Solstice Light

Katie Eberhart - Writing & Observations


forest: 2005 2006

garden: 2005 2006

mountains: 2005 2006


webcam posts

... more web cam archives

--- photo blog ---

autumn plants


matanuska river

matanuska river dust

woods moods

night views

old vehicles


tesselated images

winter views (in sepia)


bird sighting notes (2007):

June 6, 2007: Web cam may be facing west (no mountains, "garden cam") or east (mountains obscured by trees which have finally leafed out).

May 9, 2007: new leaves are becoming visible. The birdfeeding season is definitely over and the web cam is once again facing east, but the mountains may not be visible once the trees leaf out. -ke

4/11/07: We're probably finished feeding the birds since they seem to be moving on, although I did see a few red polls picking through some seeds this afternoon. What happened to the snow? Last weekend a wind like a hair dryer pushed temperatures into the high 40s and simply flushed the snow that has been around since 2006! The grass is happily greener!!! -ke

1/28/07: Red polls and chickadees showed up mid-afternoon.
1/30/07: Red polls, chickadees, and nuthatch, mid-afternoon.
2/3/07: Red polls, chickadees, Hairy Woodpecker

Alaska blog archives

Current Blog

2006 | 2005

After the moose! (November 2, 2006): broccoli brussel sprouts kale stumps apparently either moose don't like romaine or they didn't find the last romaine!

Moose in garden (October 23, 2006): late fall -- moose and calf in garden

Rainbow at Sunset (8/6/2006): Rainbow, delphiniums and lilies at sunset.

McRoberts Valley, Chugach Mountains (8/5/06): McRoberts Valley, east of Palmer and east of Lazy Mountain on the day of the Matanuska Peak Challenge...

Archangel Valley, Talkeetna Mountains (7/28/06): Archangel Valley, near end of bad road...

Mt McKinley (July 27, 2006): Mt McKinley (Denali) viewed from pull-off just outside of Talkeetna through holes in the clouds. Summit Lake just west of Hatcher Pass.

juvenile Junco (7/25/06): The junco families "owned" the woods this afternoon. Juvenile junco, note the white stripes on its tail.

Climbing Lazy (7/23/06): Feeling strong? If you aren't a mountain runner who thrives on long, steep climbs and bone-jarring descents, try climbing Lazy Mountain, maybe... Trail to the summit... View of Matanuska Peak and ridgeline... Matanuska River in foreground. Cook Inlet's "Knik Arm" in distance. Also visible near the river is the historic farm area along the "Springer system" (the Outer Springer Loop Rd and Inner Springer Loop Rd) and the Palmer Golf Course. (photos)

Hatch Peak Rim hike (July 22, 2006): Looking south from Hatch Peak Rim towards Matanuska Valley. Knik and Matanuska Rivers and Pioneer Peak in distance... Wildflowers--Saxifrage Saxifraga bronchialis, Pixie Eye primrose, Primula cuneifolia, Spring Beauty, Claytonia sarmentosa (photos).

garden update (july 22, 2006): My flower garden borders between tame and wild, with an edge to perennials that are hardy and durable... Perennials lychnis, columbine, and delphinium, the shorter hedges are contoneaster, the taller bushy hedge that needs more radical pruning is caragana (also called Siberian Pea)... Monkshood (Aconitum), hardy and grows easily from seed. Honeysuckle... Hardy Norland apples grafted on Siberian crabapple rootstock. Chinese golden apple, grafted on Siberian crabapple rootstock... (photos)

Quoted in the Anchorage Daily News!: Out in the Valley, Kathryn Eberhart's combination blog and Web site eschews gardening tips for "just kind of experiencing Alaska," with lots of photos and a webcam...

baby birds and eating worms (7/17/06): A clump of large birch trees that hold a kid-built tree house from years ago exuded bird talk as parents fed their chick... two bird families inhabiting the birch clump and surroundings: junco and white crowned sparrow... robin catching a worm... (photos)

