Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Long Downhill to Winter

Thursday was the solstice. Now in the lower 48, I would imagine that very few people actually celebrate it. Here though, it's an unofficial holiday. It allows us to celebrate the "peak" of summer (it still does not feel like we're at the peak of summer yet) and it also signifies the long, slow downhill towards winter.
It's true. Every day this year will be a teeny bit shorter than the rest. We've got maybe eight weeks -- on an unusual year, maybe 10, before the termination dust appears on the Chugach range, signifying the eight week countdown to winter. We've probably got six weeks until the fireweed is at its' peak fiery redness, and berry picking season will be soon on its' heels.

I kept reminding myself of all this while watching the sun at 11:40 pm on Thursday:

Not much darkness is there? Four weeks ago, we were wondering if our willows on the right of the photo were still alive, and here they are screaming to get out of their flowerbeds.
I woke up the next morning to a completely different view and the smell of barbeque smoke:

We have three significant fires around Anchorage -- one on the Kenai, two in the valley. It's a big deal, although you won't hear about it on the national news -- apparently as long as we are not California, it's not a big deal. Who cares what happens to Alaska as long as we are not trying to build bridges?

We're having to ask for firefighters from the lower 48, and federal funding is now being used to fight the 80,000 acres on fire, which has already destroyed homes. That yellow film glaze is not a touch-up, that's the smoke from the fires sitting here on Lower Hillside.
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1 comment:

subrosa said...

belated happy solstice. i hope it was merry. :-) so are the forest fires far from you, or are you already thinking about evacuation plans?