Thursday, September 18, 2008

Moose are too close for comfort

My renter who’s a teacher for the school district on a one year contract from the East Coast says that the moose have been waking her up in the middle of the night as they roughly graze on the bushes against the 3 large picture windows in her apartment. As they browse, they are not gentle about ripping off and biting through the willow bushes. Their heads knock into her windows and startle her from her sleep. She asked for window cleaner because their tongue marks and slobber are all over the windows. She has a dog, Tashi. Tashi is about a 4 pound Shih Zhu. Tashi is quite brave and runs up to the mooses outside in the yard to let them know to back off from her windows. Then, my renter reports, she runs over to Tashi and scoops her up from in front of the moose. I have said in no uncertain terms that this is very dangerous behavior for both of them It scares the stuffing out of me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I get to play tourist around the Mat-Su Valley

I’ve had good friends visiting this last week and we got to play tourist. Besides that I’m less busy in September, it’s also a gorgeous month to get out and see Alaska. We fit in a much as we could in the days they were here. Each of the guys had a different favorite—walking on the Matanuska Glacier, flightseeing around Denali, and ATVing to the base of the Knik Glacier. We had stupendous weather for all of it and the fall colors were going bananas in reds and oranges. They vetoed the Kenai Fjords whalewatching trip on that morning because we were all just too tired from doing so much.

In the first photo, I've circled where planes just like ours have landed on the glacier below us. You can see a bit of the "runway" tracks of where the plane on the right landed with the speck in the upper left of that circle being the plane. You get a little perspective on how large the mountains are around us. In the middle of the photos, I put a round circle around the Sheldon Mountain House. You can't see the house, just the outcropping of rock which is hundreds of feet tall. What looks in this photo like a small area is a butte with a flat top about the size of a football field where pioneer bush pilot flew in lumber and supplies and built a cabin. In the lower photos, these sheer granite walls are 4000 feet tall, well over a mile in height. It's very hard to get a true sense of what that means to us. It's only when another plane went by below us, looking like a speck of a fly, that we could imagine just how vast these cliffs are.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A new moose family moves in

There’s a new mom moose and calf coming around the last couple of days. It’s not my usual mom moose. This one is not as tolerant of Little Girl’s barking and antics. She’s very protective of her calf who is a little on the small side for this time of year. I’m a little concerned about my mom moose who’s lived around here for the past 5 years with each of her new calves each year. I have seen the twins, growing up well, up the road from my place about a half mile, hanging out in woods there, but without mom around.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Time to head south for winter

Summer’s ending and the sandhill cranes are using the field at the end of the driveway as their staging ground to stock up on a few last bugs and grains before heading south. These photos are from the driveway of the house across Trunk Road.