Tag Archives: Alaska

Yes, I Live in an Igloo!

Hi!  We’re into February now and last month Alaska broke some records for coldest weather and most snow!  I’ve lived in Anchorage for over 15 years and this has definitely has been a winter for minus degrees and snow!  In fact we have a problem…….. where to put more snow (and as I speak it is still snowing!)? I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been trapped in my home just waiting for Jake to come rescue me with the snow blower.  But really I haven’t panicked because I’ve gotten a lot of crafting done and I have a lot of company here, like moose.  I do have a job teaching classes at Jo-Ann Fabrics & Crafts and the last two “open houses” for class sign-ups we had severe blizzard warnings and Jake had to take me to work because I couldn’t get my car out the driveway.  Cross your fingers because we have another open house this Saturday!  Up on the Hillside we are the first to get snow, the most dumped on, and the last to lose it.

Did you know that I live in an Igloo!  Actually I think it comes pretty close to one!  It is funny to hear some people think we really do up here.  But what is not so funny is many people down in the lower 48 think we live in another country!  The postal services certainly charge us like we do!  We don’t even get mentioned on the national weather channel unless something like one our towns gets shut down from all the snow or when  the tanker couldn’t make it into Barrow recently because all the ice.  We made some headlines this year!  But hang on…………Hollywood came up and made a movie which came out this weekend.  It’s a true story that happen here in the 80’s about several whales that got trapped under the ice and there was a massive rescue that took place to save them.  And then we have tons of “Alaskan reality shows” on TV, like Alaska State Troopers and Alaska Coast Guard which I must say are excellent, and my favorite!  Definitely the “real” Alaska!  Oh of course there’s Sarah Palin……….. and I think they might be making that into a movie too!

P.S.  We are the 49th state in the USA.

But back to my igloo 🙂  This photo was taken a day ago!


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Alaskan Fireweed

Hi!  Anchorage broke a record a few weeks ago for raining 31 days in a row for a summer.  It’s been cold and gray skies.  Reminds me of living in Seattle!  But the few days of sun have been wonderful and reminds me why I’m sooooo in love with Alaska!

Several weeks ago Jake and I went to Homer.  The ride from Anchorage to Homer is breath taking with the huge snow capped mountains coming straight out of the ocean……….and FIREWEED!.  In July the fireweed blooms and it’s the most beautiful pink sight you’ve ever seen!  I took this photo in Homer behind a bookstore.

Fireweed in Homer

Fireweed from my camera

There is a story about fireweed that Alaskans love to tell.

Fireweed is a well known wildflower (OK, a weed) in Alaska.  In summer you’ll see fireweed all over Alaska, like a velvety blanket of bright pink.  It is one of the first plants to come alive after a forest or brush fire.  Isn’t that amazing?  It multiplies very quickly (that’s probably why they call it a weed and not a flower).  Fireweed looks like large tall green stalks with bright pink color flowers.  The rich pink flowers are one reason how fireweed got its name.  Usually in July, you will see them bloom starting in the middle of the stalk.  The flowers continue to bloom one above the other ones until the pretty pink flowers reach the top of the stalk.  They are truly gorgeous! I personally think they should be Alaska’s state flower!

In August, the flowers on the lower part of the stalk start falling off and they turn to seed, a fluffy like cotton.  Very awesome!  The wind carries the cotton off to reseed for the next year and this is when Alaskans say………… there are about six weeks until winter begins.

In September, the flowers are gone and the stalks slowly change color from green to red with bright red-orange leaves and this is when Alaskans say……….that summer is at an end and Fall is upon us. Now, all you see is this beautiful bright red ground, miles and miles of red!  This is the second reason how fireweed got its name.

They say the inside of the fireweed stem is nutritious and is used to make jelly, syrup, ice cream, ointments, soaps, lotions, honey, and the early leaves are used in salads.  I bet you didn’t know that!

Did you also know you can buy fireweed seed in Wal-Mart, Fred Meyers, and Safeway?  Many who come to visit and want to take home a little “Alaska” will take it home and grow their own fireweed!

I LOVE fireweed! And I don’t care if it is a weed.  It’s beautiful and I look forward to it every summer!



Filed under Alaskan Life