Friday, July 30, 2010

Until Next Time

The Holland America Line cruise ship Volendam docks at the Alaska Steamship Dock while a Wings of Alaska floatplane departs nearby.

I apologize for my absence. We've had family visiting from out of town. Unfortunately my mother, who is visiting needed to be taken by ambulance to the ER Monday evening. After multiple tests, the doctors believe she may have cancer in her brain. So, I'm flying out with her tomorrow. I'm not sure how long I will be away or when I'll be able to post again. Until next time, enjoy your day - you never know what tomorrow may bring.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Rafters making their way down the Mendenhall River.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sky Watch

The last couple days of sunshine have brought people out of the woodwork to soak up some Vitamin D and enjoy the outdoors. To celebrate the sunshine and cool off, I treated the kids to ice cream cones. While they enjoyed their treat, we looked for Mountain Goats above Juneau and watched the clouds. Ahhh

Visit Sky Watch Friday to see more amazing sky related photos from around the world

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Juneau Youth Sailing

Juneau Youth Sailing (JYS) students practice their skills Thursday in Gastineau Channel.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Black Bear

We went for an early morning stroll near Mendenhall Glacier and spotted a Black Bear stopping at Steep Creek for a morning drink.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Streaming Water

My son and I went for a walk this afternoon after we dropped my daughter off at work. There was a fine mist of rain falling, but we were perfectly dry under the trees. We stopped at this waterfall so I could rest and of course I couldn’t resist taking out the old camera. The large, leafed plant swooping over the stream, and along the bank, are called Devil’s Club (Oplopanax horridum). They have horrible thorns along their steams and stocks. I would have much rather sat and watch the water tumble over the rocks than continue on exploring the Devil’s Club laden forest where my son wanted to explore. It’s awful when you grab whatever you can find to keep from falling and feel tiny, small thorns penetrating your palm(s).

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fourth of July Parade

The liquid sunshine didn’t keep us from enjoying this year’s 4th of July parade. The Ali-taptap Filipino Cultural Dancers (pictured here) presented another dynamic show for us. They often take home top honors and this year was no exception. They received 1st place for Most Patriotic and 1st Place for Best Musical Group. The Filipino Community gives so much to Juneau and is a wonderful example of our culture diversity.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day

Since rain and low clouds postponed the fireworks last night to possibly tonight (11:59p.m.), I dug around in my file from last year’s photos to find some sparkles. I’m not sure I’ll be staying up tonight since I’m not a night owl (and my back has really been bothering me) plus our daughter has to be to work early in the morning, and ma’s taxi service must be functioning. Happy Independence Day!

P.S. I apologize for my absence I’ve been recovering from our kid’s birthdays, which are both near the end of June, mountain biking, and out-of-town family visiting. Boy, am I feeling it. Calgone take me away!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Fireweed (Epilobium argustifolium) can be found starting to bloom around Juneau. It is a deep-rooted rhizome that is able to reestablish itself quickly after forest fires, which is the reason for it’s common name.
If you would like to see more flowers from around the world visit Today's Flowers.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sky Watch

Cloudy skies and scattered showers continue to move through the Mendenhall Valley. The Mendenhall Glacier can be seen saddled between the mountains.
You can see more amazing Sky Watch photos by clicking on the link.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Liquid Sunshine

Juneau received record amounts of precipitation during the past two days. Records were broke at both the airport and the National Weather Service (NWS) office (on Mendenhall Loop Road) Wednesday. The NWS received a record 1.98 inches on Wednesday surpassing the 2006 record of .75 inches. Since January 1, 2010 Juneau has received 19.74 inches of precipitation, which is less than last year’s year to date amount of 23.07 inches. No wonder it feels so much drier this summer.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Amazing Bookstore

The Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries “Amazing Bookstore” is a great place to browse for used books or to donate your used books especially on rainy days. The proceeds from the bookstore go back into the library system to help buy new books, computers, and improve the libraries services and programs plus pay the bookstore’s rent and utilities. Volunteers donate their time and effort to keep up the store. Prices start at 25 cents. Located in the Airport Shopping Center, the Amazing Bookstore is one of my favorite stores in Juneau.

Monday, June 21, 2010


The FVF Fairweather (a.k.a. the fast ferry), of the Alaska Marine Highway, makes her way into Auke Bay as an Auk Nu Tours boat leaves on a whale watching trip.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Cranesbill a.k.a.Wild Geranium (Geranium erianthum) showers the sides of the trails up Mt. Roberts.

