It’s Been Almost a Month…sigh.

Oh blog world how I’ve missed you!

Grizzly Cub in Denali

Grizzly Cub in Denali

I won’t bore you with my stories of 2 weeks of computer repair or internet failure, but rather just say that it’s easier for me to get out there and write when I’m regularly writing and it’s a lot harder once I stop.  Objects in motion tend to remain in motion and objects at rest tend to remain at rest.

Wild Arctic Poppies

Wild Arctic Poppies

As I look through my photos of the past month there has been so much great stuff that has happened!  Here’s the brief photo synopisis, just to get me up to speed so I can move forward with writing!

The latest yarn release was a success and the yarn give away was won, thank you all for participating!

Yarn Release Party

Yarn Release Party

I’m just about to release the accompanying pattern: The Sea Otter & the Little Pup: a duo of mother & baby hats

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more to come on that!

Where did Harper go?

Where did Harper go?

It was a lovely July up here, with a few cloudy days here and there.  Check out this awesome video of our town-wide 4th of July celebration and see how much fun you can have in the rain.

We took some time with visiting family to play in Cordova and head up to Denali and get out on some hikes.

Warren on the Ridge of Mt Eyak

Warren on the Ridge of Mt Eyak

 

Denali Hiking

Denali Hiking

And do some relaxing by the river

Teklanika River

Teklanika River

The salmon are all spawning

Sockeye Salmon Spawning up River

Sockeye Salmon Spawning up River

and the fireweed is in full bloom all over the state

Fireweed in Denali

Fireweed in Denali

the quintessential hallmarks of an Alaskan Summer.

Even the bears are out filling up for winter

Mamma & Two Cubs in Denali

Mamma & Two Cubs in Denali

And now July has turned to August I’m in full on preparations for my next adventure:

Iceland!

Our house is littered with maps and guidebooks and the sounds of me trying to learn the 10 letters of the Icleandic language that don’t exist in English.  Let’s hope I’m a fast learner, because I leave in less than a week!

When Simple Things are Just What You Need

What if someone said you can have this

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Wouldn’t you just want

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and more of

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An honest chance to catch up with yourself.

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A chance to be enveloped

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a chance to see what may be hidden

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and what’s ready to take flight.

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I wanted to slow down

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to find solitude

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wildness

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and renewal.

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And to hear the Wild Geese

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and catch a perfect summer sunset.

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We’re Live: In Trumpeter!

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I’ve been dyeing yarn for our Local Yarn Shop, The Net Loft, for almost two years now, and in that time we have focused on selling locally in our tiny remote town.  I always gave you a phone number and encouraged you to call or email if you wanted to purchase some yarn, and some of you very patient yarn lovers did just that!  Thank you!

Well finally, today, I can give you a link to order Snow Capped Yarns online!

Dotty, the owner of The Net Loft, has put together a lovely website showcasing many hand-dyed yarns and specialty gifts.  Let me introduce you to my newest colorway…

Trumpeter

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In honor of the elegant Trumpeter Swans that reside in large numbers throughout the Copper River Delta.  I’ve dyed a batch of yarn inspired by their coloring: natural white accented by tawny browns, a range of grays and punctuated with crisp black.

The Trumpeter Collection

I dyed this colorway on 5 different bases, from fingering to heavy worsted weight.  But I don’t have to tell you all the details over here…because they’re all on the website!

But I am really excited about this new yarn base, Chenega, a fine count single ply wool:

Single Ply Heavy Worsted Weight in Trumpeter

Chenega in Trumpeter

and about Perry, an Alpaca/Silk/Merino blend that knits up like this, and feels like a dream:

Honey Cowl Detail

Here it is in the honey cowl pattern by Madeline Tosh :

Honey Cowl on my Head

Everyone needs one of these, maybe more!  I wish I didn’t have to put my honey cowl back on display in the shop, it’s cozy enough you just want to keep it with you.  I see why more than 11,000 of these that have been made so far, with 10,000 more in queues!

Anyhow, let’s leave you with some images of the Swans themselves.  I took these just this past weekend out on the Copper River Delta.Trumpeter Swans on the Copper River Delta

Walking Swanand maybe just one more of what you might see if you walked in to the shop to buy yarn in person, Dotty does such a nice job with the styling of all her displays:

Shop Display

But in case you aren’t in Cordova in the near future, we’ll be putting up all the Snow Capped Yarns right here!

