Tag Archive: Alaska


Plastic on the squash bed

Plastic on the squash bed

The sun will rise this morning at 6:31, and set 14 hours and 36 minutes later at 9:08 this evening. We’re now losing about 6 minutes 43 seconds a day. It’s starting to feel like fall, though, if not quite like winter. The official airport temperature hasn’t dropped below freezing yet, though it reached 33 °F Saturday morning, and I’m pretty sure it was colder out my way.

Frost nip on the pineapple sage

Frost nip on the pineapple sage

I’ve put the plastic cover on the squash, put row cover on the potted mints, and started bringing the rest of the potted plants into the garage overnight. I also separated the hoses from the outdoor faucets. Even “frostproof” fittings can be damaged by freezing if the hoses are left attached. So far the only actual frost damage I’ve seen was discoloration of the growing tips of the pineapple sage. The forecast suggests slight warming next week, but lows are still forecast in the 30’s.

It’s dried out a little, though it’s now official: 2014 was the wettest summer in nearly a hundred year of records in Fairbanks. Certainly it’s the first summer I’ve had to do almost no watering!

Sunflower QuiltThe sun will rise today at 6:10 and set 15 hours and 24 minutes later at 9:34 pm. I can no longer drive places in the evening without checking the time, and we now have astronomical twilight (sun between 12 and 18° below the horizon) for about 2 hours just after midnight.

Lemon PhaleonopsisWe’ve had a few more showers, but we still haven’t reached 2” for August. We are almost half an inch above normal, though. Temperature has also been slightly above normal, but that’s still mostly in the high 60’s in the daytime. As far as the forecast is concerned, mostly cloudy with chances of rain and normal temperatures for the next week.

I’m thinking more of house plants now, and couldn’t resist an orchid. Hope I can get it to rebloom.

Quilt BThe sun will rise this morning at 5:48 , and set 16 hours 12 minutes later at 9:59 this evening. It will drop 12° below the horizon tonight—almost astronomical twilight.

It’s mostly been in the 70’s or high 60’s, with nighttime lows still well above freezing. We’ve had a little more rain, but mostly it’s just been occasional showers, and the forecast for next week is more of the same.

Sharon came by Thursday. She helped me with the chickweed and gave the herbs and mints a much-needed haircut. Some of the herbs, such as the pineapple sage and the parsley, were shading out the others. The trimmings will go to people who can use them – I use fresh herbs, but not that many! She also helped trim the lower leaves on the zucchini, finding a 7 ½ pounder that I took to the food bank Friday. I took a photo with my iPhone, but I can’t seem to get it to import*, so another quilt from the quilt show will have to do for today.

*Turned out to be the USB daisy chain. Here it is.Zucchini

Pink Lillies 8:9:14The sun will rise at 5:25 this morning, and set 17 hours later at 10:25 this evening. I’m glad to say it has finally quit raining and warmed up, though there are a few showers forecast this week.

The last few days of the fair were quite nice, with temperatures in the 70’s. I managed a brief visit most days, though I concentrated on the horse shows. The giant vegetables weren’t all that gigantic this year, due no soubt to the relatively cool, wet, summer. The lilies are finally blooming in my garden – one of the few plants that are perennial up here. I’m also getting a few late strawberries.

For most of the summer, the local chapter of the Alaska Writers’ Guild has been selling (or at least trying to sell) books at the Farmers’ Market. That’s over for the season, as two of the three authors are though for the season, and I’m having problems with cancer again.

Not too bad, I hope, but my CA125 is rising and I just went through a CT scan. The radiation oncologist says no immediate problem, and I’m seeing the doctor in Anchorage the second week in September which he seemed to think was fine. I do hope I don’t need chemotherapy again.

Weather Update 8/5/14

We had another .34” of rain before midnight, and I heard thunder several times. That puts us at 1.38” for the month, so we’re still pushing the seasonal record. I’ll try for a few more quilt photos today, though the current weather is drizzle and fog.

Quilt 42

Quilt 45The sun will rise this morning at 5:01, and set tonight at 10:53. We now have almost 3 hours of nautical twilight.