For more fantastic flowers from around the world visit Today’s Flowers.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Young Porcupine

A young porcupine and his mother (not pictured) nibble on clover blossoms on the University of Alaska Southeast campus.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Salmon Creek Dam

A 3.5 mile hike up the Salmon Creek Trail leads to the Salmon Lake Dam, which was completed in 1914 to provide hydroelectric power for the Alaska Gastineau Mining Company’s Sheep Creek operation. It is one of the largest variable-arch dams in the world. The dam and powerhouse currently provides approximately 10% of Juneau’s electricity, and is Juneau's secondary water source-the first being Last Chance Basin.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sea Princess

     The last week or so has been pretty hectic around here. Three families whom we’re friends with are either moving or preparing to move. One of the families is being transferred with the Coast Guard and leaves on Sunday, so today we took their oldest daughter, who is also our daughter’s best friend, up the Mt. Robert’s Tramway. She had never been before, so we thought it would be a special treat to ride the tram up Mt. Roberts, explore the trails, gift shop, have lunch, and take a few photos.
     We checked the cruise ship schedule this morning and discovered that there was five cruise ships due in Juneau today. Once we got downtown, there were only four in port and the fifth was on it’s way out. We figured the line, at the Tram, would be horrible, but instead we were able board one of the tramcars after only waiting a few minutes, thanks to the tram running every 5 minutes.
     After spending 3 hours at the top, we had to wait in line to make our decent, so I took the opportunity to photograph the four cruise ships in port.  The Sea Princess (the one anchored in the Gastineau Channel) was the same ship used for the “Love Boat” episode in 1981 when Julie McCoy (played by artist Lauren Tewes) was married aboard the Love Boat. When researching which ships were used during the filming of the television series the “Love Boat,” which ran from 1977 to 1986, I learned that a total of six different cruise ships had filming take place on them. Apparently it depended on the episode trip (ex. Europe, China, Caribbean, etc.).
If you would like to see more photos from those participating in Watery Wednesday, just click on the link.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Bunchberry (Cornus Canadensis a.k.a. Dwarf Dogwood) is one of my favorite Alaskan wildflowers. I photographed these ones blooming in a section of forest that parallels the Mendenhall River. I think they add a splash of color to the forest floor and come August and September they will have vibrant reddish orange berries. I was so happy to recently find a few blooming in our yard next to some ferns I transplanted last summer.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sky Watch

I took this photo looking back toward Mt. Anderson, on Douglas Island, from the Juneau Airport. The clouds made the mountain look it was either erupting or on fire. The valley to the right of Mt. Anderson is where Eaglecrest Ski Resort is located.

If you would like to see more Sky Watch photos from around the world, just click on the link.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mendenhall Towers

I needed to do some birthday shopping for our kiddos, so on the way home I stopped at the Brotherhood Bridge to take a few pictures of the Mendenhall Towers.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Twin Lakes

This afternoon I took my daughter and her friends swimming at Twin Lakes. Here they are wrestling for a turn on the inner tube. It’s hard to believe the high temperature for today was 69 degrees. Even though it felt like ninety on land, it was still too cold to get me in the water.
If you would like to see more photos from those participating in Watery Wednesday, just click on the link.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lily Leaf Beetle

     Yesterday while trimming the Saxifrage flowers that have gone to seed and weeding one of our flowerbeds, I came across this little, red beetle. I have seen a few during previous summers and wondered what they were. So, after much searching on the Internet, I discovered that it’s a Lily Leaf Beetle (Lilioceris lilii).
     They lay their eggs and complete their life cycle on various types of lilies. I inspected my orange lilies (which haven’t bloomed yet) for signs of damage, but there was nothing. From the looks of this particular beetle, compared to the ones I saw online, it looks like it’s starving.
    Since it’s not a native species, I captured it in one of my kid’s live bug traps, about 6 feet from my lilies, to show friends and neighbors. I've asked a few of them if they've ever seen beetles like this before, but so far no one has.
     I’ve offered the beetle various types of leaves to eat too, but it’s not touching them. Perhaps it’s like a salmon that stops eating before and after they lay their eggs, and now it’s preparing for the end. Who knows? Please let me know if I’m wrong about this beetle’s identification, or if you have ever seen them where you live.

As of June 15, 2010, I've discovered from my friend Matt, that this is actually a Net Winged Beetle (Dictyopterus simplicipes). Thanks Matt!

If you would like to see more photos from those participating in Ruby Tuesday, just click on the link.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Unless Your...

