Sunday, December 30, 2007

There's icing on the rocks

With wind chill temperatures, it felts like 10°f. Ruth wasn't feeling good, she's trying to catch that bug that's going around at her work. Still, we hadn't been out together shooting pix's in a little while. So it was off to Peggy's Airport Cafe for a late breakfast. We couldn't decide on where to go. First it was Palmer, than Arctic Valley or the backside of Elmendorf AFB. But when we left Peggy's the clouds were pretty dark in those directions. We stopped for gas and decided on south towards Girdwood.

Just before McHugh Creek, there were a bunch of ice climbers. There were too many spectators for us, so we kept on. At the next turn out there were just two climbers and no spectators. That's perfect for me. We got all the shots we wanted and left our email address in case they wanted some from us.

Since Ruth wasn't feeling 100% we turned around to head to McHugh Creek. The snow and ice was gorgeous there also. The warmer temperatures a few weeks back caused a lot of run off and it's all frozen now.

We headed back towards town and stopped where we first saw the first batch of climbers. They were still there but with less spectators. We got a few more pix's with them and also of Cook Inlet. The tide was coming in and the ice flow was moving right along with it.

We decided not to push our luck and head back home. We got away for a bit. Ruth is taking the flu drugs, so hopefully she doesn't come down with it. Click on the last picture to see the whole album and as always
Click on pix's to enlarge.

P.S. We hope everyone has a Safe & Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

We had a white Christmas

I woke up yesterday morning to the snow falling outside. It was a nice surprise since there was no prediction of snow and we are way below the amount of snow we usually have by this time of year. The morning's prediction was 3-6 inches and that had already fell before I woke up.

I figured I could go down to West Chester Lagoon and get some fresh snow shots before I had to get busy with Christmas Day stuff at my house. Ruth had to work until 4 so I had everyone coming over after that. I also figured I be the only one there. Silly me, I figured wrong.

Lots of people were out enjoying the fresh snow fall. Everyone that passed said "Good Morning" or "Merry Christmas". I expected to see more wildlife, but all I saw was one Raven and One Bald eagle. The bald caught me off guard. The flying away shot was the best, but his white tail feathers look good. I think this is the same one I took pix's of earlier this winter.

The last shot is of the Port of Anchorage looking from West Chester Lagoon looking across the mud flats. The tide is out and it looks like there are a lot of rocks and boulders. It's the ice from the inlet all broken up fro the tide going out. During the summer it's mostly flat.

I had a great Christmas Day and I hope you all did also.

Click pix's to enlarge. Blogger was messing with me today so it should be interesting to see what the picture alignment is like.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Those trees are growing birds

The temps have been pretty low this week. I guess that' why I haven't been taking too many pix's or posting as much. It was -5°F this morning when I left for work. I've also been busy helping Santa.

The Raven were all hunkered down in the trees trying to stay warm while they waited to go looking for brunch.

The Bohemian Waxwings were very busy flying from tree to tree getting those Mt Ash berries. This is a tree that's not native to Alaska. It was brought here for decorative landscaping. I'm sure the Waxwings appreciate that.

It's suppose to warm up tonight and tomorrow it's suppose to be in the double digits on the above zero side. We already are getting some snow, but we could use a lot more.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Seven random things

I've been tagged by Laura at Somewhere in NJ with a meme to list seven random things.
Here are the rules:

Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
Share 7 random or weird things about yourself.
Tag 7 people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So here goes......

1. I will become a grandfather for the first time in February. My oldest son Nick and his girl friend Stacy are the ones to give me that honor first.

2. I don't speak a second language. I spent a lot of time in Panama and Germany while in the Air Force, but I never really picked up the languages. Sometimes people do think my English is another language.

3. I don't have any subscriptions to magazines. I hardly take enough time to read the newspaper. If I want a specific magazine issue, I go and buy it.

4. I've bought 2 Christmas presents so far. 4 to go. I'll probably knock it out next weekend.

5. My favorite place in Anchorage to bird or shot pix's is West Chester Lagoon. I do have a lot of day trip places I like to go for both, but in town it's WCL.

6. I don't like American beer. I was spoiled when I lived in Germany. If I drink when out it's usually rum and Coke. I do brew my own beer. I prefer pale ale. Anchorage does have some fine local brews though.

7. I was born in Maryland. I spent 20 years in the Air Force. I lived or visited all around the world, but I've lived in Anchorage longer than any where's else.

