I just got home from a wonderful weekend camping trip with four great lady friends. We left Fairbanks on Thursday and didn’t get home until Sunday late afternoon. Our trip took us from Fairbanks to Kennecott/McCarthy and then Valdez. It was a fantastic getaway, and we all had a great time. I’ll blog about the trip in a later entry. Right now, I need to catch up on older photos from events and activities that I didn’t get a chance to write about.
My friend Karla and her husband Brent became the proud parents of an adorable little boy about a month ago. A few weeks ago, she asked me to photograph Grayson - his first photos! Here are a few from our session.
And this is my favorite. I love that they had moose antlers on hand to use as a prop.
Enjoy your new bundle of joy, Karla and Brent! Cherish these days, as time passes so quickly!
A few weeks ago, we had a photography meet-up at the Georgeson Botanical Gardens at UAF. Quite a few members of our photography group showed up. It was great to walk around the grounds photographing the pretty flowers. Afterwards, we went to grab a bite to eat and talk photography.
I took my friend Deena out to K Bar D Apparel, as Deena grew up around horses and didn’t know we had a western wear store in Fairbanks. K Bar D is on the grounds of Movinfree Equestrian Center, which serves the local horse community by offering riding lessons and boarding stables. In speaking with the owners, we found out that there was a quarter horse competition going on at the Tanana Valley Fairgrounds that day, so we drove over there to watch.
I don’t know a lot about horses or competition, but it was fun to watch folks of all ages, riding their horses and making them trot, walk backward, and obey other commands issued by the judge. Points were tallied and winners were announced at the end of each age (skill?) class. I didn’t realize there was a good size equestrian community here. I know a few people who own horses here in the interior, but I always figured it wasn’t the norm. I guess I was wrong!
For more information about the Alaska State Quarter Horse Association and events taking place throughout the state, click here.
MIDNIGHT SUN FESTIVAL
The Midnight Sun Festival is always a good time. Downtown Fairbanks comes alive with entertainment, activities, arts & crafts, vendors, music, and crowds! We were lucky to have sunshine, but the heat was very oppressive. Sunscreen was definitely needed, and it was the perfect day to pull out tank tops, shorts and sandals as we reached temps in the mid 80s.
One of the more fun events was the Yukon Quest Dawg Gone Canoe Race. Each canoe had to have a driver, a handler and a dog aboard. Costumes were encouraged, and there were several checkpoints along the way. Entrance fees benefited the Yukon Quest.
I met a couple of friends down at the boat launch to grab photos of some of the competitors, but it was so hot standing out in the sun, we decided to head into town to find shade and check out some of the vendors and stands. The canoes would be coming through the downtown area anyway, so we figured we’d see them again then.
In town, we wandered the streets, checking out the cool stuff for sale, and then settled in to listen to some bands perform before making our way to the dance stage. I wanted to see my *belly sisters* perform. I should have been dancing with them, but with our travel schedule I couldn’t make the rehearsals so I wouldn’t commit.
The “people watching” was great, as always. I love the diverse makeup of the Fairbanks community. Most of all I love that people here are quite tolerant, allowing for an interesting and entertaining day downtown.
A few hours later, we decided to run to Denny’s for a bite to eat and a place to sit and chat. After dinner, several in our group went back downtown, but I was tired and hot and decided to go home instead.
NORTHERN FLYING SQUIRREL
The northern flying squirrel is about ten inches long from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail. It has very large, round black eyes that help it see at night and a long, flattened tail. It has soft cinnamon brown and gray fur above and creamy white fur below. It has a loose fold of skin between its front and rear feet. When it stretches out its legs, this skin forms a kind of parachute that lets the squirrel glide from branch to branch. As it approaches its landing site, it pulls up, slowing its descent! When it is gliding, it uses its tail as a rudder to help it change direction.
The northern flying squirrel can be found in Canada and the northern United States including Alaska. And guess who has one living in her yard? I happened to see this guy hanging out on my bird feeder pole at 1am one morning. He was stealing seeds and then checking out the inside of the bird house on top of the feeder pole. I thought he was a bat at first! He *flew* away after I took a few photos of him. It was very cool! I have since seen him two more times.
SUNSET AT CHENA LAKES
On July 3rd, I went to Chena Lakes with my friends Deena and Beth. We went later in the evening (after 9pm) with the hopes of photographing the marmot family that lives near the river. We weren’t successful in seeing them, but saw the most glorious sunset!
Then, just a few minutes before midnight (July 4th), a rainbow appeared in the sky and stretched in a huge arc from one end of the horizon to the other. We drove to the tallest flag in the interior to photograph the rainbow behind the flag. It was the perfect way to welcome Independence Day.
As you can see by all the photos I have been quite busy. I have many photos from the girls camping trip this past weekend, and will also have many from my travels with my friend Pam - who arrives after midnight tonight. I don’t think I’ll have time to sit here and write about our adventures until after she goes back to Philadelphia next week.
I can’t believe that July is nearly half over. The summer is just flying by! I am staying so busy, and I feel bad about not being able to update here regularly. Such is life in Alaska when the sun shines!
I hope that you are all enjoying your summer (or winter if you live south of the equator!) I’ll write when I can. Thank you for continuing to read!
Until next time…