'Tis the season for rain and gray days lit by the flaming gold birches along the highways. In late July, we spent a couple of hours with Ben VanderWeele learning about the challenges of growing wheat (see post here) in the Mat-Su Valley. On the last Saturday of September, with rain and fog swathing most of Anchorage and the Mat-Su Valley, we drove to the wheat fields to see them after the harvest. The sandhill cranes arrived before we did, though, and were gleaning the fields in their long-necked leisurely style. Some of the fields have been turned under; the ones that were most recently harvested sill have stubble standing.
Anchorage Distillery for vodka, and to Rise and Shine Breads for its fat and fragrant loaves. His barn probably has numerous large plastic bins filled with wheat for the winter, and for next spring's plantings.
Snow-capped Chugach Mountains from Westchester Lagoon in Anchorage (September 23). This is what the mountains beyond VanderWeele's Farm look like beneath today's clouds.
Below are a few photos that we took on September 5, when Ben VanderWeele had harvested about half of the wheat.