Friday, April 27, 2012

Springtime in Alaska (NOT 48-below)

Wow, it seems like a lot has been going on the past few days.

While at work, I had night duty, so had one last opportunity to photograph the northern lights.  This time of year the night sky is a scene of intense competition.  The sun is starting to show some gray glow above the northern horizon at midnight, Venus is shining like a beacon and the Aurora Borealis isn't quite ready to hide out of sight until autumn.  Consequently, while out on patrol one night I was able to capture the battle of lights as all three did their best to try to dominate the midnight sky.

Battle of Lights
I feel like I've been in constant motion since I got home from work on Tuesday.  I did my grocery shopping for the next two weeks on my home from the job, got that stuff put away, picked up two weeks worth of bills and advertising crap at the post office, and got settled back in with the dogs.  Wednesday I reunited a stray dog with his owner, drove into town in the morning to pick up the four wheeler from the repair shop, and then returned to town for a dental appointment, a bit of clothing shopping and purchase dog food.  When I returned home I had to unload the dog food before doing much else.

Yesterday I had some work related training in the morning, and then took my little 'daily driver' roller skate in for service before heading home and working at some clean up around the kennel and the place.

Today was the first day I've actually had to myself this R&R, and I spent it with chain saw in hand, clearing out spruce and diamond willow behind the dog yard in preparation for my kennel expansion project.  I have the area for the new addition staked out, most of the trees that need to come down are down, and the next step will be to haul out all that brush and logs, clear out some junk that the former owners had stacked in the woods back there, and get ready to start moving pens.

As usual, break-up seems to bring out the misbehavior in the neighborhood.  The latest is a case about 5 miles from my place, where the mildly intoxicated wife decided it would be a good idea to shoot her allegedly abusive husband - 5 times.  His response to taking 5 bullets was to say "ow", and get the heck out of there.  You can read that story in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.  If you're gonna try to kill someone with a .22, you'd best be taking more careful aim than did she.

This incident was only a few days after a fellow living about 8 miles from my place decided to take his 5-year old for a four-wheeler ride.  There is nothing unusual about that, except that he was more than mildly intoxicated, crashed the machine and now the kid is in the hospital and he's sitting in jail facing DUI, endangerment of a child, and other serious charges. 

So, the chronic inebriates are out again, I saw some snow mosquitoes out again, the motor homes are out again and the tri-pod marking the exact time of break-up in the Nenana Ice Classic has already been swept away by the ice.  Most of the snow has melted and that which hasn't is nothing more than slush.  Oh, and the sap is rising in the birch trees.  All of which just confirms that it is indeed springtime in Alaska.

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