Alaska natural 2

2018
On being a good moose neighbor
January 3, 2018


Today promised to be a good one. I was up at the break of dawn (10 a.m.) these days. My plan was a little putzing and cleanup around  the house and then some fun with the snowmachine. Yesterday I had finally got the last of my stuff and the machine up the hill to the cabin and I was looking forward to driving around grooming my trail and blasting all the way up to where I can make a turn around right next to the porch.
     I went to the picture window to see if the mountain was out. It wasn't, but there was a moose browsing through a thicket at the bottom of the hill right next to my trail.
     Now that put a kink in my plan. Sure, I could make some noise and chase it out of there, but that's poor form when you live with wildlife. Moose are stressed in winter, food is in short supply and their energy gets down and they don't need any extra stress. Best to leave her alone. I am in no hurry. I took a few pictures and started some indoor projects, all the time watching her while she took her sweet time. Two hours later she hadn't moved 20 feet. An hour after that I took another look and watched as she calmly laid down. Interesting, she laid there for some time her head up her ears alert, as if making sure it was safe to sleep. Then while I was beginning to lose daylight for my snowmachine sojurn she seemd to sigh and then stretched her neck out, put her her chin down on the snow and most obviosuly went to sleep. How rude.
     Counting the time she spent alert listening for danger, she laid there for almost three hours.
Toward 3 in the afternoon I looked down to check on her and I heard a sound in the woods off to the west. It sounded like a human talking in a normal voice, too far away to hear what was being said.
     Only a couple of minutes later at least four and maybe as many as six moose burst out of the forest from that direction heading right for my sleeping friend. She sprang up in a heart beat. What I saw as I wrestled with my camera to get it to focus on the moose instead of some damned twig somewhere betweeen us (later I remembered how to go to manual focus) was a big bull a couple of smaller moose, probably mature cows and a couple of yearlng calves. One of them was bawling while it ran past. I assummed it was one of the calves, maybe hurt. They moved through pretty fast, though the bull stopped for a moment to check out the moose that had been there all day.
     Then they all moved off, the group northeast toward the river and my cow somewhere up the hill to the southeast.

That was when the snow started falling. That took the last of the potential fun out of the snowmachine riding for me and I went back indoors for a good long nap. Tomorrow is another day.


2010

Rain? Really?

November 23, 2010
Some days just aren’t fair. I mean, you live in Alaska and you can expect certain things from the weather. Mostly it won’t get too hot in the summer. It will rain on and off from mid July until September and in winter it is cold and there’s snow. Given.
Today we had icy rain. All the way from the south coast to the Arctic coast. Roads so icy they were barely passable. The first 10 miles of the commute were ice shoulder to shoulder on the road and no treatment whatsoever, not even a little gravel spread on the curves or hills. It was 20 mph the whole way. I followed a school bus with chains and they chewed up a little track that I kept one wheel in, The highway was a little better but never got over 45. Schools closed around me and should have been closed in Anchorage.
Fairbanks was just about immobilized and even Barrow the northernmost city in North America got icy rain. A meteorologist in Fairbanks said something like this only happened twice in the last 100 years.
Coming home was worse. An hour and a half to do a trip that normally takes about 40 minutes.Worst again was the blue highway to the house. Ten miles of sheet ice and no school bus. I stopped once I got on it to clean the headlights but even pulled off the road it was so slick I could barely stand up. Thought better of it and drove on with dirty headlights. On the way out this afternoon I passed some folks who were going the other way. A truck was hooked up to a small car and it looked like the car couldn’t make an icy hill and the truck was going to pull it up. I remembered that on the way home and got a little way on at the two hills I have to climb. First one went fine, but the second one was longer. 
I love the seven gears the paddle shifters offer for the control they afford, but even so I barely made it. There’s a good straight stretch before it but every time I got up to about fifth gear, the wheels started slipping and climbing toward the ditch. Barely made it to the top as I held onto each gear as long as I could, knowing each lower gear added that much more torque to make the wheels spin. Even so I topped it in second gear, barely, and then still slipped and slid the next five miles before I got off on a side road. Snow I can deal with but rain? Really? What’s fair about that? Supposed to be same tomorrow. Happy Thanksgiving, indeed.

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Interesting quotations

· " “Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway

When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. Kurt Vonnegut

“If you wrote something for which someone sent you a cheque, if you cashed the cheque and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.” Stephen King

The thing about ignornance is, you don't have to remain ignorant. — me again"

Never debate with someone who gets ink by the barrel" — George Hayes, former Alaska Attorney General who died recently

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeareon Twitter

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

"I brought out the thermostat to show you how cold it is here." Points to a thermometer reading zero in Minneapolis.

"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

"You can't come out and be aggressive but you can't come out and be unaggressive."

"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

"First you have to get two strikes on the hitter before you get the strikeout."

"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

Best headlines ever

Sister hits moose on way to visit sister who hit moose.

Man loses his testicles after attempting to smoke weed through a SCUBA tank

Church Mutual Insurance won't cover Church's flood damage because it's 'an act of God'

Homicide victims rarely talk to police

Meerkat Expert Attacked Monkey Handler Over Love Affair With Llama Keeper

GOP congressman opposes gun control because gay marriage leads to bestiality

Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy

Support for legalizing pot hits all-time high

Give me all your money or my penguin will explode

How zombie worms have sex in whale bones

Crocodile steals zoo worker's lawn mower

Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

Nude beach blowjob jet ski fight leads to wife's death

Woman stabs husband with squirrel for not buying beer Christmas Eve