Late August, 2023. Alaska old timers take the weather as it comes. But here in Southeast Alaska, one thing you know for certain: The short dark rainy days of winter are just around the corner.
Whether we admit it or not, we are all getting mentally prepared. A fortunate number of us are planning to become “Snow Birds” be it the Condo in Scottsdale or an extended vacation to Belize. Or both.
Not Ross and I. We never believed (and still don’t) that we would grow too old for Alaska. Our alternate home is the “Island Studio” here in Southeast.
If you haven’t got the firewood split and stacked, you are too late. But better late than not at all, but you’ll be burning wet wood, and more of it.
Our homestead is blessed with plenty of trees that have blown down, so cutting a living tree never happens.
It has been a good year for berries here’bouts.
AKA Summer Studio, our home is in a beautiful sunny clearing of huckle berries, both red and blue. We call the blue ones “blue berries”. Red huckle berries are fewer, but we have plenty enough for a couple pies and some to freeze.
Winter brings stormy waters, uncertain dangers and isolation. And careful management of food and resources.
And true loneliness.
We love it, we embrace it, but it is not easy living.
August is the month when we anticipate the fall pattern of rain, merging into rainy and snowy winter. But this August has surprised us with clear sunny weather. I have been outside painting every day.
As we approach the equinox the weather will grow stormy, and the “fishermen,” the people who depend on the ocean for sustenance and transportation, will grow wary. You can count on storms rolling in off the Gulf of Alaska around Equinox time. Unsettled and unpredictable.
The weather forecasters, try as they might, know that predicting the weather in these parts is largely a guessing game. They are right about 50 percent of the time… flip a coin.
Best just look out the window.