more of life and appreciate it a whole lot more in the past year.
 My sister and brother-in-law came to visit and they got to see Denali among a lot of other parts of Alaska. This summer has had such great weather, I've seen Denali out more than ever before.
 Macy, one of my adventure pals. She's always there for 3 years now. She's the best!
Humpback Whales!
So cool!
 So much wildlife. Photography helps me remember.
Traveling the state with Petra and Hal, two bald eagles....
and Ghost the snowy owl. 3 awesome ambassadors for Bird TLC. Meeting awesome people from all over the world.
Along with some awesome volunteers, helping the injured wild birds that come through the clinic.
I'm a lucky man to still be here, to have what I have and have the opportunity to do what I do. I don't have it all, but then yet maybe I do.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

With Utmost Respect

It's very comforting when I go and visit my brother and sister veterans to know that their final resting place is well taken care of. It's also in such a peaceful location.
I go near here often, but don't visit as often as I should.
When I visited this time, the fall weather was in full bloom. The maintenance crews were trimming the grass. You couldn't find a stray leaf anywhere.
 At one time there were 217 Japanese soldiers from WWII buried here. Although they were enemies at the time of their death, their memorial and grounds are as well kept as the rest of the grounds.
Thanks to all who care take our veterans and their final resting places. It makes me fell very comfortable knowing that this peaceful place is available to myself and other veterans.
For more on Fort Richardson National Cemetery, click here

Monday, September 22, 2014

Yukla 27, I remember

 It's September 22, 1995, 7:47AM. I had just retired 9 months ago from the USAF, the 3rd Wing or specifically the 962 AACS or as we called it AWACS. I was opening an auto parts store that I managed back then, when I got a call from a friend. She asked if I had been listening to the news. I told her I hadn't, that I was getting the store ready for opening. She then told me that AWACS had crashed. I couldn't believe it. I walked out of the store and looked towards base and could see the cloud of bellowing smoke. My heart just sunk and I cried.

It was just a year ago that I was the crew chief on 002 and I had put in my paperwork to retire. It was being replaced by the end of the year by 354 so she could go into depot. Now it's gone, along with 24 brave crew members. I can still see that cloud of smoke like it was yesterday.

Yes Yukla 27, I remember.

For my previous post on Yukla 27, click below.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Autumn is Falling Fast

With  the fabulous summer we had, we can't complain about fall going so fast. Mother Nature has us Alaskans paying for that summer, but that's OK.
 The rain has the leaves falling fast, but some of the colors are still out there.
 Not everyone has gone to their winter home yet.
 This eagle was traveling so fast that I barely had time to focus and shoot before he was long out of range. He was in a hurry for something.
Macy wasn't in a hurry for anything. That nice warm sun felt good.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

US and China Arctic Sand Sculpture Exhibition, Fairbanks, AK Aug 19.2014

Yea, I know I'm posting a little late and it's been far in between post. What can I say, it's been an awesome summer. I can't stay inside when we're having beautiful weather. Now it's raining and fall is in full swing, I can post.
I went to Fairbanks last month for the Friends of Creamer's Field Sand Hill Crane Festival . Killing time between my explorations around Fairbanks, I went to the US and China Arctic Sand Sculptures Exhibition.
 Some of the talent there was extraordinary, but some was out of its class. The entry fee was $10 and for your bang for your buck, it was over priced. The biggest irritant was the background music. It was stuck. Do you remember dirty needles and a turn table? How they would get stuck and play the same few bars over and over and over. That was going on and like none of the organizers noticed, at least it seemed that way. Not that I'm a fan of twangy music from China, this tested my inner bad person reactions.
 Finally someone kicked the machine or unplugged it, I'm not sure. It was a cloudy day, so some of the exhibits were covered by temporary tents. You can tell the ones left for the elements to play with. But some had some talent and time put into them. Those are the ones here that I posted.
 There wasn't much of a crowd. I don't know if it was because of the clouds or distractions elsewhere.
 Being in an industrial area, it also was hard to see some of the beauty with the distractions in the background.
I hope it's an event that they improve on and returns. It could be so much more than what I saw.
For more of my photos of this event, click here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer is hanging on

We've been pretty busy, but Macy and I did get to escape for a little bit yesterday. We went to Upper Six Mile Lake. The temperature was great with a little wind to keep the bugs away.
 And we watched a few planes come and go.
You know, I think the leaves are starting to change.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Nothing special going on

Nothing special going on a Saturday night. Took it easy today and then Macy and I decided to go for a drive
 The falls at the William Jack Hernandez Sport Fish Hatchery, aka Ship Creek Fish Hatchery is always a neat place to check out. The fish are still trying to make that big jump. 
Then we went to Kincaid Park. You're always going to see moose there unless you're going to show people moose there. We had to leave because Macy wouldn't stop growling at this guy and he seemed like he was thinking about charging.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Spawn until you die, Alaska

As you know, I visit Ship Creek often. Right now the salmon are running. Some have run out.
 There's always another waterfall.
 How high can you go.
 Most of these guys and gals have turned red, so their time is limited.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I've never seen Denali out so much

I went to Fairbanks last weekend and what a trip there. We stopped at the south viewing rest area and the top was about to come out from behind a few small clouds. Well, they seemed small from 40 miles away. I've lived here over 30 years and have never seen Denali so much in one summer.
 We also stopped at the Alaskan Veterans Memorial. One of my favorite places along the highway. There were still flowers from the 4th of July.
 That's my friend Susan next to the Alaska Territorial Guard memorial. If you look where the ATG member is pointing and where the binoculars are, they're pointing at Denali.
 It was good weather for the moose to be swimming. I didn't bring my swim suit.
 Sunshine was out the whole way.
It was a good trip. I'll have more photos soon. I'm so far behind processing, it's not funny. I blame it on the good weather. If it's sunny out, I don't want to be inside behind a computer.