Pinnacle Lake (7/16/06): Hiking to Pinnacle Lake is not exactly for the faint of heart. We parked at Independence Mine and started towards Gold Cord Lake but then climbed the headwall to the left. Except for about a hundred yards of visible foot steps stomped into the hill, there is no trail... (photos)

climbing anything but Lazy (7/11/06): Lazy Mountain is an "anything but Lazy" climb... The lower part of the "Lazy" climb goes through several different plant communities including a grasslands of 6+ foot tall grass, fireweed, and cow parsnip with slightly shorter stinging nettles dangling over the trail. You climb through bits of forest--cottonwood on the lower slopes, birch higher up... (photos)

black ice, blue ice, glacier ice (July 10, 2006): Travel to the source of the Matanuska River from Palmer takes a car, some patience (to get through the road construction), and money... The Matanuska Glacier is a lesson in ice, black ice, blue ice, clear dense ice, ice covered with rocks, ice with little bubbles, rapidly melting ice, deeply crevassed ice, rippled shiny melting ice, clean ice, dirty ice, fissured ice, slippery ice, wish I had crampons ice, booming talking ice... (photos)

Gold Cord Lake (7/9/2006): Gold Cord Lake is a popular and, except for a short steep climb, easy-to-access destination in the Independence Bowl (Talkeetna Mountains). It was (and usually is) a crowded destination. Gold Cord Lake trail--up the headwall. Not exactly Mt Fuji, but hikers remind me of a sprinkling of confetti... (photos)

Misty garden (July 6, 2006): The weather forecasters finally got the rain they've been predicting for a couple days... which turns the garden into a kind of supersaturated, mystical environment of intense colors and giant water droplets, absent shadows... (photos)

Cloud walking at Hatch Peak (July 5, 2006): Cloud walking, exercise or art? In this case probably safer than cloud driving or cloud flying... We drove to the summit of Hatcher Pass then hiked to Hatch Peak and as you can see from these photos the clouds continued to scuttle around us... (photos)

Moth and cosmos (June 30, 2006): Moth on strawberry leaf after rain. No camouflage. Probably only a matter of time until a bird spots this silly moth. Cosmos (an annual) after rain. (photos)

Some perennials blooming June 28, 2006: The spiders are gone today. Did a bird eat them or did they just scuttle away? Rugosa rose... Iris... Columbine... Phlox... (photos)

Flowers and baby spiders (June 27, 2006): The baby spiders and their web survived the day of rain... Trollius, shooting star, and iris humilis are perennials that have been reliably hardy here...

storm clouds (6/25/2006): The sky over the garden definitely qualifies as part of the gardening topic. About the time I launched into the weeding project--extracting grass, dandelions, clover and equisetum from among the perennials--I noticed the thunderheads towering high in the sky only slightly to the southwest... (photo)

Baby Spiders on Bergenia (June 25, 2006): This stopped me in my tracks... caused me to backtrack, get my camera, and post these. Last year I saw the spiders in the woods. This year they're right there in the garden... (photos)

11:15 PM June 24, 2006: The best part of Alaska is summer for a week or two on either side of Solstice. Days are deliciously long and especially enjoyable when it isn't raining. This afternoon the clouds vanished, showing up the weather forecasters who had forecast rain through the weekend... (photos)

woods (June 20, 2006): Looking at these photos taken on an overcast evening reminds me of all the stories in the woods. In the foreground is the trunk and lower branches of a black spruce, dead now, that succombed to the spruce bark beetle infestation about 10 years ago... (photos)

garden (June 20, 2006): Day lilies and iris, dependable flowers even after cold, windy winters without much snow cover. Close up of day lily which cycles through several blossoms...(photos)

Evening June 17, 2006: Sky over garden at 10PM June 17. We're only a few days from the solstice. Garden. Remay cloth covers onions... (includes photos)

pollinating apple trees: May 29, 2006. The ladder is holding up a bouquet of crabapple blossoms to pollinate the Chinese golden apple tree that is espaliered up the house...

summer came late in 2006: May 19, 2006 Where are the green leaves? Compare to May 19, 2005...

