Saturday, April 4, 2015

April 3, 2015 -- First Friday in Anchorage

Full moon over the Chugach Range and Anchorage.

You could be forgiven for thinking that it's spring in Anchorage. Sunset lingers in the sky until 9:30 p.m. The skateboarders have been out for a month, the city is sending around the street cleaning machines, people are raking their yards and clearing away the branches downed by windstorms. This evening, we stopped to chat with a guy who had his grill going on his deck -- out there in shirtsleeves and apron, and the sun shining on the grass around his porch that was beginning to turn green.

A patch of ornamental grass greeting spring.

So, knowing full well that it could snow as much as a couple of feet between now and late May, we are enjoying the green.

Daffodils about to bloom at the Hohn Apartments, consistently among the earliest in Anchorage.

One of the last bits of ice left at Town Square from the ice sculptures. The grass is beginning to turn green around it.

Dried yarrow and its shadows.

Westchester Lagoon (the east side), showing a patch of ice that has not melted yet, and a calm spot to one side of it where the trees are reflected. We expect swans to show up any day now.

Trees against the blue sky:


Larch, with many cones.

Mountain ash tree, its branches picked clean of red berries by the Waxwings.

The crabapples still cling to the trees, however -- not as popular with the birds as the berries.

Evergreen, thick with cones.

We stopped by Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop and had the privilege of watching Rachel and Astrid putting together ham and cheese croissants for tomorrow. Rachel is wielding a cool cutter that has four roller blades and makes short work of cutting the croissant dough into precise shapes.

The museum had a  lot going on for First Friday, including exhibits related to Captain Cook's travels. The atrium held small maps to color, and a larger map showing where museum visitors had traveled.

It was the last day or so for the children's art exhibits pulled together by the school district.

This fox, by Ryan Cappon, 5th grade, caught my eye.

Ezekiel McCormack, 6th grade, created the three-dimensional paper sculptured squid and sea creatures.

Morgan Inman, 6th grade, also went for the three-dimensional creature.

Some of the pieces were collaborative, like this series of ravens, based on the Tlingit myth of Raven bringing the sun to earth. It was created by 3rd and 4th-graders at Bowman Elementary.

Near the front of the museum was a series of booths, each representing a Native group or aspect of Native relationships with whites -- I didn't entirely grasp the underlying concept of the exhibit, so will go back to figure it out. One booth was satirizing Caucasians' trade deals with Natives. Museum-goers were supposed to trade something of theirs of value for a trinket from a Native, reversing the traditional roles. The woman at the booth got Jim to trade a bottle of Purell hand sanitizer that he carries with him for a little plastic flute, brightly colored and shrill.

At the Athabascan "booth" (each of these dozen or so enclosures was made from a refrigerator box and decorated), the woman was wearing a magnificent leather dress with beadwork by one of her relatives.

Walking back to Bear Tooth where we had left the car, we stopped again to watch the ducks.

Victorious mallard at Westchester Lagoon, guarding a piece of bread that he managed to snatch up and hold on to while being chased by a dozen others. Several of them got into quite a fuss with him at close quarters over its possession, but he won out.

Signs say "Don't feed the waterfowl," but the ducks pay no more attention to them than do the people who bring bread and other goodies.

Clear days bring bright sunsets that linger for an hour or more. This is the Alaska Range from the small boat harbor at the mouth of Ship Creek.

Ice floes drifting on the outgoing tide.

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