Friday, May 10, 2013

Birch Syrup Making and Waterfall by the Ocean

On May 5th I woke up at 7am. Could not go back to sleep and decided to text a friend to go to the end of the road to see the Russian village at the head of the bay. My friend says, "sure but first we need to collect and drop off some birch sap for a friend to process."

"Yeah, I'll go check that out." What a great start to a Sunday. Collecting the sap was way easier than expected. We walked around the property to the trees they drilled holes in with buckets under the tubing. There was not a ton of sap in the buckets. We poured them into one bucket and then poured it into a 100 gallon tank. Barely filling it.

On our drive over through major pot holes and bumpy dirt/mud holes, I thought hmmm maybe going to end of the road where there's a steep dicey switchback ain't the best thing to do during break up season. Living in town on paved roads I don't experience break up as much as others.

We delivered the goods and I got to see the beginning of the syrup process, documenting via pix (and video) and asking lots of questions as usual. The friend suggested we check out a waterfall 20 miles from town. It was a nice sunny day so I wanted to be out.

We hiked on snow which turned into mini rivers. Then had to hold on to a rope for dear life going down a muddy steep "trail" to the beach. I had no clue how slippery mud can be. My cheeks are the only part of my body exposed to sun here. It's kinda sad wearing gloves, hat, boots, wool sox, polar fleece, down coat and after a bit I still felt the wind in May!

I see sunny images of Hawaii and even freaking PDX on facebook. We may not have heat here, but I got the ocean views and an awesome town, surrounded by beauty, generous caring people and a job I finally truly enjoy and am proud of. Click here for pix. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May Day and Art Burn!

May is off to an excellent start with my first time ever celebrating May day. I think peeps in Homer just like gatherings so much that we celebrate everything here :) Nice fire by the beach with words shared explaining that we are celebrating the fertility back to mother earth. Makes sense!

Two days later was my work's big fundraising day that I've been working on since March. It all went smoothly with lots of help from volunteers. Amazingly I was not stressed just tired from a long work week. I mad a few changes, additions to promotions, revamped training, and so on.

We did better than last Spring so I am happy with that and happy it went so well overall. It's funny b/c I never wanted to plan major work events and I have 3 a year to plan. But we have so much creative opportunities to grow and try new ideas that makes the whole experience fun and satisfying.

Right after ending the day I headed to the local art gallery that was hosting a cool bon fire on the beach for artists to burn there work. So many people out and about and two beach fires in 1 week. It was pretty seeing the art burn, kinda wished I could make something to burn.

It's kinda funny timing as this notion was done on an individual scale on Northern Exposure season 5, which I love to unwind to at night. But we had fire dancers and ended the evening with great sounds and singing by my roommate Heidijo's performance.

Three days in to May and I already filled up a photo album. Summer is going to be NUTS! stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Birght Lights

In winter, I complained about driving in the pitch darkness and unable to see thee road. Now, I get to complain about driving in the brightness. The sun's glare is so strong and some parts still have snow adding to the bright light affect on my eyeballs. I do not even recognize familiar roads I have driven on. Now I see objects, mainly ancient cars that were hidden by the snow. That bright sun came out of nowhere. It just amazes me. We have now have about 16 hours of daylight.  April has been a chill but sunny month. I am like a reptile when that sun is got, basking in it when possible.

It's funny all the opposites that exists in AK. Homer has more winds by the ocean than cities like Anchoarage and Fairbanks. The good news is the wind deters the mosquitoes. I was puzzled about the fact that AK has so many mosquitoes. But now I think I get it. When all the snow melts, there's a lot of water. And they like still water..

I was told that Homer goes through three 3 stages: ice/snow up, brown up and green up. Right now we are in the brown up phase where we see all of nature's browness. It even smells brown. At first I thought it was all the moose poop, but it's all the wet soil stenching the air. But soon in just a matter of weeks it will all be green. The bare trees will have leaves. Just like how our weather changes drastically in a single day like the mountains, the seasons change with all this added sun light. My basil plants are booming by the window sill and I am loving eating from it.

Just a few nights ago, I had my scariest AK experience to date. On my way driving home at 11pm, sun had just set, so it was dark but not as dark at winter. I thought to myself man u just never know when there will be a moose around here or on the road. Need to go slow so I can stop if I see one on the road. then i see a young moose on the side of the road. ok, they are out, I thought to myself, go slow. two minutes later, a huge moose came darting from the side to the front of my truck, just a few feet a way. I was able to slow down just in time, my purse and bag flew off the seat. Just a reminder to go the speed limit and be extra alert at night. Heart beating fast, I say, holy shit, holy shit. thankfully the moose kept going. i missed him by a few inches. i can't forget the look in his eye. I pulled over to a spot by some mailboxes on the left to slow down my heart and settle back to drive home.

Random side note: I love it when Alaskans refer to the other states as America, like "Back in America" or, "He just got back from America" or "While visiting America..."..I think that's why I ended up here b/c I never identified fully with America. Click here for pix.