Matanuska River (Feb. 18. 2006): By mid February we start to notice longer days and that the sun 'has heat in it.' A break between fronts let sunshine splay across the wide Matanuska River plain Saturday afternoon. We hiked to the 'mini butte' a forested protuberance among the braids of the Matanuska River...

2005 | 2006

water table rising - the fish tail (10/23/2005)...

Archangel Valley - October 14, 2005 - No skiing yet: A day for bicycling, not skiing. Some years there is skiing in October... well there are a couple more weeks in October... I had Archangel Road to myself this afternoon. Other travelers had traversed the road earlier in the day, leaving their tracks in the light snow. A car or truck drove in about a half mile, turned around and returned to the pavement. Funny because he was almost through the worst of the potholes... odd view looking south along Archangel Rd. Still a bit of green along the edges...

Gold Mint Trail Snapshot (10/6/05): Gini and I hiked about half an hour up Gold Mint Trail this evening. The weather was warm, no wind, and the hiking was easy although there were minor sections of mud and water on the trail. We stopped at the beaver pond where the trail comes out of the alders and the view opens up. The snow is light and high. No skiing yet...

October Flowers (10/3/2005): Remember, this is Alaska. We have flowers blooming on October 3, 2005. We had one light frost in early September that only hit the lowest garden and a very very light frost last night. The forecast low for tonight is 30 degrees F. This is very unusual. These photos are from this afternoon...

Autumn (9/26/05): Gradually the leaves are being stripped off trees, by the wind and rain. Cottonwoods still holding onto some leaves. Cirrus clouds moving through, between storms, apparently. The texture of fall. Sun diamonds behind fireweed stalks, between gusts of wind...

termination dust (9/24/05): If I'd driven further I could have gotten a closer photo but... with gas at between $2.69 and $2.79 it didn't seem worth it. When the clouds over the Talkeetnas lifted I saw the snow line was easily below 16 mile, and maybe nearly as low as the Mother Lode. Glad I nailed that bike ride up Archangel and hiked Hatch Peak Rim last week...

Lazy Mountain (9/20/05): Lazy Mountain - Chugach Range, Matanuska Valley, Alaska So, want a work out? Climb Lazy. Depending on what king of shape you're in it can range from 45 minutes of brutal uphill climb to 1 hour and 50 minutes (or even more...).

Archangel Valley (9/19/2005): The strange weather continues. By all rights there really should be snow at least on the tops of the Talkeetna Mountains. Within the next week or so, in a normal year, there would be enough snow that the gate allowing access to over the top of the Pass (Hatcher Pass) will be closed and I probably wouldn't have thought about riding my bicycle up to about the 4,000 foot level in Archangel Valley...

The Pinnacle (9/18/05): The Pinnacle is the highest peak above Independence Bowl (in the Talkeetna Mountains, of course). I hiked the Hatch Peak Rim and the fog was blowing up the mountains from the south, creating a rapidly changing atmosphere, an overlay to the alpine textures of Autumn plastered across the slopes. Pinnacle and Autumn colors in fog.

Mt McKinley (9/18/05): Listened to Danny Schmidt play his acoustic folk music in Talkeetna last night. If you haven't heard of Whole Wheat Radio, check it out (you don't even have to be in Alaska to listen). Leaving Talkeetna this morning we saw Mt McKinley in the rear view mirror and felt lucky since it has been cloudy and raining.

woods (9/16/05): Leaves turned yellow, suddenly, overnight. Even though it's the middle of September there hasn't been much of a frost yet, barely cold enough to freeze the cucumbers and some outdoor tomatoes. The birch and cottonwoods seem to be sensitive to day length as much as temperature so they are shutting down for the year. A wild frenzy of Autumn color throughout the forest.

Matanuska Valley View (8/11/05): The summer of 2005 will probably also be remembered as a 'smoky' summer. In July smoke from Kenai Peninsula forest fires filled the Matanuska Valley, at times so thick a 'smoky' odor filled the air. Now the smoke is said to be from fires in the Interior. As you can see from this photo taken from Hatch Peak in the Talkeetna Mountains, the air quality in the Valley is bad and the views are quite impaired.

