Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A moose on the loose

Earlier this year I was taking out the ashes from the fireplace and decided to look at some of the tracks out back. We're on 5 acres of primarily wooded land. Most of the tracks were dog, most likely ours...but I did see some small moose tracks as well. They looked pretty old but it was fun to see the moose sign. Last Sunday we were having a lazy day around the house, Gus was outside as usual, enjoying the break in rain/snow. When all of a sudden I hear him barking. Now Gus being a husky he doesn't really bark, and he's not very good at it. He likes to howl, and we like to howl back at him. I looked out the bedroom window and saw him at the back corner of the garage barking at something in the woods that I couldn't quite see. Once I moved to the next window I could see a large black creature move just behind a couple of trees. A moose! I was very excited. I ran downstairs to bring Gus inside, we don't need the moose getting aggravated and angry at him, and we didn't really want him to get trampled. Once he was inside I quickly grabbed my camera with the zoom lens and quietly went back outside to take a couple pictures. Keep in mind I'm a horrible judge of distance, so I think I was about 50ft away from her once I got crouched down under some trees. I had a great view of her and she just stood there, very still, as though if she didn't move I might not see her. I took pictures for probably 20 minutes and she just stood there, moved her head around some but didn't walk away. After I decided I should probably let her be, she turned into the woods and walked away as soon as I got inside. I now find myself constantly looking for her in the woods. Partly because I want to see her again and the other reason is to keep Gus from pestering her. Well, this morning after I got up I looked out the window and caught some movement in the woods. It was the moose again! She would walk a few steps and stop and stand still. It's really amazing how camouflaged they are, you could hardly see her when she was standing still. Gus was upset with me for a little while since I wouldn't let him right out, but he got over it. I have been calling the moose a "she" since I didn't see any sign of antlers on her. I also looked up when moose give birth, and it's mid-May to early June. I obviously have no idea if she's pregnant but it would be fun to see her with a little one in a month or two. Here are a few pictures that I took on Sunday.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Aurora February 18, 2014

We've been getting some cold clear weather here and one of the good things about that besides seeing the sun, is the potential to see the aurora. I had heard that there was potential to see the aurora all over Alaska and the Northern lower 48 but I didn't expect to be watching them at 8:00PM AKST. Usually if you want to see the aurora you need to get up in the middle of the night and look North to see them from Southeast Alaska, not on the 18th. Jeremy and I were on our nightly walk with Gus and Jeremy goes, "Is that the aurora?" "I think so" I responded. And sure enough it was. Right over our heads. We decided to go for a little drive to a place with a better view north to watch and so I could take some pictures. This was hands down the most active I have ever seen the aurora. I also haven't seen it a whole lot but this was impressive. It's a fun feeling being able to watch something that leaves you awe struck. We watched the lights dance across the sky for at least an hour. Until I decided I was getting cold and my camera battery was close to dying. That night my "Aurora Buddy" app was constantly going off saying that the aurora was at a KP6, ect. The forecast was for another strong aurora show again on the 19th. Again we went out on our walk with the dog and got to watch the lights over our heads. This night we decided to just watch and enjoy. It was fun standing in the road watching the lights move over head, the light pollution from the street lights didn't even make a difference. One thing that I am working on as a photographer is balancing the want to "get the shot" and just enjoying what is going on. I can easily get wrapped up with trying to get the perfect picture that I forget to just watch and enjoy whatever it is that's going on, whether its the northern lights, whales bubble net feeding, or a brown bear fishing in the river. Sometimes it's nice to just sit back, relax and enjoy natures show. Here are a few more pictures from the 18th. I'll also be putting some on my facebook, check out my fan page if you haven't already. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Watching the Aurora

A quick peek at what we got to watch last night. The show was amazing! I don't think I've seen the Northern Lights dance like they did last night. I'll get a few more edited in a couple days and share some more. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Big Day

On October 5th I walked down the isle to my now husband...What a day! It's one that I'll never forget but will also never remember all of the details of either.

We had a whirlwind week in Vermont. We prepped things at my parent's house, visited with the in laws, had our semi-combined bachelor and bachelorette parties, had a rehearsal dinner, and tried to visit with all the guests from out of town.