Thank you all for your support and encouragement, and if you knit with our yarns please tell us what you think.

Swans In the Springtime

This is my third spring in Cordova.  As we drove out the road this morning I said to a friend that every year we’ve lived here has been a year of superlatives.  First, a colder than usual winter, pipes froze for the first time in 30 years.  Second, a snowier winter than usual, remember Snowpocalypse…they actually called in the National Guard to help shovel the roofs!  And now this year, the latest Spring in a long time.

Buds are tight on the trees, wild grasses aren’t yet green  and the skunk cabbage has hardly begun to unfurl.  My neighbor’s daffodils just bloomed this week, amidst a constant downpour, 60mph winds and a spattering of snow.  I had to shelter the new flower baskets, flown from Washington, in our garage….for 4 days, because it seemed all the flowers might die of exposure.

Today, we took a boat ride down the Eyak River and it felt like maybe, just maybe, Winter was ready to turn over the landscape into the capable hands of Spring.  There’s very little growing but it just had that feeling that the snow on the mountains was melting rather than accumulating.  It felt good to get some sun on our faces.  I look forward to heading down the river in June and July, spying the wild irises dotting the river banks with dark violet.

Eyak River Walk

But lest we be lulled  into a Summery outlook, the clouds managed not only to rain, but actually to hail on the boat ride back up river.  The hail didn’t last long but the thermometer in the truck reading only 37 at midday was a cautious reminder that Winter is never too far behind or too far ahead here.  Cordova is like the real Winterfell.

Rain Coming

Enough about the weather.

We made our way out the Delta looking for some of those elegant Cordova residents I mentioned yesterday.  Here’s a clue to what’s coming next from Snow Capped Yarns.  Something, subtle and sophisticated, nothing flashy but lovely none the less.  IMG_7247

Spoiled Rotten

We just had a visit from a dear friend, and living so far away from…well everything… makes each visit that much more rare and that much more special.  And while this place is drop dead gorgeous…it doesn’t always appear that way when cloaked in a downpour.  For those who don’t know, Cordova’s weather doesn’t generally aim to please, it aims to make you cold and wet and completely flummoxed about what outdoor gear to wear and what possible recreation to indulge in.

Now my visiting friend is particularly partial to sun, and being late in November I had already vouched for the fact that the days weren’t that short!  Once daylight savings time hit earlier in the month, I began rethinking the wisdom of my response as I walked  to and from work in the pitch black.  On top of the increasingly shortening days I spent the last three weeks fretting over the undulating weather patterns.  Snow, cold, clear, clouds, warm, rain, fog, clear, cold, snow… and then somehow, by some magic, the dice finally landed on clear and cold with a few inches of snow solidly adhered to the ground in town.  And the forecast stuck.  We’ve had 6 straight days of bluebird skies…and counting!

And we made the most of it:

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A morning hike up Mt Eyak to get the birds eye view of town, the inlet and the surrounding peaks.

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It’s a good place to get your bearings.

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 It’s such an amazing feeling to step across the shadow of a winter morning and in to the first rays of sun, just peaking across the Heney Range.

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It felt pretty good up there.

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Looking out towards the Copper River Delta, reminded that there’s much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

We spent the evening with friends & food, entertained or entertaining our littlest of friends:

Playing with Wesley!

Friday found us out on the Delta, with a quick foray to Flag Point, just to feel the force of the wind, like a freight train, speeding down the Copper River.  The winds were so cold and harsh it made my teeth hurt, I wouldn’t have wanted to drive out on this bridge, it felt like the wind could just send you over the guard rails and into the icy river.

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Braced against the wind  and looking like they’ve stumbled upon a whole other world…Image

Safely huddled inside the truck we made our way back towards the trailhead for a nice protected hike out to Saddlebag Glacier.  We brought along our skates, and took bets an whether we’d find clear ice or a snow covered lake.  Turns out we were all wrong.  We came out of the woods to find a wide open, unfrozen, gorgeously calm lake.

Saddlebag Lake

So much for skating!  But we found a few friends on our way in, and so though there was no ice, we all basked in the sun for some mid-day lunch.