Woods Walk Update (7/31/05): The summer of 2005 will be remembered as unusual--an unusually early and warm spring, an unheardof number of electrical storms lasting from May through late July, and warmer than usual days. On my walk through the woods July 31st I saw plants that seemed like they were at a mid-August growth stage rather than a mere end-of-July stage. The frequent rains and warmth had been a boon to fungal growth and insects have continued to chomp and gnaw their way through various plants. I saw fungi that were either only vaguely familiar or totally unfamiliar to me. I don't know what they're called, thus the images are labeled as 'unidentified.'

In the woods you might see the most amazing things, like a ball of baby spiders... (6/27/05):  In the past week a number of new flowers have emerged, these include Pink Wintergreen (Pyrola asarifolia), Twin Flower (Linnaea borealis) and Cow Parsnip (Heracleum lanatum). Larkspur, Monkshood, Fireweed and Wild Celery will probably bloom within the next week or so. Baneberry (Actaea rubra) which is highly poisnonous, is developing berries which have become habitat for some sort of mottled caterpillar...

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly (6/15/05): Butterflies, Swallowtails. I don't know whether this has anything to do with Polar Warming, but for the last few days we have been inundated by these large, palm sized, yellow and black butterflies. The timing corresponds precisely with the blooming of the Lilac.

after the rain (6/11/05): Yesterday about noon a few innocent looking puffy clouds floated in front of the Talkeetna Mountains in an otherwise clear blue sky. A few hours later a front moved through, the sky became like slate unleashing a heavy, steady rain which continued through the night and into this morning. Being Saturdy, June 11, it's the start of the Colony Days celebration in Palmer which includes a parade. Amazingly, and right on cue, the rain stopped and the sun came out. What a day for a parade. I digress, though. In the woods, after the rain, water droplets glisten like an ephermeral rounded diamond (if there could be such a thing), lined up neatly across the ferns and along the veins of the Watermelon berry leaves. The weight of the water pushed the equisetum, which have developed into a mass of long stringy 'leaves', across the trail so that walking was like walking through water. And insects were gradually coming out of whatever places they go during a prolonged rain (except of course the mosquitoes which seem to appear immediately, the very instant the rain stops).

woods brief (6/9/05): The character of the forest is going through its early summer transformation. Tiny plants remain in a few select locations but the large plants are growing rapidly, demanding that they be noticed. Fireweed is pushing through the 3 foot mark and cow parsnips are easily at 4 feet and developing thick, furry buds. Wild roses, three to four feet high, cluster along several sections of trail, giving the woods the appearance of a garden. Insects are moving through their life cycle--I saw the first spiders with egg sacks that I've seen this year...

Wild Geranium (6/8/05): Blooms have opened on the first few wild geraniums inside the woods. Did I mention the mosquitoes?

After the lightening strike: It's now several days after the lightening strike. We've been troubleshooting phone lines, Internet and antenna connections and are starting to get things working. As we pieced the evidence together Friday night, with no power and no (land line) telephones we saw that the wire holding the (empty) bird feeders between two birch trees was broken.

Forest plants: blooming or nearly blooming (6/2/05):  Dwarf Dogwood (Cornus canadensis); Wild Geranium or Cranesbill (Geranium erianthum); Watermelon Berry (Streptopus amplexifolius)

mostly bugs (5/28/05): Yesterday the woods offered respite from the gusty breezes and dust-laden air, where mosquitoes swarmed fiercely and many other insects went about their business. I'll spare you the photo of the aphid encrusted rosebud and I wasn't fast enough to get a photo of a butterfly but here are the rest of them.

Woodland plants: I've added a plant key to the woodland plant photographs in the May 26th post: The exercise of leaves and thinking about forest themes. (May 26, 2005)

The exercise of leaves and thinking about forest themes: Stand back and look at the forest as if peering through a wide angle lens. It is shades of green, blended together. Step in and look closely and it is many shades of green, many shapes and textures, heights and growth habits, territories and preferences. (May 25, 2005)

More than just 'light in the sky' at 11:27 PM May 24, 2005:  Web cam image documents daylight at 11:27 PM, enough daylight to do things outside, if one was so inclined.

