One Man's Paradise

Sainte Terre

“Away back in the middle ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre’, ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently.”

John Muir


There are many things about winter that I like. The transformation of the mountains into pristine walls and ridges of snow and ice is probably my favorite aspect of the cold and dark season. When the storm clouds lift and some of that fresh, untouched powder is exposed, that’s when mountains turn into altars, as others have said.

Amen.

 

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One Man's Paradise

Brooks Range: Horizons

“I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty. In the wilderness, I find something more dear and connate than in streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Summer 2018 seems to go into the record books as a relatively cool and wet one, quite in contrast to the rest of the nation. Nevertheless, there were clear, warm, breezy, and calm days sprinkled into the mix. The constantly changing weather patterns made for great photo opportunities, I think. Rainy days were used for sorting through my images, making pastry, doing laundry, roughly in that order.

blog-22 On my blueberry and mushroom expeditions, I ended frequently on ridge tops, which offered the best views of the immensity of the Brooks Range, short of being in a bush plane. Haven’t seen a single paraglider, although these hills are just calling for it. Gentle slopes in all directions, no powerlines, no fences… Once in a while a golden eagle or a pair of ravens are cruising along the ridge lines, showing me where the upwinds are. The same hills should make for amazing backcountry skiing, sans the cold… Maybe I will come back in March or April, when the winter temperatures may be bearable, and come to think of it, when there is also sufficient daylight for this activity. At night, I could watch the northern lights.

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Endicott Mountains, Brooks Range, Alaska

The oldtimers say September brings cooler, clear days. We shall see. The North Slope has already been blanketed several times with a couple inches of snow.

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One Man's Paradise

Where Days and Nights Unite

It’s been a while.

Life above the Arctic Circle has been amazing and exhausting at the same time. There has been an abundance of daylight since I arrived in the Brooks Range in June. The days have blended into one long period filled with constant change. After a long winter the reemergence of life seems overwhelming. I almost feel like there is no time to rest. Every week a new set of wildflowers appeared, wilted and went to seeds,. Berries are beginning to ripen, and the end of summer is approaching fast.

I have seen musk ox, caribou, fox, and lynx.

I have climbed mountains, crossed the tundra, and waded through rivers.

Today, is the first time I find the time to post a picture and collect some thoughts.

The picture was taken near Galbraith Lake at one o’clock in the morning.

More to come.

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Note to self

Almost unbearable

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A Kirlian cloud.

There is no such thing as a Kirlian cloud, but in the days of alternative facts…

Seriously, out of the blue, after a long dark winter there  is more light than darkness. Almost too much. Gone are the days, when it was easy to catch a sunrise, or there was plenty of night time to watch the Northern lights. More light than darkness. Now comes the time of filling the tank. No more frantic reading, excessive cooking and baking. Winter is over. Well, there is still snow coming down, ice on the road, strong winds, but I can feel it, that sun light. It’s going to put an end to another winter.

Aren’t you glad?

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One Man's Paradise

Shades of Blue – № 2

The sky grew darker,
painted blue on blue,
one stroke at a time,
into deeper and deeper shades of night.

Haruki Murakami

While looking for something intelligent to write about the color blue, I discovered that not all languages have a distinct word for the colors blue and green. In English, however, we do. Therefore, if somebody tells you “The sky is green” – beware!

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