Natural Art

With the right conditions, our front door becomes a canvas for the weather to paint upon. The inside of the window on the door condensates with all the breathing 2 cats, 2 dogs, and 2 humans do. Last night, the conditions were perfect: wind from the south/southeast, temperature around 28°F, and our heater turned down to 53°. All that condensation froze, and the result was beautiful, especially lit from the outside by our porch light.

Here is the whole window:

Let’s move in closer!

With my 105mm macro lens, I can get mere inches away from a subject. Let’s take an even closer look.

The out of focus dots on the left of this next image are falling snow flakes, as seen through the window.

I feel like my addiction to photography has made me even more aware of the beauty that surrounds us all. There are moments in each day where I see something and think “that is amazing.” And I don’t necessarily mean the landscape I’m surrounded by here in Alaska, though that is pretty much consistently breath-taking. It can be anything: the distribution of a group of ravens in a dead tree, a building framed by blue sky, the variety of colors, shapes, and sizes of bikes in a full bike rack…anything! Being able to capture what I see in my eyes and mind with a camera is the frustrating challenging part, but the beauty is always there.

Happy Thanksgiving

It’s been a busy week here in Alaska. Snow has been falling for 4 straight days, and is drifting up past my knees is some places, making our work in the dog yard more arduous.

We also have a friend from Washington visiting, another former trip leader from IU Outdoor Adventures. He’s the one in the tie beside MJ in this video from Halloween.

Tomorrow we’re having t-day dinner with some friends in Homer, which will be very nice. We’re going to take some dishes we grew up with (corn pudding for me, sweet potato casserole for Skippy), and pretend we’re not 4000 miles away from our families.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, if you’re reading in the US and you celebrate the holiday. Everyone else, enjoy your Thursday!

Wall Kitty

Our cat Cousteau likes to look at walls. Seriously. He will just zone out inches from a wall, and stare at it for hours. He also likes to get in bags and boxes (what cat doesn’t, though), and I caught him crawling out of the empty dog food bag the other morning, before I took it to the trash bin.

We got a view of both addictions the other day, when he climbed on our table, sat in an empty plastic bag, and stared at the wall. He even allowed me to take pictures.

Today, I got off my lazy butt and baked some bread. I found the recipe on vegweb, as I needed a recipe that didn’t call for milk. Here’s the result:

I made two loaves. This, the first one I baked (only one fits in our awesome little toaster oven at a time), I kneaded and brushed with egg before placing it in the oven. The second I did neither of those. They both turned out well, with the first loaf being denser and more uniform in texture (as expected from kneading), with the nice sheen over the crust from the egg. It will make excellent sandwich bread. The second has a dull-looking crust, and is textured more like a baguette or Italian bread than sandwich bread. Both are delicious, and both are already half gone in the time since Skippy arrived home from work 30 minutes ago.

I purposefully held off cutting into them until she got home, because I would hate to have her come in, smell baked bread, and hear that I ate both loaves by myself. The sacrifices I make for this relationship…

Sing-along Thursday: Be Nice

I’ve had this song stuck in my head for a couple of days, and I’m not sure why. I haven’t heard it in at least a couple of years.

I’d never seen the video until today. Spacehog is British Glam Alternative Pop Rock.

Next week, I’ll try to shoot for something at least in this decade. :-)

Monday is sun day

Several times today, I would look up at the sun, drop whatever I was doing, and run to get my camera. This morning, I had just pulled the food sled (that’s the plastic sled we put three 5-gallon buckets of dog food onto, and drag around the dog yard so we don’t have to carry all that weight) into the yard, when I saw this oddity. The clouds created a band just over the sun, so that I could look directly at it, but not below or above it. It was this faint, glowing orb, on a bed of unbearably bright light. By the time I sprinted over to the cabin to get the camera, thicker clouds had moved in (that’s how fast they were going!), but here’s what I got. That little ball above the bright clouds is our sun.

After I finished in the yard, I figured I might as well shoot some of the ice that’s formed on the plants, since I had my telephoto/macro lens on already.

This evening…wait, 3:30 isn’t the evening. This afternoon, when taking Ashlee and Macgee out for their potty break, the sun was setting behind the same layer of thin clouds.