Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Equinox

The fall equinox this year is September 22nd at 6:44 am ADST. The calendar may refer to it as the “first day of autumn (or Fall)” though many regions have been enjoying (or enduring) fall-like weather for some time prior to the equinox. Up here in Interior Alaska it’s not uncommon for us to have snow on the ground, at least visible on the mountains and hills, well before the fall equinox.

The full moon falling closest to the fall equinox is sometimes referred to as the “Harvest Moon”, with the next full moon after the Harvest Moon being the Hunter’s Moon. We are currently in between the two.

I saw several snowshoe hares in the front yard this evening. They look quite cute as their ears and feet are now snow white, but their bodies retain their summertime sable color. White striking to the human eye, it is equally striking to wild predators, who can spot them quite easily during the seasons of transition.

I ran the “core” team today (Sunday), along with Donna Thompson’s two dogs Ponche and Carpe’. We enjoyed a truly excellent training run. It was only 4 miles, but I never shifted the four-wheeler (ATV) into gear, so the team pulled the machine, a musher and a handler the entire distance. The total weight of the load is just a few pounds more than half a ton.

Tomorrow I’ll be running semi-retired Daisy and short legged Chinook with some of Lynn’s older dogs. These are usually short little runs, but they help the dogs stay physically and mentally healthy. With a bit of luck maybe Daisy will be able to help train puppies later this winter. By January or February the puppies should be large and fast enough to go on short, fun-runs to help them prepare for their careers as sled dogs.

Tuesday I’ll run the main team again, maybe increasing the distance a little bit as they’ve done 4 miles the past 2 runs. In the past I was very slow to increase the intensity of their training runs and I think that was a mistake – one I don’t intend to repeat this year. Wednesday I need to run several errands in Fairbanks, so all of the dogs will have that day off.

No comments:

Post a Comment