Archive for the ‘Friday Photo’ Category

This photo, taken this in some small town outside of Milan, exemplifies the feel of Nightshade City for me. I read Nightshade City while I was in Italy and since Hilary’s writing has an old-world style  to it, reading it amongst buildings several hundred years old really added to the immediacy of the story. I’m pretty sure I saw Billycan’s shadow darken the window above.

And the winner of both Nightshade City and The White Assassin–I used a random number generator to choose–is Natalie Bahm.

Oh, Natalie. Where art thou? Come hither and collect your prize!!


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Byer's Lake

I didn’t get a photo of the grizzly bears we saw on our weekend trip to Byer’s Lake.

They were moving too fast and they were too close.

The mother woofed.

The cub followed her as she sprinted away.

I’m grateful that I saw them.

And happy that they chose to run away.

They did circle back and surprise us.

Running about thirty miles an hour.

Crossing the trail about forty feet in front of us.

It was a humbling display of power and energy.

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My hammock days are numbered.

Old Man winter is reaching his tendrils into Interior Alaska.

Maybe one more week of swinging.

Or perhaps just a day.

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Backcountry Notes

I’ll be in and out of contact with the world for the next couple of weeks while digging into the culture and beauty of the Italian Alps. Since I don’t know exactly when I’ll be in and out of the backcountry, I’ll pop into the cyber-world when I can, hopefully with some photos.

Thanks for stopping by.

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Without the rain

We wouldn’t have rainbows.

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On a hike in Harriman State Park in New York snakes were the farthest thing from my mind when this little garter snake crossed the path.

I did the usual thing I do when I see a snake that’s not threatening me—I moved toward it to get a closer look.

Later in the hike we were surprised by this big black snake. I’m not sure what kind it is but it was at least five feet long.

We wouldn’t have seen it if we had done the hike we’d planned on doing—a six mile loop. Somehow we missed a trail junction and ended up hiking a couple extra miles. Luckily, the only other people we saw had a map and they set us straight.

I had some expectations about this hike.

1. The trails would be crowded with people.

2. It wouldn’t require much thought or effort to navigate a marked trail system because most of the hiking I do in Alaska is in trail-less wilderness.

3. Maybe we’d see some squirrels or deer, but snakes—no way.

So, yeah, nothing I thought would happen actually happened.

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The oldest Saguaros live for two hundred years, scrape the sky at fifty feet, and weigh seven tons.

They exist as single trunks until they turn 75, then they start growing arms.

Long after death they remain a distictive part of the land.

Their old bones standing tall.


I’ll be traveling the next couple of weeks, visiting some dear friends in Hawaii before ending up back home in Fairbanks, Alaska in mid-April. The blog may be a bit quiet until then, but I’ll check in when I can. Thank you for stopping by.

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