Bird watching in the Talkeetnas (5/24/05): This afternoon we hiked a couple miles up Archangel (Fern Mine) Road in the Talkeetnas, hoping to see Golden Crowned Sparrows and maybe a Wilson's Warbler.

insects and caterpillars (5/23/05): Things interest me about the natural environment and the woods: the ecosystem and the structure of things, from a functional as well as aesthetic standpoint. The Watermelonberry, for instance, grows oddly, unfolding more like a fern than a plant. Its stems look like pipes, which in fact they are in a way since water and nutrients travel through the stems to the rest of the plant. And the leaves are built on parallel lines rather than a network of veins.

New perennials blooming (5/21/05):  Trollius (began blooming May 19th in 2005). Photo of Trollius with Cranesbill taken in 2001. Shooting Star (began blooming May 20th in 2005). In 2001 the shooting star began blooming June 1st.

Lichens after the Rain (5/21/05): Rain, dense and soaking, started last night and lasted through this afternoon. The rain is good for the land which is dry after so many warm, sunny days. The rain also exacerbated the mosquito situation - I remembered the bug spray and it didn't help much. Blood thirsty whining insects attacked any exposed skin. Stepping into the moisture filled woods after a rain and, even though the temperature is only in the 50's (F), there's a humid freshness that suggests the idea of lingering and enjoying the quietness of the forest, except for the humming hordes of mosquitoes and the need to keep moving and whacking them before they bite...

Some light at midnight (sun time) on May 20:  Depending on the resolution of your monitor you may see a tiny bit of paler sky near the top left of this image. (Remember we're two hours off sun time so 1:58 AM is the same as 2 minutes to midnight, sun time.) The web cam is capturing the 2:00 AM (midnight 'sun time') image each night so take a look at it now in the web cam archive.

More notes from the forest (5/20/05):  Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum edule) is an understated shrub that grows in the forest understory. It's a lanky bush about 30 inches high with dark green lobed leaves with serrated edges and very tiny, understated flowers. However, when magnified the flowers actually start as small pink tinged ball-shaped blossoms, opening into a cluster of tiny bright white blooms. I spotted the first Highbush cranberry blooms two days ago (5/18/05).

Spiders, a Caterpillar and a Hummingbird moth (5/19/05): Mid-afternoon, warm and sunny, near Palmer, Alaska, May 19, 2005. Sunny warmth and energetic insects pervaded the late afternoon forest. As I walked and photographed, I had to keep swatting at mosquitoes, part of a small, fast and hungry new hatching.

Woods walk, 5/18/05: Plants that have progressed to blooming are the Highbush Cranberry, Mertensia (also called Chiming Bells), Starflower (Trientalis borealis), and Baneberry (Actaea rubra). The Starflower (Trientalis borealis) is very tiny, only a few inches high. Each plant has one elegant white flower and forms part of the complexity of the low growing plant community on the forest floor.

Mixing Weather and Thunderheads (5/17/05):  This morning it was overcast and cold but by mid-day a chill breeze blew beneath a partially clear sky. Ominous dark thunderheads piled up along the mountains and miniature 'baby' cumulus clouds floated across the valley. The forests and open land (vegetated open land, not gravel pits or pre-subdivision cleared land) retain heat and are becoming darker green, the color of summer.

Web Cam image at dusk (10:37PM May 16, 2005):  With a gain of about 5 minutes of daylight a day, dusk and (near) darkness comes later each night.

Primrose (5-16-2005):  The primrose is hardy and durable. This one spent three years in a pot, one year it wintered in the garage and the rest outdoors, before I transplanted it into the ground. It's a small plant but blooms early, in fact it's blooming at the same time as the tulips and daffodils.

Woods at Sunset, May 16, 2005:  About 9:30 the sun slips behind the ridge northwest of the woods...

Afternoon May 15, 2005: Today is cool and overcast with intermittent mist, temperature in the low 50's. The mosquitoes are still big and slow...

