|Hoonah Cold Storage Dock|
|The Alaskan Bush People boat - Integrity|
|Frozen Mud Flats at the Airport|
After weeks of hiding behind both rain and snow clouds, the sun finally decided to make an appearance yesterday. As often happens in Southeast Alaska, the burst of sunshine immediately lifts one's spirits. I was like a new born bunny yesterday when I saw the sun, ready to go out and prance around the woods. Unfortunately, although the sun was indeed out, the heat was missing, so any prancing on the frozen ground would have rendered me with a twisted back or knee. I opted to go take a few pictures instead. Around here, especially at this time of year, when the sun comes out, you want to capture it on film, just in case you don't see it again for another extended period of time and you start to believe that you had perhaps imagined it. I dropped down to the downtown float and got a picture of the cold storage. The float is empty, no boats tied up waiting to sell. All the insulated totes that hold fish during the season are scrubbed and stacked on the dock, waiting for the first delivery. The diesel engines that run the compressors that freeze the fish are silent; there's no fork lifts scurrying up and down the runway. There's not a person to be seen in the office. It's dark and silent. Much like winter in the woods, it's cold and quiet. I dropped down to the harbor. Except for a few skiffs that brave the elements in their search for an elusive king salmon or perhaps a few Dungeness crabs, most of the commercial boats are tied up for the winter. It costs more for fuel than you can make fishing around here this time of year, even though the price of salmon is good. The weather is always questionable now too. It can be nice in the morning and blow up a gale in the afternoon. I got a picture of The Integrity, the big grey boat on the end of the float. That's the Brown family's boat- you know, the Alaskan Bush People? Oh Lordy, what a joke. It's winter, and they're nowhere to be found. Not surprising. I know that for some unknown reason, a lot of people think the show is real, but I don't know why. Ol' Billy Brown and a couple of the boys had to go before a judge and explain why they were collecting Alaska Permanent Fund checks. The fact is, they aren't residents. I can't recall what the judgement was, but I believe they had to repay the state. Funny how you can call yourself an Alaskan, and yet not qualify for the Permanent Fund. It seems odd too that you can consider yourself a real outdoorsman, but when winter comes, you disappear.Oh well, people believe what they want to believe. I really think they should change the name of the boat to something more appropriate though, unless integrity means something other than what I always thought it meant. I ran on out to the airport to see if I could get a shot of the mountains while the sun was setting. I couldn't get the shot I wanted in particular, and while I was waiting outside for something better, I was freezing my buns off. I had driven by the school and looked at the temperature display on the way out. It said it was 38 degrees. No way! The ice on the roads were as solid as bone and there was still frost on the trees. As I was heading back home, I noticed the little stream that runs near the airport. I think it always runs, no matter how cold it gets. In any event, I know the water was frigid. I started wondering about the animals, if they drink out of that stream. Do animals get brain freeze from drinking icy cold water? Can you imagine ol' Bob the buck taking a nice long drink only to have his head feel like someone smacked him with a hammer?The ol' ice cream headache syndrome. I think that when it comes to anxious thoughts of spring, I'm probably not alone.