All Things Arctic

This week you can take in any number of activities surrounding what goes on in the north land.  Specifically, today hghlights local native artisans and businesses that specialize in serving people in the arctic. Visit the downtown Doyon building for the native arts, or stop by the food court for a taste of Alaskan food.  In addition, you’ll find business available for Arctic related services and products.

 

 

Migratory Bird Viewing

birds at Creamers

migratory birds

Having heard the familiar sound of geese overhead makes us know spring cannot be far behind.  The warmer weather, small buds of pussy willows and freshly groomed fields with seeds for the seasonal migratory birds are one of the best parts of this time of year.  Take some time to stop at Creamer’s Field and avail yourself of the views of a myriad of trumpeter swans, geese, ducks, and other birds you may spot there.

Yukon Quest International Dog Sled Race

The dogs are coming!  Saturday, February 4, 2017, marked the beginning of the Yukon Quest.  This year they left Whitehorse in the Yukon Territory, Canada,  for the 1000 mile trip.  As of the time of this post, the racers are headed into Eagle on the far west border of Alaska. Three of the former champions are mushing again, Hugh Neff, Brent Sass and Allen Moore.  While participants come from a wide range of places, winners in the past five years have all been from the interior of Alaska.

Just for those who wonder, each musher is required to bring the following items with them during the race:  (1) cold weather sleeping bag; (2) hand ax; (3) a pair of snowshoes; (4) veterinary records; (5) promotional race materials (think banners); (6) a functional cooker; and lastly (7) fuel to heat 3 gallons of water.  Extra dog booties are also required for each dog when they leave each checkpoint.  Other suggested supplies are emergency food for themselves and their dogs, as well as navigation (compass and map).  With such a short list this race indeed can be considered epic!

Supermoon and Aurora Yes!

Northern Lights over the gables

An all night aurora earlier this year

In addition to the supermoon to rise on Monday afternoon around 4 pm, be sure to scan the skies for great aurora viewing.  Yes, you can see the aurora from our property!  Apparently, the best time to capture a photograph of the moon is right after it rises, as perspective with the landscape allows a better framework.  Predictions for a 5 (midway up the scale) are tonight and tomorrow night as well, covering the entire state of Alaska.

 

Go Winter Expo

If you need a jump start (no pun intended) on thinking about winter, check out the winter expo at the Carlson Center on Saturday, October 7, from 10-6, and Sunday 11-5.  This event includes the benefit of being free, as well as incorporating door prizes.  If you collect guns, the Interior Alaskan gun show is included at this time as well.

World Eskimo Indian Olympics

drummers playing

Participants playing drums

Let the games begin!  The World Eskimo Indian Olympics are coming up on July 20th at the Carlson Center.  Four days packed with feats of strength and agility:  watch the high kick, ear pull, blanket tosses, and more.  In addition, you can enjoy dances and shop for authentic Native arts and crafts.  Daily, all day.  Visit the website at www.weio.org for more info.

Afternoon Deluge

IMG_4868No worries about any forest fires soon; Fairbanks experienced a quick douse of rain water and hail this afternoon. Seems like our June is quickly turning into typical August weather.
After the record breaking heat of May, we are glad to see the threat of forest fires quelched.  Not exactly canoe weather, but we won’t have to water the garden for a couple of days.  Hopefully, all the plants will have survived the pelting of hail that is abnormally large for this region of the state.

Sure Sign of Spring

Geese at the Wildlife Refuse

geese flying and feeding

Geese at the Wildlife Refuse

geese flying and feeding

Stopped by Creamer’s Field, (which just happens to be where I used to wander through the grain fields when I was growing up) to catch a glimpse of the variety of migratory fowl that are returning to feast on grain that has been provided up in the fields of what is now called Creamer’s  Wildlife Refuge.  Suffice it to say that I am old enough to  remember having milk delivered from the Creamer’s Dairy you can see in the background.

In addition to watching the birds, I also enjoyed watching cars pull in and out, and people of all ages and walks of life coming to look at the birds.  Next to me on the left  were 3 young children, about 5 or 6 years old, who apparently had just come from school.  Their mother was chatting with an acquaintance while the two girls climbed over the fence to slog through the mud, with their older brother egging them on to scream as loud as they could.   To my right was an older man, seated on the tailgate of his pick-up truck.  Judging by the size of the amazing lens, he was waiting for the perfect shot of one of the trumpeter swans in flight to occur.  Along the parking spaces were other bird watchers, sitting in the cars, just enjoying the sunny day and peaceful sight of all the birds, a sure sign of spring.