One Man's Paradise

Living with bears

Frost

It must have been a lean year for the bears around here. A dismal blueberry harvest makes for hungry bears in the Interior. For more than a week grizzlies and black bears have been roaming through our little hamlet, searching for any food scraps or things that look like it. Outdoor BBQs were overturned, so were potted herbs. Even bear-proof trash cans were attacked. I have seen bears on my front porch in the middle of night. Not a comforting sound to hear scratching claws…. They could easily break into the cabin. The bears have become increasingly destructive. Not a good sign. One more month before they go into hibernation. If they keep roaming through the village, destroying property, ignoring human presence, they will get destroyed.

That’s life in the Arctic.

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One Man's Paradise

Closing days

Swirls of yellowish birch leaves tumble down to the ground. There are already more leaves on the ground than left on the trees. I cannot tell the difference between dead and resting birch trees anymore. That’s it for hardwood tree cutting this year.

Mountain tops are sugar white. Just a smidge of dark, dark red is left. Yellow and brown dominate the color palette.

At night I am woken twice by a noxious young bear, rummaging for food.

The soft season in Alaska comes to a close. Time to prepare for winter.

It’s raining leaves

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One Man's Paradise

Surf’s Up

A winter storm advisory was in effect this weekend. Luckily it did not come with tornadoes. However, warning signs had been posted along the main highway: “Stay at home if possible”. Well, for some of us the opposite applies. A winter storm often brings a good swell to the ocean and that means surf is up. 5 foot swells were predicted and the forecast did not disappoint. Water temperature: 42 F, air temperature: 6 F. Does that mean the photographer was colder than the surfers? Not sure. It seems daring to me to jump into the ocean before sunrise, wait for a good wave to form, ride for 30 seconds or less knowing that you will eat it at the end. Anyways, great fun to watch.

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One Man's Paradise

Bluebird Days

Skiers refer to a bluebird day as a beautiful sunny day, often after an overnight snowfall. What did the bluebirds have to do with this? Bluebirds are a group of brightly colored birds in the thrush family, native to the Americas. Apparently the Iroquois believed their call could chase away Sawiskera, the spirit of winter.


“The bluebird carries the sky on his back.”

Henry David Thoreau

Anyways, bluebird days are always welcome in my books. And it is not even winter yet…

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Climate Change

The slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says it isn’t happening at all, and comes to us bundled with several others in an anthology of comforting delusions: that global warming is an Arctic saga, unfolding remotely; that it is strictly a matter of sea level and coastlines, not an enveloping crisis sparing no place and leaving no life undeformed; that it is a crisis of the “natural” world, not the human one; that those two are distinct, and that we live today somehow outside or beyond or at the very least defended against nature, not inescapably within and literally overwhelmed by it; that wealth can be a shield against the ravages of warming; that the burning of fossil fuels is the price of continued economic growth; that growth, and the technology it produces, will allow us to engineer our way out of environmental disaster; that there is any analogue to the scale or scope of this threat, in the long span of human history, that might give us confidence in staring it down.

None of this is true.

David Wallace-Wells, The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming


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One Man's Paradise

Beauty Is Everywhere

Resurrection River Valley is one beautiful place. Snow-capped mountains, the Exit glacier, and great light – always. The Glacier Overlook Trail quickly gains elevation for great vistas, because from above everything is twice as beautiful. Well, at least the trees are out of your way, so you can actually marvel at the scenery.


“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”

Vincent Van Gogh
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Inside Out

Déja Vu

Like yesteryear, the world is divided. Hurricanes batter the coast, wildfires torch the land. We have a pandemic, although this time we have vaccines that could prevent much hardship. We have believers and deniers…

Summer is on his way out in the Arctic. The mosquitoes are gone. We had a blockbuster blueberry crop, tundra colors a peaking. Cloudy skies, termination dust, hunting season…


“At some point, you will hit a plateau. If you keep doing same things you did to get to that point, make a change.”

J.R. Rim

I crave for change.

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