A sure sign that winter is imminent - snow on the ground and a tree to cut into firewood. For any treehuggers out there - the tree was suffering from stumprot and couldn't withstand many more strong winds without falling on the roof of the house anyway.
The view out the kitchen window on an overcast, snowy, early winter day.
Just before Rufus Creek enters the culvert to go under the road, there's a little walkway from which it is easy to fill water containers.
Rufus Creek at Mile 7 on the Nabesna Rd. Runs year 'round, regardless of the temperature. Very good tasting water, but in the spring you have to strain out the mosquitoe larva.
November 26, 2010: Devil's Mountain, looking across the Ellis's short bush airstrip from in front of the former Devil's Mt. Lodge near the end of the Nabesna Rd.
December 12, 2011: Several hundred caribou, migrating eastward in a single file, leave their mark through the tiaga.
February 14, 2011: A closer view, courtesy of the telephoto lens, of Mt Sanford on the right, with Black Mt on the left and a portion of Mt Wrangell in left background. Winds blowing over the shoulder of Mt Sanford create clouds of cornice-creating snow and visible as "mountain smoke".
February 14, 2011: Taken from around Mile 16 on the Nabesna Rd, looking across miles of swampy tundra, the sun shines down on Mt Sanford (right of center), Black Mt (just to left of center, split by a small black spruce) and Tanada Ridge (peak at far left) with Mt Wrangell under the clouds in the background.
June 11, 2011: While clouds converge on the mountains to the northwest, the sun shines beneath them to illuminate this group of lupine in the front yard.
June 6, 2011: An evening rainstorm assembles itself over the Mentasta Mts in this photo from my kitchen window.
June 18, 2011: Tanada Ridge over a small lake at about Mile 17 on the Nabesna Road.
June 18, 2011: Looking southeast toward the Nutzotin Mts beyond the end of the Nabesna Rd.
June 25, 2011: Riding back toward home from a loop through Chicken, over the Top of the World Hwy, down to Whitehorse, and back to Tok, this rainstorm could be seen approaching once I got south of Mentasta Pass. From then on it was a race to see whether I could beat it to my home on the Nabesna Rd. I did, but only by about 5 minutes.
About a mile and a half northwest of my home, this view of the mountains conveys the stormy weather that is about to be unleashed on our small community. Being on a motorcycle at the time, I was glad to make it in the door before the downpour let loose.
Clearing a property line, I noticed how close together the growth rings were on this small tree. Click on "Original" to view this photo at full size. This is typical of the black spruce that cover much of the sub-arctic terrain here in Alaska. While it is difficult to make out some of the narrower rings, there is sufficient detail to determine that this small tree is probably much older than I am. (And that's getting positively ancient!)
Fireweed growing next to the house.
Fireweed growing in gay profusion in the yard.
August 24, 2011 8:12 PM: About 7 miles from home, a rain squall on the edge of Mt Sanford with the sun behind me, provided this rainbow across the Copper River. This sight caused me to reflect on how much this area means to me.
August 28, 2011: The end of summer means the end of pretty summer flowers like the lupine that were here just a couple of months ago, but these luscious blueberries are a suitable replacement.
August 28, 2011: The past summer was wet enough to provide a good crop of blueberries, as these bushes illustrate. Frost having hit a few days earlier, they are now ripe and sweet, full of flavor.
The house as seen from the Nabesna Road. This photo was taken before powerlines were put in, bringing electricity to the community but requiring removal of many of the trees between the road and the house. More of them will be gone soon, hopefully to be replaced with a row of birch trees paralleling the road.
The gas-guzzling '96 Ford 15-passenger van that carried me back and forth all over Alaska, including from Homer to Prudhoe Bay, and a couple of trips over the Alcan. Since replaced by a Jeep Grand Cherokee of the same vintage, but that goes twice as far on a gallon of petrol.
A down comforter and a reading light. What more could one want in a bedroom? Well... when alone, anyway. This is the old bedroom, now history, with a new one that offers more room, better lighting, and is nicer looking using some of the same space.
February 5, 2011 4:42 PM: Sunset paints the peaks of the Mentasta Mts with alpenglow, one of my favorite scenes viewed through the kitchen window.