To find the universal elements
enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating;
to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled
by the stars at night:
to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring ...
these are some of the rewards of the simple life.
~ John Burroughs,
Naturalist (1837-1921) ~
June already! For those of you in lower latitudes,
June signifies the arrival of summer. For those of us in Alaska,
spring has finally burst into color around us. Wildflowers are appearing
alongside the roads, and in the woods. All colors and hues; some
so tiny it's easy to miss them until you get up on top of them.
Others seem to glow with an inner light, and turn to follow the
sun's movement across the sky. My world is not only green; it is
pink and purple and yellow and white and blue.
Steve and I went for a walk in the wooded area next to our house.
I wasn't worried about getting lost with him at my side. He's been
in the woods many times without me, and knows which way to go. He
also knows some of the natural landmarks, and pointed them out to
me. There is the cluster of dead bushes along the moose trail that
marks the place to turn right in the direction of our house. He
also pointed out the survey marker that designates the back left
corner of our property.
I took my camera with me and stopped to take photos
of the wildflowers I found along the way. In the clearing by the
FAA tower there are fields of cloudberry flowers. They are tiny
and grow close to the ground. With five white petals, they look
similar to apple blossoms. They are only an inch across, and later
in the summer small berries will appear.
The bluebells are beautiful and quite abundant. What
I love about them is that they are pink early on and then turn blue.
They grow on a fairly tall plant (about a foot high), and the stalks
are quite fuzzy. The pastel colors of the blooms look pretty against
the deep green of the foliage.
We have prickly rose bushes all over our property.
Along the roads in our neighborhood we have wild sweet peas and
alpine arnicas. I'm sure there will be new wildflowers blooming
down on the peninsula next week too, and I hope to photograph them.
High bush Cranberry
Unknown (any help?)
Prickly Rose and logs
Wild Sweet Pea
New spruce growth
Run off creek in woods
Paper birch trees
My seedlings (fuchsia, Shasta
daisies, johnny jump-ups)
Seedlings on deck
We're leaving on Monday for Homer again. In preparation for this
camping trip, the camper needed a deep cleaning. After last weeks
trip, and all the rain, it was a total mess inside. I scrubbed the
camper from top to bottom, and once again it smells nice and fresh,
and almost new again. One other thing I did was swap out the generic
photos that came with the camper with photographs of my own. Now
it really feels like home.
After it was all spic-n-span, I took some photos:
You can see our blue
star service banner hanging in a couple of the photos. That
flag has been hanging in the camper since we drove up to Alaska
in June 2003. At the time we made that trip, we had three family
members supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Steve had been training
the National Guard in FL, and was on his way to Wainwright where
he would deploy, and both my son Brandon and his wife Becky were
We had that flag hanging in the window as we made the trip. Many
people beeped their horns at us, or gave us a thumbs up as they
passed us on the road. Others stopped to talk to us at gas stations
and rest stops. Most said "Thank you for serving", but
many shared stories of loved ones they had serving in Iraq. It's
hard to believe that we've been at war for four years now. I'm thankful
every day that my loved ones came home safe to me. While I can no
longer hang the banner in a window, I keep it hanging in the camper
as a reminder of all the men and women who continue to serve our
Until next time...