Afternoon 5/14/05:  The Wood Violet (Viola renifolia) bloomed second, after the Fairy Slippers. It is so tiny and low growing, barely 3 inches high, that it's hard to identify as any more than white specks without putting your face down at trail level...

Chinese Golden apple blooming (5/14/05): Few apple trees are hardy in this microclimate, but the Chinese Golden is one of them. This tree, at the far left edge of the usual web cam image (I moved the camera a little to get this picture), grows against a south facing wall....

Forest May 13, 2005: Winnie the Pooh had the hundred acre wood. I have a four acre wood as well as access to several public 'woods' which may be every bit as fascinating as Pooh's wood, if you look closely and have a little imagination...

Woods - fern and spider update (5/12/05): The weather has turned crummier. All afternoon the air was laden with a glacial silt haze thanks to the Knik Wind blowing out of the south at about 20 mph...

Bergenia and Bumblebee (5-11-05):  Very slow moving bumblebee, probably a queen, feeding on bright pink Bergenia flowers. [The wikipedia bumblebee page is very informative.]

Woods May 11, 2005: Bits and pieces: today's forest photos are the fern, a web and a stink bug. Notice the curl at the end of the emerging fern frond which mirrors the arc of the stem, also the first leaves are perfectly formed and will replicate down the length of the frond. The stink bug has a metallic looking shell with a geometric pattern. Anyone have any idea what this web is all about? It appears that there's an insect trapped (wrapped?) in what seems to be an excessive amount of silk, and there was only a very tiny spider near the bottom of the web. I will check on it tomorrow and see if anything has changed.

Change in Weather:  Photo taken 5/11/05 from the summit of Lazy Mountain.

Sunset at 10:30PM May 10th:  *** Remember the weird thing is that we're two hours off sun time -- the darkest hour of the night is closer to 2:00 AM than to midnight *** compare to May 7th web cam '' web cam history '' current web cam 11 MAY 2005...........SUNRISE 523 AM SUNSET 1032 PM AMOUNT OF DAYLIGHT TODAY (HOUR:MIN)........17:09 GAIN/LOSS SINCE YESTERDAY (HOUR:MIN:SEC)....+0:05:15 [source: National Weather Service]

Garden - May 9, 2005: These flowers are currently blooming in our garden. Forget-me-not (Myosotis) is the Alaska state flower. This year it started blooming about May 8th. It reseeds readily and the seedlings can be transplanted to better locations, if necessary. Other forget-me-nots. Buds are coming out on the False Solomon's Seal. These spread by underground roots and grow well in the shade. False Solomon's Seal is sometimes confused with Lily of the Valley. Arabis is a low growing rock garden type plant. It spreads easily, seems to be short lived, and needs trimming to keep it looking neat after it's finished blooming. However, being an early bloomer in this cold climate makes up for any other negatives. (In 2001 the Arabis bloomed on May 19.)

Woods Update May 10, 2005: The fern continues to unroll itself. This looks like a cottonwood catkin. It's about 3 times life size. The unusual thing is that I discovered it dangling from a wild rose stem in the forest, not near the edge of the forest. I looked up and around at all the trees, all were birch trees, no cottonwoods nearby. However, we get hellacious winds here so it's conceivable that this catkin could have traveled some distance. Anyway, there are several interesting things about it -- what appear to be seeds are purple, there are flat plate like structures with threads dangling off them that the seeds are attached to, and all of it seems to be attached in a spiral pattern. I've seen numerous instances of the alien looking 'plates' stuck in spider webs and found myself wondering what kind of carcass it could possibly be.

Afternoon Walk, May 9, 2005:  Walking through the forest is really like being inside a large living organism., especially in Spring. It is a busy, buzzing place. (Actually no mosquitos this afternoon.) Growing plants clearly have some powerful physics...

images from the forest, May 8, 2005:  Watermelon Berry (also called Twisted Stalk, latin: Streptopus amplexifolius) is a member of the Lily family.