Kate, Liz & Bert soaking up the sun

Morgan, quite pleased with the lunch spot

Kate playing with the “ice exhibit” before heading out

the one photo with both of us with our eyes open

So that was a pretty spectacular day, and yet Morgan’s luck still did not run out.  After dinner we were bundling up for some star gazing only to be called by an excited friend letting us know that the Northern Lights were going off!  I didn’t bring my camera and in fact we only saw about 5 amazing minutes of color followed by an hour and half of standing around and hoping the green would return…but alas it did not.  A photographer in town, David Little, did manage to capture this great shot:

It’s too bad we didn’t have a camera to document my amazing attire!  I was wearing not only my large pink puffy coat but also Heath’s gigantic parka over top of pink puff.  I think I measured at least 2 feet thick from front to back with small arms sticking out of my sides.  I’m sure I was quite the sight to behold, maybe I should be thankful that the camera was safely at home.

Saturday we woke to more sun, and though nearly discouraged by a flat tire, we managed to get the tube replaced, the studded tires on and get ourselves out to Sheridan Glacier for some ice biking, a first for both of us:

We came home from this outing with nearly 300 photos!  Dont’ worry I whittled them down to less than a dozen but that landscape is so captivating.  It was hard to stay on my bike, every few minutes I’d have to pause for a photo…or 10!

Ice Biking

he looks miserable doesn’t he?

On the Ice

Ice bergs in the frozen lake

silhouetted against Sheridan Glacier

Bike Shadows

the blue room was still standing

Me standing inside…pure color therapy

Looking out

a slippery perch

heading out with the sun

Every day it seemed we were lucky enough to watch the moon rise after a terrific sunset, this day was no exception!

the end of another great day

Are you still with me?  I swear that was the most picture heavy day.  We got a little snow that night and some clouds in the morning, giving us an excuse not to head out the door as soon as we finished breakfast.  We made it out for an afternoon walk down Power Creek Rd…but even that was phenomenal, talk about Eagle Central:

How many eagles can you see?

We came upon one tree with at least 10 bald eagles perched in in…too bad we didn’t get any clear shots when they took off..but we did get this one!

In flight

Baldy in Profile

Trumpeter Swans on Eyak Lake

yet another moonrise

followed by a moonbite

Almost Full

With one day left to go, we spent it exploring, eventually getting out on a hike and finally even got our skate in!

Morgan skating on McKinley Lake

Skating

We didn’t take the camera out for the bulk of our skate and thus sacrificed getting those pictures that make the frozen lake look like it had been sprinkled with white fairy glitter.  The dusting of snow reflecting in the low angled sun was quite a sight to behold…but you’ll have to trust me on that.  All I’ve got are these dark shadowy pictures from the end of the day.

It was so fun to put skates on, to glide and explore and equally fun to hike through the meadows of Pipeline to get there.

Cheers to good friends, who remind you who you are and what you love and help you see the magic in your own home!

Suddenly, Seriously Winter

Just like that, we went from approaching winter… to full bore cold.  A week of daily snowfall has left a couple of feet of snow on the ground at sea level, and over 40″ at the snotel weather site on our local ski hill.  The ability to run out quickly and grab something without bothering to put your coat on, and for that matter your hat and mittens too, has disappeared.

Looking Out the lagoon

For all the gorgeous snow we’ve been having I seem to be at a loss for good photos.  This is in part due to the fact that for all the sunny hours of the day, like so many folks, I’m inside at work.  I stepped out into the parking lot a few days ago to capture a little bit of the sunset and alpenglow that was turning the snow a lovely cantaloupe color.

Sunset from the Clinic

Mt Eccles

Mt Eyak

It’s been a little bit like a winter fairy tail here, we’re sort of holding our breath wondering when the rain will come back.  But for now we seem to be cold enough, that any precipitation that falls is going to come down as the fluffy white stuff.  It was a balmy 9 degrees F yesterday on our way to work, and during the day our pipes to the kitchen sink froze.  Joy of joys…but still I love winter.  We’ve climbed back in to the low 20’s today.   Folks have been out snowshoeing and skiing and of course doing lots and lots of shoveling these past couple of weeks.  I look forward to taking more photos of winter fun in the weeks to come.

For now I’ll leave with this last photo of a darling baby bird.  During a weekend of house chores I found this little guy trying to stay warm near our compost bin.  A baby Varied Thrush perhaps?

Until next time, stay warm, drink lots of tea and enjoy the coziness of winter.