Sunday, April 5, 2015

April 4, 2015 -- raking in the sunshine

Azalea at Bell's Nursery.

We started the sunny morning with a quick trip to Fire Island -- packed, of course, with people picking up their holiday orders. Many of the bakers and staff had been there since 6:00 a.m. or before; at 10:30, they were showing signs of wear, but were all still cheerful and organized.

We treated ourselves (OK, me) to a stop at Bell's Nursery to see the flowers. Pink azaleas at Bell's Nursery. Another woman admiring them, and I agreed that they would never look like this again if planted in our gardens. At $75 for each plant, we felt justified in leaving them for someone who could give them a better home.

The Easter Bunny had arrived, and was being nestled into his chair among flowers and Easter eggs by a team of photographer plus kid/parent wrangler, They were arranging the props, twitching his ears into photogenic positions, and then helping settle the first baby into his lap.

Sun and blue sky over the Chugach Range on our way home.

Our leaf-covered yard on the west side of the house.

It was time, we felt, to clean up the yard, for heavens' sake. Usually, this awareness would not strike us until early May. But many of our neighbors are way ahead of us, and we find it harder and harder to argue that "we just got back from California," because it's less and less true. So I spent an hour in the cool sunshine picking up branches that the wind storms blew down over the winter, and beginning to rake.

Partially-raked lawn on the west side of the house.

As I pulled the leaf mulch off the west garden bed, green yarrow leaves, clover , grasses, and daisies showed themselves. Yard work is rewarding -- it's simple, the air is fresh, sun shining, no mosquitoes, and what an improvement a little effort makes! The neighbors' daughter was trying out her electric scooter, another neighbor's son went by with his friend on their unicycles, and the occasional dog walker went by with the contemplative focus that dog walkers often have.

Mid-afternoon we went to Bear Tooth to see the movie that the Municipality commissioned to celebrate the Centennial (the first lots of the Anchorage townsite were sold in the summer of 1915, and we will be hearing a great deal more about the Centennial in the coming months).

A view of the tent city along Ship Creek from Government Hill. Before showing the movie, Todd Hardesty, one of the directors showed a series of still photos that he acquired from eBay. [As far as I know, they are free of copyright, and I can reproduce them here without any qualms.]

Auctioning off the first lots in the summer of 1915. Note the Montana Pool Hall in the background; there were 2,000 men, women, and children in the tent city with all sorts of businesses to serve them.

A community party on the shore of Lake Spenard. This was our favorite place to swim when the kids were young, but it's not allowed any longer. The hemisphere in the bottom middle of the photo is the head of a gentleman sitting in front of the screen.

Note the legend on the photo, to the right: "Members of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce enjoying golf at Anchorage . . ." This is the present-day Park Strip with the Chugach mountains to the east.

Many different services were available -- just this one small house has "Furnished rooms, Tub baths, Violet ray [not sure what that is], Vibration massage."

A friendly moose at Elmendorf Air Force Base in the 1940s.

A couple, newly arrived in the late 1940s, in the winter. We wondered how long they stayed.

By the time we got out of the movie, the blue skies had been replaced by clouds. That's life in Anchorage.

Plant starts by the hundreds at Bell's -- actually, by the thousands; this is a very small section of them.

Miniature yellow rose bush. the lady who felt intimidated by the azalea left with one of these.

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