"Mom, Mom, you've got to take a picture of this, you'll love it," one of my kid's says, as we pass Art Sutch's camera shop. I'm thinking they’re pointing out a camera or lens since they know how much I like Art's shop. Nope! My kid's thought this was hilarious because they know how much I love picking up after other people’s dogs especially in my own yard. It's not the dogs that frustrate me it's those dog owners who choose to be irresponsible in their neighborhoods and along the trails. I’m sure I could whine and complain for hours on this subject, but I’ll spare you. Thanks to those of you who do clean up after your dogs, everyone appreciates it.
Tip: reuse the little, orange bags the Juneau Empire comes in every morning.
They work great.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mossy Saxifrage

Mossy Saxifrage does very well in Juneau (Zone 7) and makes an excellent rock garden plant.
I’m beginning to wonder if my Saxifrage plants like their location a little too much, they’re starting to dwarf the bleeding hearts with 12 to 15 inch stems. I notice a couple of them have brown centers about the size of a golf ball, which tells me it’s time to divide and conquer. This gives me some time between now and next spring to find a place for transplants or some friends and neighbors who would like some plants.

A few of my Saxifrage plants have finished blooming so I best find my clipper and pull up some ground. The seedpods that form can also be planted. I made the mistake of not tidying up a few of these plants one summer and ended up with a million leg, spider looking blob of slim (very wet summer that year). Unfortunately that meant they starting coming in the paths and yard since I forgot to remove the seedpods. Once I trim the flowers back, to the base of the plants, they look like nice little, mossy evergreens.
Common Name: Mossy Saxifrage
Scientific Name: Saxifraga
Plant Type: Perennial
Flower Color: Pink, Red, White
Height: 6 to 9 inches
Width: 1 foot
Sunlight: Partial Sun, Shade
Climate: Zones 6, 7, 8, and 9
If you would like to see more flowers from around the world, visit Today's Flowers.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Alder Monkeys

Alder monkeys hang from the trees along the Mendenhall River.

After painting a few fascia boards the other day, I took our son and a couple of his friends down to the river to play. For years when our son is climbing Alders, I call him “Alder Monkey.” This morning while reading the Capital City Weekly, I came across an article titled “Growing up in the 60s was ‘neat-o” by Judy Halone. Judy shares that her and the neighborhood kids use to enjoy climbing trees in their front yards and that “Tarzan trees” were their favorites. It’s funny because the Alder Monkeys think Tarzan trees are pretty neat-o too.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Soar like an Eagle

A Bald Eagle soars overhead while I take a break from weeding the garden.

I apologize to everyone for my absence. The weather the last few weeks has been extraordinary. In fact according to the National Weather Service, May was the 7th driest on record, but unfortunately that meant putting down the camera and focusing on some exterior home improvement projects (which required dry weather) and end of the school year activities. When I wasn’t painting fascia boards, so we can install new rain gutters, I was helping stack firewood, weeding, or doing yard work. Occasionally I got my camera out to photograph our progress, but by the end of the day I didn’t have the energy to download load photos or post on the blog. Of course, I would have much rather spent a sunny day sailing, whale watching, hiking, or something, but duty called. I appreciate your patience these last few weeks. If I get some time, I’ll post a few photos on the days I missed, so you might want to scroll down on your next visit to see if I’ve added anything.
If you would like to view more Sky Watch photos from around the planet, just click on the link. Participates always appreciate your comments and thoughts when you visit too.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Fertilizer Picking

     After picking empty clam and mussel shells and seaweed from the high tide mark, I sat against a log to rest my back. It was so peaceful to just sit and relax in the sunshine, and watch the boats come and go from Auke Bay.
     Why am I picking shells and seaweed? Well, it’s an abundant, organic, free source of fertilizer. According the book Gardening in Southeast Alaska, “seaweed contains growth hormones, macronutrients, functional elements, and chelating agents” which helps stimulate root development and produce stronger healthier plants.
     Every year, I put a nice layer of seaweed around the plants in our garden and then place a circle of crushed shells around the seaweed. Not only does it help fertilize the plants, but it also keeps the slugs away. I add extra seaweed and shells to the garden each month when there are plants growing. In the spring, I till the shells and seaweed into the soil along with an extra helping of compost.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Annual Planting

Remember the greenhouse I photographed on March 15, 2010? Well, after Carol Ackerson (a crew leader with the CBJ Parks and Landscaping) and her crew meticulously cared for the annuals at the CBJ greenhouse and cold frames, they are now ready to be planted. Carol designs a grid in the soil before she begins transplanting the flowers into one of the many planters around Juneau.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sky Watch

The weather lately has been spectacular, so for my birthday, my husband and I took a stroll around town before he took me to lunch at The Hangar. We stopped along Seward Street to watch the clouds wisp over Mt. Juneau and the Gross 20th Century Movie Theatre (Juneau's first real movie theatre established in 1911).
If you would like to see more Sky Watch photos from around the world, visit Sky Watch