That old saying “Time flies when you’re having fun” also applies to working hard.
I did indeed go to Alaska. We cruised for three days up the Inside Passage to Juneau and Skagway. It was beautiful.
We went whale watching and did see whales, both humpbacks and orcas. All those amazing photos you see of whales? Taken by professionals who got 5000 shots just like mine:
Out of focus and not very interesting. But the experience was fantastic.
We also saw the Mendenhall Glacier.
There was a glacially carved pond along the walk way to the view point. I loved this.
I was entranced by the moss/lichen forests.
The area right below the view point for the glacier was roped off from visitors. The arctic terns were nesting there. I watched a pair in their mating dance; the male flew down to the glacial lake and brought his intended a little tiny salmon. She accepted it. Farther down the beach there was a female who was deep in the process of incubation.
We went on a bus tour of the inland part of the state, starting in Canada and crossing into Alaska near Tok. On to Fairbanks, where I did the tourist things I never did while I lived there: sailing on the Riverboat Discovery on the Chena to the Tanana River, visiting a gold dredge and learning to pan for gold. It was fun.
Then we took the Alaska Railroad to Denali National Park. There were more mountains than it seems possible. And wildlife. Mostly moose. This was taken on our wildlife tour in the park. This mama had twin babies. They were less than 24 hours old.
When I got back home, there was a 60th birthday to celebrate, which was done appropriately. Apparently I am not quite done with my birthday. Yesterday in the mail I received a beautiful ammonite fossil that someone anonymously ordered off Etsy and had shipped to me. I feel special and loved.
While we were aboard the ship, we sat for professional portraits. I believe this is a good way to demonstrate how 60 looks.
Back at home, I had plenty of work waiting for me. I got my day lily bed north of the stroll garden cleaned out, much to the day lilies’ relief. They were being swamped by goldenrod, violets, wild iris and sundry other volunteers. That took a few days.
I also had to catch everyone up on their massages, and I have been very busy with that ever since we got home.
Last night Jim mentioned that he thought we ought to rake the algae out of the pond that has been forming. I went out there to do some of that this afternoon. I decided to be circumspect about it, rather than just wholesale rake in clumps of algae. I am very glad I did. It is being used by literally dozens of tiny salamander newts. They were not too happy to be fondled and photographed by the local paparazzi.
You can see his gills and tiny legs. I believe we may be leaving the algae alone.
Of course the robins have been very busy too. This fellow was outside my massage room window the other day, chirping loudly to his parents to induce them to feed him. They were just as loudly exhorting him to move his butt off the juniper and learn to hunt for himself. He won the day that afternoon, but I saw him out on the lawn a couple of days later, following his papa around and learning to find bugs for himself. This is so gosh darned cute.
When I left in mid May, the vegetable garden only had the cool weather crops in, and so since the beginning of June I got the squash, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and I don’t know what all else planted. It is doing just fine.
We’ve been feasting on beautiful salads.
This is how the garden looks today. Notice the wooden boxes rather in the middle. Those are the potato towers. I’ll let you know how the crop is.
Just in case I thought that all this belonged to me, the wren was there to set me straight.
Well, that catches you all up a bit, I hope. It is a long summer still. Now I believe I shall hang out ANOTHER load of laundry and then take Ruby for a walk.
It won’t be a moment too soon for Mallory, who is trying to take a nap on the chair behind me and wishing I would move my derriere off Her Chair so she can get comfortable. Cats. Always willing to put your importance into perspective.