Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Beaver dam on McDonald Creek

Beaver dam on McDonald Creek
Glacier National Park, Montana. 13 Nov 2003.

Just a little over two years ago, I was in northwest Montana visiting my family, & one day took off with my brother Dave & sister-in-law Linda to Glacier Park. We didn't go far into the park — just along Lake McDonald on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, & a bit north of the lake where we took a little hike along McDonald Creek.

It was just coming on to winter in Montana, & parts of the creek were just beginning to freeze over. This is my favorite photo from that walk.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Willow catkins & spruce

Willow catkins & spruce
St Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church, Arctic Boulevard, Anchorage, Alaska. 1 May 2005.

In the dark of the year, it's sometimes good to recall spring. I took this photo on a blustery Anchorage May day — on May Day itself, in fact — just walking hoome from Sunday writing at Kaladi Brothers at Title Wave.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Café Felix

Café Felix, next to Metro Music & Books, Anchorage, Alaska. 20 Nov 2005.

Café Felix has become one of my Sunday writing venues. Great organic coffee, tea, & food — all their coffee is Fair Trade, too. Besides, it's just a wonderful place to be, colorful & relaxing at the same time. This was just a hip shot of a cart & stool near where I was sitting yesterday, with a couple of café patrons tucked away in the corner.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Tracks embedded in ice

A sidewalk along Benson Boulevard, Anchorage, Alaska. 20 Nov 2005.

In the past few days we've had snow, followed by freezing rain, followed by snow (lots of it!). And so our sidewalks are becoming... interesting. Sometimes impassible, at least for some classes of pedestrians; but in this case, just interesting, as tracks made in snow transmuted as conditions changed into tracks crystallized into clear ice.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Near Glen Alps, Chugach State Park, just outside Anchorage, Alaska. 19 Jul 2003.

This is Aconitum delphinifolium, a species native to Alaska. There are numerous monkshood species around the world. Also known as wolfsbane, monkshood is deadly poisonous — full of the alkaloid aconitine — & from ancient times has commonly been rubbed on spear tips & arrow tips for use in hunting or war. The name of the alkaloid comes from the same Latin root as its genus name Aconitum.
No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
Wolf's-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine....

— John Keats, "Ode on Melancholy"

Friday, November 18, 2005

Field mint in winter

Westchester Lagoon, Anchorage, Alaska. 12 Feb 2005.

Winter is not so spare a time of year as one may be tempted to think, when there is beauty like this to be seen. Follow this photo to the comments on it in Flickr for a photo of what field mint looks like in summer.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Snowflakes on glove tip

Westchester Lagoon, Anchorage, Alaska. 12 Feb 2005.

One very cold afternoon last February, Rozz & I took a long plant walk around Westchester Lagoon (the part between Spenard Drive & Minnesota). This is Rozz's glove tip.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Tattooed beachwalker

Homer Spit, Homer, Alaska. 3 Jul 2005.

It makes me feel great just to look at this photo, because that's me standing in that water, & I know what surrounded me on this beach walk, & I love my fireweed tattoo, & I love how the water blurs my left foot, or the sense just by looking at the pik that I'm there, that it's summer & my feet are cool, & the cool breeze is blowing in me.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bus 3N to Downtown

People Mover bus at Providence Drive bus stop, University of Alaska Anchorage. Anchorage, Alaska. 11 Nov 2005 (abt. 8:00 AM).

We've been riding the bus a lot to save on gas & pollutants. Last Friday, I took a lot of piks on my way in to work on the outbound 3. This was after I'd hopped off my bus at Providence Hospital & crossed the street to UAA, and caught this inbound 3 at the bus stop. "3N" means it's a 3 that goes through Nunaka Valley, "3C" that it goes through Chester Creek Valley.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Wild rose

Wild rose
Wild (prickly) rose (Rosa acicularis). Fort Richardson Military Reservation, Anchorage, Alaska. 7 Jun 2004.

I'm busily tring to figure out the difference between this rose & two relatives, Nootka rose (Rosa nutkatensis) which is also indigenous to Alaska but in a more limited area, and Sitka rose (Rosa rugosa — or, as its known elsewhere, Rugosa rose — which is a native to China, Korea, & Japan, but was introduced to Alaska in 1902.

Wild/prickly rose itself is found throughout most of the circumpolar north. I was interested to find that in Finland its common name is Karjalan ruusu which means Karelian rose. Karelia is in eastern Finland and northwestern Russia, the Russian part having been stolen by the Soviet Union by means of war (the famous Winter War of 1939-1940).

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Self-portrait in a public restroom mirror

Self-portrait in a public restroom mirror
Student Union, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, Alaska. 12 Nov 2005.

Take your camera with you everywhere. You never know when you might want to take a picture of yourself. Or of something else.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Eyes Remain Open: A photoblog

This blog takes its name from my favorite Finnish proverb:
Rakkaus on ankara ja lempi kova,
siihen juolee seisaalleen ja silmät jää auki.

(Love is severe & devotion tough,
it kills you on your feet & your eyes remain open.)
In this context, that's not a comment on how hard taking good pics can be sometimes (though it can be, especially when it's freezing-ass cold outside as it's been here lately); but on the how the simple framing & recording of an image in a camera, & the sharing of that image with others, helps me to combat my despair & keep my love for the world alive, & keep me devoted to living & working for life in the face of great odds.

Something like that.

Let the pics I take, & the pics I share here, always reflect that love & devotion, as I strive to keep my eyes open, however painful that may be.