Wednesday, February 24, 2010

February Fog

Well, I've done it again. I had this post all done and was reading over it to correct any mistakes, when I made a mistake. I hit the wrong button and wiped out my previous post. I think I need a keyboard with keys the size of qauarters and a half inch space between them. Of course using the computer would be like playing the piano, the keyboard would stretch across the whole desk, but I bet I would make fewer mistakes and besides, I would kind of like to learn how to play the piano. This isn't what I really wanted to write about. I wanted to mention the fog we've been experiencing for about a week. The weather this February has been uncommonly warm, for which I am exceedingly grateful, as are the deer and other critters of the woods I'm sure. The down side, if you want to call it that, is that the fog sets in overnight and sometimes stays most of the day. It's fine if you don't have to leave the community for any reason or if you are in no rush to receive your monthly bills. Obviously the fog plays havoc on air travel so you have to hope there are no medical emergencies requiring a trip to Juneau. This past Sunday there was a slight Easterly breeze which seemed to keep the fog bank confined to the far side of the bay. The sun was bright and inviting on this side, so after church, I decided to give the beach another raking with the metal detector. Jen and Kaylahni and Ben's girlfriend, Candy came along and we joined a handful of other families enjoying the sunny weather. Not long after we arrived and started searching, the detector started beeping and squawking and we were digging like mad,retrieving lead weights and bits of rusty steel and even a small brass ring. We were so engrossed in what we were doing that we didn't notice the subtle darkness or the chill that enveloped us right away. When we looked up we noticed that fog had engulfed the whole area and a calm had settled on the bay. It was beautiful in it's own way and it totally changes the landscape. Usually I'm not much of a fan of it, especially in the summer when I'm trying to find my way through it. It can be confusing and if you're not careful you can get turned around in it really easily. Last year I darn near got ran over by a cruise ship down by the cannery because of the fog. It does make for some nice pictures though and as long as we can get a few planes in during the week, I guess I'll just have to live with it and accept the fact that it's part of the start of a new season.





Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Buried Treasure

A week before last Sunday I was feeling a little antsy. Though the winter has been really mild by Alaska standards, I had been spending way too much time inside and was suffering from a little cabin fever. It just so happened that the day was turning out to be pretty nice, kind of sunny and not too cold. The tide was in my favor too, so I called my oldest daughter, Jen and my grandaughter Kaylahni and we went out to the cannery with Jan's metal detector to scour the beach. Frankly, I wasn't expecting to get all that much. We've been up and down that stretch of beach five or six times in the past digging up lead from the seine nets that used to be in the old web house that burned down. I understand that the cannery used to store the seine nets in the house until the seine season started in the summer. I have no idea how many nets were there when it burned down, but as I mentioned, every time we've been out there digging, we've come up with buried treasure. Several times I came out unprepared for the abundance, so I had to stick all the leads in my carharts jacket pockets. The motion of walking caused the pockets to swing back and forth like a tree being blown in the wind and it was difficult to make any forward motion. I can't begin to describe the excitement of finding these hidden nuggets in the gravel. We run the metal detector over the ground until it beeps and then we start digging until we hit paydirt. Sometimes it's one of the leads or a brass ring from the seine; other times it's a chunk of rusty steel pipe or a boat part. We found a huge copper grounding screw there also, but no money. However, when we first tried out the detector in my backyard, we hit the jackpot, in a manner of speaking. We poked around and found nails and pop tops and copper tubing in the yard and then we expanded the operation to the neighbors. The lot was vacant and I had been mowing it to keep vermin from taking up a home there, so I felt ok about digging a few small holes. We were getting a few beeps from nails and what not until we got to the corner of the house and we found a quarter. Then we picked up a nickel and a dime. Jan and my mother-in- law were there and pretty soon my sons came over. We started finding more coins- pennies and quarters. Soon a handful of neighborhood kids were there. I looked up and about twenty people were all over digging and telling me to "try here!" It was a riot! With every discovery there was a shout of excitement and renewed digging. Before I knew it, a pretty good stretch of the yard was torn up. Fortunately, we were able to piece most of the sod back together and the dandelions filled in the rest of the bare spots over the course of the summer.We didn't get all that much money- a few dollars I guess, but the fun that it generated was priceless. I keep hoping I'll run into the mother lode and strike it rich, but then again, maybe I already have, just being able to have a good time with my family on a Sunday afternoon.