Can you see the swan? (photo RML)
Can you see the eagle? This distinguished gentleman (lady?) is usually perched in this tree casting a critical eye over our lakeside activities and keeping a close watch on the ducks who paddle around in the quiet open waters where the lake becomes river. (photo RML)
One thing about curly hair is that it teaches you to be flexible. Some mornings you wake up looking like Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz (only greyer and with more wrinkles) and some morning it is more like Krusty the Clown. (photo RML).
We had a nice day for a ski picnic last weekend, Josie brought homemade bagels and home smoked salmon which we ate on the snow covered ice of the lake.
Lydia says: ”I like to ski and see the snowflakes fall.”
Since then, the weather has been stormy. It cleared up enough at dusk yesterday that the three-year-old and I snow shoed up to the top of our clearing and lay down on our backs in the snow to watch the tree tops dancing in the wind against a darkening sky. An eagle hovered over us riding the strong drafts, decided we weren’t carrion yet, and slid away into the darkness.
A hard rain today makes me extra glad we had a beautiful sunny cold day for a Snow Party last weekend. Complete with sledding, forts, bonfire and cookout, snow watercolors and maple-sugar-on-snow taffy. Thanks to everyone who came out to help us celebrate a birthday and the beautiful weather.
Turning 7. At 7 we find her reading quite well, skiing (all the way to the lake and back, fast,) and enjoying making art of all kinds. She is generous, thoughtful, loving, intelligent, and slower than a turtle to get ready for school in the morning.
This is what happens when they get old enough to write…She has requested Hawaiian style pizza and ice cream pie with graham cracker crust for her birthday tomorrow. (Pineapple is crossed out because she found it in the pantry.) Generally, I feel that her spelling makes more sense than the standard method.
We took down the Christmas tree. It felt a little sad to pack away the ornaments and sweep up the needles. I’ll miss the lights the most, they always twinkled and warmed my midnight returns. School starts up tomorrow, too, and that will be saddest of all for me. At least the three-year-old one still stays home with me on most days. Such a sweet thing full of snuggles and kisses. When I came down this morning, I sat at the foot of the stairs, as usual, and the dogs came up for their morning scratches and greetings. But the little one pushed them out of the way. “That is my hug!” she declared preemptorily and climbed into my lap and pressed her soft cheek against mine.
December went by in a blur, but now that Christmas is good and out of the way I am feeling ready to gather and send presents. Also, I expect the holiday cards that I ordered in early December to arrive any day so that I can send those out, too.
Now just imagine you can hear the bright little cheery song of the dipper and it is like you are out there taking a walk with me on a sunny snow day…
Twice a day, the outflow where the lake meets a river becomes full and slack, sated by the rising tide. Bella and I stopped to watch the fish rising and rippling the surface.
On days when I am driving home at midnight, and there are at least 8 inches of snow on the road, and the wind sends frosty dervishes whirling up and over my windshield to drive me off my course; on those days, when I make it home I just want to throw my arms around this truck and kiss it!
One of the good parts of Alaska in the winter? You don’t have to get up very early to enjoy a gorgeous sunrise.
Enough snow for you yet? Because we’ve got quite a bit of winter left to go.
On days with really big snow I like to visit the Haines Avalanche Information Center website where I can read how we have had nearly 8 feet of snow dumped on us in the past few weeks and to expect more. I go to the ‘local observations tab’ for gems like: ”localized areas of whumphing caused by an unsupported slab…TOO MUCH SNOW!.. Don’t let your guard down…With deep powder should come an even deeper respect.” Hats off to Eric and Jeff for a great website.
On my way into town I not infrequently see a small group of powder-coated figures tumble out of the woods onto the side of the road, snow boards in hand. Where did they come from? The eye goes up…and up and up to the white peaks of the 3,599 ft. monster that hulks over our corner of the fjord.
It is amazing to think that what -to a normal person- represents unscaleable heights, trackless terrain, impenetrable forest and deadly weather conditions is, for those with the fitness, the expertise, (and the courage) to handle it, a fun day of hiking up and skiing down. A good reminder of how a set of skills can really change your view of a situation