OK, here I break from the rules. I tag anyone who reads this and would like to join in. Feel free to add your link in the comments.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Ravens just want to have fun

Ravens have been associated by various cultures with different qualities. In popular western literature, they symbolize darkness, depression, and death as popularized in Edgar Allan Poe's poem, 'The Raven'. In medieval times they stood for virility. Among native cultures, Raven is the 'trickster' spirit, a popular totem, and the creator of man, who placed the Sun in the sky.

I went down to the Anchorage Boat Launch to take a break. It's always kind of quiet there during the winter, but things going on around the harbor that you can watch. There were over a dozen ravens playing in the thermals. Just floating around or chasing one another. Just serious play.

It started out as just a few then a few more flew in and before you knew we had a huge Unkindness, or was it a Constable or better yet, a Conspiracy.

BTW, our friend Clare of The House and Other Arctic Musings has written a fine essay on our feather friends the Raven called "In Praise of Ravens". You can find it at our friend Mike's place at 10000 Birds and if you have the time, compare it to the other essays and vote on which one you like best.

Friday, December 7, 2007

My Baby Girl is no baby no more

Anybody that knows me, knows that my daughter Cassie is my favorite girl. I'm very proud of the young lady she is turning into. I always receive compliments from my friends about her. She's not my little Baby Girl no more.

Today she got her plastic. That's what she calls her drivers license. This week she took a drivers course with class and driving all included. With our wacky schedules, we could not get together to take time to teach her ourselves. I think a professional driving school is the deal anyways.

After getting her plastic we went to lunch. Another thing that we don't get to do often enough. Then I took her back to her house. She still lives with her mom while she goes to school. By the way did I tell you that she's my barber now? She still has about another 5 months before she graduates from the Academy of Hair Design.

Anyhow, her mom got the insurance squared away and Cassie got to drive Flo to work tonight. Cassie works nights at the local Outback Steak House. She's not my little Baby Girl no more, she's my Big Girl. A young lady that makes me very proud.

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Sunset, a frozen city and playing on the beach

OK, maybe you are getting tired of sunrises. So, here's a sunset. I barely made it out near the airport to see this gorgeous sunset take place. I hurried down to the beach where it was 13° but with a windchill of -fricken cold baby°.

Wow it was cold. But I had to see this sunset. It began about 3:15 and by the time I left the beach at 4:00 it was over. It must have been take off time for the cargo planes because they were right behind one another. I also got a few incoming planes in the sunset shots I didn't post.

When I was walking back to my truck I passed these little girls playing on the beach. I was a walking Popsicle and they were playing with the frozen ice chips on the beach. Boy did I feel like a wossie.

On Sunday, Ruth and I got up early to possible get some sunrise pix's for her. I got a tip from a news photographer (to remain anonymous) on where the best place to take shots at. I was having a problem with street lights and stuff being in the way. He said check out the pedestrian bridge at the Loussac Library. Bad tip! It was worse. But on the bright side we had a normal sunrise, nothing as colorful as the last few days.

Even more on the bright side we got some good frozen stuff pix's. Poor Zachariah Loussac here is one cold looking fellow. Zack was the Mayor of Anchorage from 1948 to 1951.

Zachariah Joshua Loussac was born to Jewish parents in Pokrov (Vladimir Oblast), Russia in 1882. As an engineering student, he came under scrutiny for an interest in "some of the more liberal literature of the time".

In 1907, Loussac fled Czarist Russia for Alaska, living in Nome, Unalakleet, Iditarod and Juneau before settling down in Anchorage. In 1949, at the age 66, he married Ada Harper. It was his first and only marriage. He died in Seattle on March 15, 1965. His ashes are interred in Angelus Memorial Park in Anchorage.

Click on pix's to enlarge

Sunday, December 2, 2007


Tipsy moose beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Bull moose strung with lights and tipsy on crab apples


Published: November 28, 2007

What do you call a bull moose tangled in Christmas lights and drunk on fermented crab apples, standing glassy-eyed and dizzy in the front yard of a downtown bar?
Did I read like Paul Harvey?

Photto Credit: ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Sunrise, Ravens and an old airplane

Are you tired of me writing about the gorgeous sunrises we've been having lately? Well, sorry if you are, but here's one more. Yesterday my biggest problem was keeping the Ravens out of the picture. Of course that time of day is when they migrate into town, so it was a little challenging sometimes.

Today was a little different though. We had the sky on fire again. The temps took a dip to about 18°. My fingers were trying to go numb and my mustache was icing up. But the colors were awesome.

I wasn't the only one out there. There were all kinds of cars in the parking lot. You would think we were at a drive in movie. They were cheating though. They stayed in their vehicle hugging the heater.

Anyone know what kind of plane this is besides Russian?

Click on pix's to enlarge