Day length at latitude 61.65 (Palmer, Alaska):  Rapid day length increases continue! Still light in sky at 11 PM on May 8th. For a peak at how the day length looks at latitude 61 (Palmer) in Alaska on the solstice, check out our summer solstice archive from 2001. For more general information, see Wikipedia summer solstice listing.

Longer Days (web cam view):  With nearly 17 hours of sunlight there's still plenty of light for outdoor activities at 10:30 PM on May 7th (compare to April 29,2005). And there's light in sky at 4:27AM on May 8, 2005, Mother's Day (compare to May 2, 2005). SUNRISE AND SUNSET 8 MAY 2005............SUNRISE 531 AM SUNSET 1025 PM [source: National Weather Service]

Talkeetna: Mt McKinley dominates the horizon north of Talkeetna. Photo of Mt McKinley taken about 9PM May 6, 2005 as clouds are lifting.

Fairy Slipper orchid blooming:  Fairy Slipper, Calypso bulbosa, an orchid that is found wild in the Matanuska Valley, blooming May 6, 2005. See bloom image from 1999

Hedge Pruning (5-6-05): ARTHUR: Well, what is it you want? HEAD KNIGHT: We want... a shrubbery! From: Monty Python and the Holy Grail, when they meet Knights Who Say... Ni! Clearly the Knights Who Say ... Ni! didn't have a Caragana hedge! One of the garden battles is controlling the Caragana hedge that we planted in 1984 with the intention of creating a clear separation between the driveway and the lawn. (This hedge usually is visible at the left side of the web cam image.)

Northern Forest - Early Spring (5-4-05):  The progression of spring through the forest is, thankfully, predictable. Today, May 4th, it still qualifies as early spring. Although from a distance the forest appears green, inside the light and ambiance is somewhere between the decay of autumn, winter's skeletal bareness and the overarching blanketing foliage of summer...

Green Foliage View (5-3-05):  As a point of reference, here is an image taken at 5PM this afternoon, May 3rd, showing the same view as the web cam but with the better quality of a digital SLR camera (Olympus E-10).

Today's Blooms (5/3/05):  Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla) May 3rd is pretty early for blooms in our garden. Even though the elevation is only about 450 feet, we're close to the south slopes of the Talkeetna Mountains, some might say the start of the 'foothills.' Flowers bloom here later than just a few miles south of Palmer, where the elevation is lower and the micro-climate is moderated by a number of lakes and Cook Inlet...

Fast Emerging Perennials (5-2-05): It's only been about a week since the lawn greened up and now the first flowers in the perennial garden are blooming....

longer days are here again (5-2-05): 4:56AM and clearly light in the sky: and really only 6 hours of darkness (see proof)...

green green green!!! (5-1-05): This morning's image: Look close and you can see the new greenish tinge across the birch...

another night view (4-29-05): 

Summer in April? (4-29-05): 71 degrees on April 29 -- in Alaska, north of Anchorage!!!

spring momentum gained (4-28-05):  Definitely more green grass this morning...

continue the march towards spring (4-27-05): Can you see the green now?

longer days (daylight hours that is) on the way (4-27-05): Even in Alaska we're stuck with the 24 hour day but daylight is increasing fast as we head towards solstice. Check the difference between the light in the sky yesterday and today (and today's pic was even taken 3 minutes later). (To compare this pic to last night's see the web cam thread or just scroll down if you're already there.)

the coming of the green (4-26-05):  Seriously, over just a few days this landscape will go from tawny to green...

long days (4-25-05): It's only April and there's still light in the sky at 10 pm.

jet stream brings high pressure (4-25-05)

do April showers bring May flowers? (4-24-05): The sun is beating through fog and mist left behind by the night's rain.

april 23 2005: Another gray day but at least it's warm. About 43 degrees F and it rained in the night... high winds from yesterday died down, probably about when the rain started. A few days like this and we should start seeing some green. (There are only a couple stubborn strips of dirty snow drift remanants remaining.) -ke


Index to Favorite Hikes, Drives & Views in Southcentral Alaska


Some nights the aurora provides quite a spectacular display. This image was taken the evening of October 28, 2003. (photographing the aurora and aurora links)

this page updated March 10, 2017


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