It has remained rainy. We didn’t quite set a new record for July, though we only missed it by .18“. We beat the June and July combined record by over 2”, and the greatest 48 hour total for July though, so you could say we’ve had a damp summer. August? 1.04” so far, so we’re definitely still in the running for the wettest summer of all time.

It used to be a truism that it always rained during the Tanana Valley State Fair, which started last Friday. Yesterday was warm and sunny, but the rest of the week looks questionable. I’m keeping my poncho in the car. I did get to the quilt show Saturday, in spite of the rain. I might show some more photos later.

The sun will rise today at 4:34 in the morning, and set 18 hours 38 minutes later at 11:15 this evening. We’re losing almost 7 minutes a day, now. The weather is still cool and wet; we might get back into the 70’s by midweek.

July probably won’t set a new record for precipitation, but it will be close. Right now we’re sitting on 5.78” for the month, and I think another .2” would push us over.

The lawn and garden are lush, and the weeds are thriving all too well. The squash aren’t doing as well as they would if it were a little warmer, but they have reached the harvestable stage. The delphiniums are getting indecently tall—two or three feet over the 7’ top of the lattice. I think I have three varieties of Maltese cross: the dark red I bought, a much smaller-flowered pink I started from seed, and a few volunteers that I think are hybrids: large like the reds, but a distinctly lighter color. I wish it would warm up and stop raining, though.

RedGreenEver heard of the Red Green Regatta? It’s held every year in Fairbanks as part of Alaska Days, scheduled this year for July 20. The idea is a short race on the Chena River (downstream) between “boats” made of whatever, incorporating the Red Green theme (you do watch the PBS show, don’t you?) and held together with duct tape. This year, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s been wet: 5.45″ in July through last midnight and raining right now. The Chena was so high the race was cancelled. Not that the judging of the boats was cancelled! Photos were posted by our local PBS affiliate, KUAC, and I couldn’t resist stealing one and linking it to their site. So just click on the picture for more!

 

My cousins and their spice. (Hint--what is the singular of mice?"

My 2nd cousins and their spice. (Hint–what is the singular of mice?)

The sun will rise in Fairbanks at 4:33 am, and set 19 hours 25 minutes later, at 11:39 in the evening. I won’t see either one, though I’ll get back to Fairbanks just before midnight. I may catch a glimpse of the sun just before the plane starts to descend.

Where am I? Well, this weekend is our family reunion at the YMCA of the Rockies, near Estes Park, Colorado. At Denver, a bit south and east of my current location, the su2ndn will rise at 5:49 in the morning and set 14 hours and 34 minutes later at 8:23 this evening. And it gets dark here!

I even went horseback riding, though at 73 I needed some help getting on and off the horse. The actual riding went fine, though for some reason the photo I took of the scenery from horseback refuses to upload to wordpress.

I have internet access at the camp, but no e-mail, I’ll expand this and add some photos. One thing I know: the July precipitation for Fairbanks as of the end of last Saturday was 5.41” compared with the July record of 5.96”, and the forecast then was for more showers.

The sun rose this morning at 3:49, and will set 20 hours 15 minutes later, a minute after midnight tomorrow morning. It’s still rainy: 4.58” (well over twice the July normal) as of July 12, with more yesterday and even more predicted for next week. If this keeps up we could set a record for July as well as June.

The raised beds with herbs and mint are riotously green, and the mints especially are crowding each other out. The delphiniums were a little beaten down by all the rain, but they are now tied up. The tallest are close to 12’ high, and the flowers are just starting to open. I don’t actually grow peonies but they are one of the few commercial crops up here and are starting to show up at the Farmers’ Market. Seems that the blooming period here, in July, is at a time when there are very few parts of the world peonies are in bloom. Result? Several people are growing them for the international cut flower market.

My hair finally grew back from chemo to the point that I got a haircut. I thought all the curl would be cut off, but a little wave still remains. I’ve included some before and after shots, which you can compare with the ones last fall.


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