Friday, January 13, 2012

Winter Landscape

This year, while the rest of the country has been given a reprieve from winter, Alaska has been getting it's butt kicked. We got slammed in November with huge amounts of snow, then the first half of December it rained copious amounts and melted most of it, but the day after Christmas it started snowing again and its been some form of precipitation ever since. We actually had a break today- kind of. It was snowing this morning but by lunch time it had cleared up, and while not exactly sunny, at least it wasn't snowing, so I decided to go get a few shots before the next storm. It's actually supposed to clear up and get cold- down below zero, which in Southeast is really chilly. When it gets sunny the wind usually blows, so no doubt there will be a rash of frozen pipes and other fun things going on.  I'm always amazed at the number of people who have lived here for years and still aren't prepared for the inevitable. We know that it's going to get really cold at least several times during the winter and yet there are folks who won't insulate their pipes or skirt their foundation. You see the same people running to Juneau to spend their Permanent Fund dividend and then needing bailed out with energy assistance because they don't have fuel. I think it's human nature that if you know you have a safety net it relieves you of having to act responsibly. I certainly don't want anyone to freeze or go hungry by any means, but I've lived here long enough to see that a lot of enabling goes on and that mindset becomes a way of life that is passed from one generation to the next. Guess I better get off my soap box. I may need to count on some help some day myself. Back to the weather. The town of Cordova Alaska has been in the news lately because they received some eighteen feet of snow. That's a lot of snow in any one's book. When Hoonah received twenty three feet of snow one winter we didn't make the national news- what gives? I think it's just like writing a book or being in a band or perhaps being a model. You've always been out there, but then one day someone takes notice and you're in the news. I'd just as soon not be in the news because of weather. The year of the big snow fall we had a terrible number of deer killed- too much of the area was logged and they couldn't find enough food. That spring there was over 200% of the normal amount of snow on the mountains too so the water in the creeks ran high and the bays were colder than usual. The salmon seemed to stay out in the warmer ocean water longer so fishing wasn't all that good. I really don't want to have a repeat of that scenario. I always feel bad for the animals when the weather turns foul. Food is hard to come by and I would imagine that staying warm would be an issue. I should probably see what I can do about building a condominium for the birds. I could insulate it and install little toilets so they wouldn't have to leave the comfort of home. I know I sure wouldn't go out in the cold if I didn't have to. Well, wherever you are, keep warm. See ya later.


  1. Bird loos...with chains or handles?

  2. Hi Rene- I haven't thought that far in advance. Perhaps just a hole in the floor with a little P-trap to keep the cold air out.