I will admit I did have one mini-melt down. The night before the wedding. I'd gone to bed, but had butterflies and couldn't fall asleep. Jeremy decided to visit with his friends for a while. After stopping in the room for a minute and promising to only have one more beer, said he'd be up to go to bed too. Well I just couldn't take it anymore. I needed some time with him too, that didn't involve wedding planning or other people. So being the loving person he is he decided to stay with me.

On our wedding day I started with some sun salutations and focused breathing to calm some nerves before doing anything. Then I went to hair and makeup with my lovely MOH Melissa. We went to a great salon where the staff was very friendly. I had some ideas in mind for the girls to go off of but also realized they aren't going to get it exactly the way it is in the picture. I was the easy bride. The bride who didn't have much of an opinion as long as it looked good. The girl who did my makeup was getting married next year and was asking about some of the vendors we used. She also said she hoped she was as laid back as I was on her wedding day. I think I was so laid back because we worked hard to get things to where we wanted them, the rest was up to the people we hired. At that point all you can do is put your faith in the people you've hired and hope they're going to do their job.

After getting ready at the farm house and getting some bridal shots done with our lovely photographer before the wedding we were ready to head over to the ceremony and reception. The things I remember the most about our ceremony are the music stopping as I was halfway down the isle with my father. We stopped and laughed. Once I was up standing with Jeremy, Gus our husky was sitting in the second row with a friend and he desperately wanted to be with us. He howled and waved at us. I remember the tears in Jeremy's eyes as he said his vows, and how his tears brought tears to my eyes. And the kiss! It was a good kiss, he even wiped a little snot on me, haha.

The reception went just as seamlessly and we had a ball. The caterer provided delicious food, the DJ played great music and did our MCing. And the cake...ohhhh the cake. I wanted chocolate cake, Jeremy wanted lemon. The bottom layer was chocolate with a mocha mousse frosting between the layers, and the top two layers were lemon with a buttercream frosting between the layers. The pieces were huge too, I unfortunately couldn't eat my whole piece even though I really wanted to. During the speeches given by Melissa and Torry (the best man) Gus got put out in the truck so we wouldn't have to keep an eye on him the whole time. So instead of watching him we listened to him...he howled the whole time. I started to immediatly cry when the father/daughter song started to play. Then the dancing started, and the night ended, too soon in my eyes, with everyone on the dance floor.

We had such a wonderful day and I wouldn't change a thing about it. We were surrounded by our closest friends and family, and the weather couldn't have been better.

Here are some pictures I'm snagging of facebook, I should have the professional ones soon!

 The foliage was incredible

 Dancing with my boys

  One of my sneak peeks :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Dinner from the Outdoors

I found a pasta dish on Pinterest this winter. Side note: Pinterest is a pretty awesome invention but can also be very addictive. Any way the dish is a One Pot Pasta, and it's one of our favorites and super simple which I love.

So tonight for dinner I made this wonderful dish but added some wild mushrooms, shaggy manes. I worked out the highway on recovery today and on the way back we stopped to see if the shaggy manes were growing in the shaggy mane spot. They were! So we all picked a bunch, I may have picked a few too many for just Jeremy and I but I just couldn't help it, they were every where. We also stopped at a spot where some Chicken of the Woods was growing. I've never tried it so I took a little and am planning on cooking it up tomorrow.

Shaggy manes are a tall shaggy looking mushroom, but they also go bad very quickly. When picking them you want to go for the ones on the smaller side and try to find them before their gills have started to turn black. I picked a couple that were just starting and by the time I got them home and was ready to cook with them they were much blacker than I remember. They turn so quickly.

A really good way to cook wild mushrooms is to dry saute them. I learned this from an old boss who liked to pick mushrooms. So because the mushrooms have so much water content you don't need to saute them up in anything. You just cut them up and pop them in a pan at medium heat. I had a lot of mushrooms so it took a while for the water to cook off. Then once the water has cooked off  and the mushrooms are JUST starting to stick to the pan you drizzle them with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. They turn out great every time. So this is what I did with the mushrooms and made my one pot pasta into a one pot plus one pan pasta.

For the pasta you take a box of pasta and add it to boiling water. Take six minutes off the cook time and let it boil for that long. When there are only 6 minutes left you add a head of chopped up broccoli to the boiling water and boil for the remaining 6 minutes. Then drain, add 6 Tbsp of olive oil and 5 clovers of minced garlic and mix it all up. After this step is when I added in my mushrooms, then topped it with a little Parmesan cheese.

