Monday, June 1, 2015

May 31, 2015 -- Homer to Anchorage

Here's one of the reasons that we went to Homer -- to see the sandhill cranes. This one is roaming a friend's yard above the bluff that rises beyond Bishop's Slough. The cranes nest below the property in the marshy area at the foot of the bluff, but come up to the yard daily to root in the garden for food.

Here's another reason -- breakfast -- granola with everything (Jim), and breakfast sandwiches (me) at La Baleine Cafe on the Spit.

We came to see Homer's quirky delights (this is a battered old boat that has been there for a very long time, and has accumulated numerous oddities to go along with its own rustic charm).

Another unusual building -- Homer has hundreds. This is across from the Driftwood on the ocean side of Olson Lane.

Even the Bunnell (especially the Bunnell?) Art Gallery has its eye-catching aspects -- the entrance features a mass of the buoys that Homer's fisher people use daily for their livelihood. The white tent being set up is part of the preparation for the afternoon's event, "Dinner in the Street."

We came to breathe the air, and see the beach along the Spit at low tide.

We envied the Spit Rats their location and ingenuity (but only a little bit).

A person out paddle-boarding.

A view of Homer in the hazy distance, across Bishop's Slough.

At the top of the hill where you enter and leave Homer, the city has provided a park with telescopes, gardens, and views of the Spit and Kachemak Bay. We saw Mt. St. Augustine (another one of the area's active volcanoes) earlier in the morning, but by noon it was misted over, and the view of the Spit was a bit blurred.

The gardens had many flowers, like the lupine, just getting started for the season.

An old gentleman had a container full of walking sticks -- selling them?

Along the way, a stop at Tern Lake, which had one tern, a couple of gulls, and a flock of birders. And one of the more beautiful views anywhere.

Skipping ahead -- we good some good shots of the hooligan fishing at Twenty-Mile River, about 50 miles south of Anchorage.

People fishing under the bridge -- the fisher people are packed about as densely as the hooligan would be at high tide.

The couple in the foreground of the photo above got some of their catch to show us. They said that the tide was about half way in so they weren't catching many, just one or two at a time. In a couple of hours, they would be catching dozens in each swoop of the net. Their two older kids (maybe 3 and 4 years old) were comfortably parked in a double stroller on the bank that gave them some shade, and playing hand-held video games. They kept the baby girl with them; she was a wiggler.

Another woman let us take a picture of her bucket-half-full. She had caught many more at other times, she said, and expected to be back to fish again this season. She often dries the fish, or smokes them, or brines them.

Just as at Ship Creek where people are fishing for salmon, there seemed to be quite a few people and dogs whose main interest was sitting in the sun and watching. This dog got a shady spot.

Back in Anchorage, a multi-cultural espresso kiosk -- lattes, lefse, frappes,Thai tea, burritos . . .  or all of them together.

Along the streets, wild roses,

a  crabapple tree -- amazing how it can get so many flowers crammed onto each twig.

Pasque flowers, with a bee.

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