Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Yukon River Delta is a BEAUTIFUL place.

The time is flying by! The days have been getting MUCH longer, the sun rises at 7:30 now, and it's light out until about 10:00. The sun has been shining too, and it's even starting to warm up. No new snow has fallen in a while, and things are really melting. The school usually takes a cultural day to go Munuqing (ice fishing) next week about 40 miles up the river and we may not get to go because the river is already starting to melt and get unsafe in some places. This next week is state testing, and lucky 4th graders get to take the regular reading, writing and math, and an extra test for science! Woo hoo. Those poor kids are going to be all tested out when it's all done. When I started preparing my room for testing, I realized I hadn't taken many pictures lately and after testing some of these things might start coming down so I figured I better get some pictures! 

When I say it's been warming up, I mean it. The sun is hot and when the wind isn't blowing we're tempted to do things like this:

This week I got all of my prepping for the next week done on Friday, and we had conferences, report cards, and another early release, so by the end of the week I was ready for a full weekend to enjoy. I'm still enjoying it, and it's only Saturday. Here's what we've done so far: We followed sun spots around the house all afternoon Friday, laying in whatever we could get. Max made me a delicious breakfast before I even got out of bed. AND we just got back from a 3 hour hike around the ridge up above Pilot, in the tundra! We saw a fox, some song birds, lots of ravens, and moose tracks. Here are the pictures from our hike:

These berries are from the fall, and I'm sure they're fermented by now. I tasted one awhile back, and they are terribly rotten. 

Tundra Flora

Tundra Flora pt. 2

This is what the ground on the tundra looks like. Mostly lichens and mosses with some grass and plants growing through it. 

Baby moose print. 

Post holing. Notice the fox prints to the left, they are able to walk right on top of the snow. 

A GLORIOUS place to stop and lay around enjoying the sunshine. It was cold though! 

An amazing view of the Yukon River Delta. What a beautiful place we live in. 

This one's for you dad. Why do you think the ice is this color? Hint: It's very near the frozen sewage lagoon. 

49 days left!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Fever

I believe last time I posted was while our water was out. The school's water continued to be off for another week after our water started working again, so it was off for a total of about 2 weeks. We went through a lot of baby wipes, and you can only imagine what it smelled like in the vicinity of the bathrooms. Shortly after that was fixed, our heat went out once again. It went off in the evening and we weren't able to get ahold of maintenance until around 1:00 the next day. Our house was about 45 degrees when we woke up, so we used the oven to heat the house. Since then, things on the maintenance front have gone smoothly.

School has been hectic because there has been quite a bit of alcohol in the village so some students aren't getting much sleep, plus the sun has been out until after 9:00 so students are staying out later and later. Yesterday was the end of the 3rd quarter, conferences are on Thursday, and State Testing starts next week (conveniently on April Fools Day).

In the last few weeks we haven't gone on any major adventures, but the weather has been getting nicer and it has started getting warmer out during the day. We had a few days where we got a lot of snow, but by now there are places where it has already melted away. We're starting to see more wildlife now that it's getting warmer, and the birds are starting to return. The trees are starting to bud, and I have a feeling that within the next month things are going to start looking fresh around here.

We changed our return trip home plans again. We're still going to take the ferry, but instead of waiting around in Anchorage for a month for the ferry to come, after a week in Anchorage we are going to fly to Juneau and then catch the ferry there. The flight to Juneau will be sweet because it stops in Cordova and Yakutat so we'll be flying low through the mountains and it should be nice and bumpy and scenic. Then we get to spend the weekend in Juneau, and on Tuesday we get on the ferry. It is one of the biggest boats, and it will stop in Sitka, Petersburg, Wrangell, Ketchikan, and then we get off in Bellingham. I'm really excited because we will get home a week earlier, and we'll get to see even more places than we originally planned.

Here are some pictures of the last few weeks:

The spring creatures are lurking

Sunrises are beautiful every morning

Last week we got hit with a good snow storm. 

Classic Tourist Picture

55 days until we leave the bush!