It was so tasty. And fun to add a new ingredient to a pasta that we both really love. It would've been a lot of fun to use broccoli from the garden but my broccoli is only producing little tiny sprigs now. The big heads have come and gone.

1 box pasta
1 head broccoli
6 Tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to top

Mushrooms or any other fun ingredient, if you want a little extra.


If you have Pinterest and feel like following me here's my page:
 The mushrooms after they got home
 Dry sauteing the mushrooms
 Mixing the olive oil and garlic in with the pasta and broccoli
Finished product!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Dinnah Time!

Here in Haines we have two major rivers that host all five salmon species; Chinook, Coho, Chum, Sockeye, and Pinks. And with that we get lots of fish! The native village of Klukwan has fished in the Chilkat River for a very long time and it's a part of their culture, and the culture of many native Alaskans throughout the state. So what Fish and Game does is issue subsistence fishing permits for salmon. To get one of these permits you need to be an Alaskan resident, and you'll know when you are when you get that beloved PFD check in the mail every fall. There are only certain areas that you can subsistence fish for salmon in the state and it tends to be small towns. You couldn't sustainably have subsistence fishing in a town like Juneau where the population is 30,000 and everyone is bringing home 50 sockeye. Here in Haines subsistence fishing is done with a gill net. In the river the gill net can't exceed 50 feet and you can either have a set net that you tend to the whole time it's in the water, or you can use a boat and drift the river. You can also fish in the ocean, these nets can't exceed 300 feet, and you need a boat to fish in the ocean.

Anyway, last weekend I went fishing with a co-worker and was able to bring home 10 sockeye! We fished for three hours and got 21 sockeye and kept one pink, they make good crab/shrimp/halibut bait. It ended up being a looooong night. We fished for three hours, I was the fish picker, and pulled them out of the net and killed them. Someone else drove the boat and another person worked the net, the system worked pretty well. By the time I got home it was 8:00PM and we hadn't cleaned the fish still. So I grabbed Jeremy and Gus and we went down to the boat harbor to clean and fillet the fish.

Jeremy taught me how to fillet my very first fish! I did pretty well too if I do say so myself :) While I was filleting I would give Gus little chunks of fish from the backbone. He loved that. We tired giving him a whole carcass and then a whole fish head but he couldn't really figure out what to do with them. His inner wolf wasn't coming out. We finished filleting and that brought us to around 9:30ish, and we decided to pack everything that night. By the time we went to bed it was 11:00. The next day I had to replace a couple of bags that didn't seal, but we are going to be eating well this winter, and I'm looking forward to that. I would like to catch a few more fish and do a case of cans and maybe we'll smoke a few.

We love living here and fish has been becoming more and more prevalent in our diet. So getting these fish to put in the freezer is definitely a good feeling.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Oh's been a while

It has been quite some time since I've taken the time to sit down and write.

There have been a bunch of things going on that I've been meaning to write about but just haven't, so I'll be breaking it up into a few posts :)

Here in SE Alaska thunder storms are pretty rare, and within the last week we have had TWO thunderstorms. One of them was fairly short lived and I didn't see any lightening, but the other one reminded me of some of the good thunderstorms the East Coast gets. We were already up in bed, Gus was asleep downstairs when a really big clap happened so close that is shook the whole house! Gus jumped up and was investigating where the sound came from, and decided to come upstairs with us. The lightening hit in big flashes and when we saw them we knew it was going to be another loud thunder. Gus would jump up every time, I "babied" him as Jeremy would say and got him up on the bed with us. But instead of laying down by our feet he jumped up and took my spot against my pillow since I was sitting up. And he wouldn't move. So I moved my pillow onto him and we laid there and read for a while. And for Gus this is a big deal, he doesn't like people laying on him or cuddling with him. If he cuddles with you that's one thing but the other way around he's not very fond of. The storm continued for a few hours, and was very exciting. I haven't been in a good thunderstorm in quite some time.

We've been getting some really hot weather here as well, which I just love! But with the hot weather came high water in the rivers. So at work we had to stop the fish wheels for a few days to avoid getting big logs stuck in them. After the water went down some we started to get quite a few fish in the wheels, which is a wonderful thing to see. Today we had 108 sockeye salmon in the wheels! That's a lot of fish :) I need to work on getting a subsistence net made so we can do some fishing and catch some of these fish! Gotta stock up for the winter.