Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Falling - A Blue Bridge, Morning Nip, First Yellow Leaves, End of Summer Anchorage Botanical Garden

I woke up and looked out into the backyard.  The sun lit up a a section of yellow cottonwood leaves.  Fall's on the way.  But when I went back out later to catch it in my camera, the light had changed and it wasn't as obviously fall.

Here's a bridge I cross on my most common bike route.  The morning light, as the sun rises later and from a more southernly angle, isn't summer light any more.

OK, so it's not Amsterdam, but the bike rack was full when I visited the dermatologist this morning for a checkup.  It's been a while, but he didn't find anything of interest.

Then after a lunch with a friend, I went off to go home the long way.  I felt sluggish and the bike seemed  particularly clunky, but slowly I got into it and when I got to the cutoff where I had to decide to keep riding further or loop back home, I found myself going for the longer ride.

I turned around at the Campbell Airstrip trail head, but first went to the bridge and listened to the creek a while.  Here is the view from the bridge looking west.

And looking east.  There was a man sitting on a bench near the parking area with his little white dog and we chatted a bit.  He talked about dredging for gold near Nome.  There was a guy from Yugoslavia, he told me, who had a young son, maybe four or five.  One day the guy was going out on the water to dredge and asked the man to watch the boy.  They did some work in the sand and the boy was very helpful.  At the end of the day, he told the boy he worked so hard that he should pay him a dollar.  And the boy looked at him and held out two fingers.  Smart kid, he said.

Then I stopped at the botanical garden on my way home.  Here are some shots as most of the flowers are gone, but there still are many out.

I looked around for the sign that seemed to be connected to this pinkie. I just confirmed with google that this is the flower for that sign.  It's a filapendula Kahome or Meadowsweet.  From the Missouri Botanical Garden:
"Genus name comes from the Latin words filum meaning a thread and pendulus meaning hanging for the root tubers in some species that hang together with threads.
‘Kahome’ is a dwarf form of meadowsweet. It is an upright, clump-forming perennial that typically grows only 8-12” tall and features branched, terminal, astilbe-like panicles (corymbs) of tiny, fragrant, rosy pink flowers in summer. Compound-pinnate, bright green leaves (7-9 lance-shaped leaflets each) provide a fern-like appearance. This is a good foliage plant that is valued as much for its leaves as it is for its flowers."

This one's a Globe Thistle.

And here's a lily finishing out its life cycle.

And the seed pods of a peony.  

This is part of Lile's Garden.  It's a wonderful spot, though at first I was a bit conflicted.  Originally, the garden was dirt paths through the woods with an opening here and there with some planted things in amongst the natural Alaska landscape.  But the Alaska Botanical Garden has worked hard to be more than a bunch of volunteers putting some plots in the wilderness (quite literally.)  And this space is elegant and beautifully designed with a great array of plants and flowers.  Most things are gone now in early September.  I sat down on a bench.  It was cloudy, but felt comfortable enough to sit down and enjoy the garden.  I went to pull my book out of my backpack and that's when I discovered that I must have left it where we had lunch.

Now that I'm home, I checked a little more on this serene (I just saw that ABG uses the same word, so it must be true, right?) spot.  From the Alaska Botanical Garden website:
"Lile’s Garden
This peaceful and serene garden is named in honor of Lile Bernard Rasmuson. Recently completed, it was designed by renowned landscape  architect, Carol R. Johnson, in conjunction with local firm, Earthscape. Plantings and selections were guided by local artist and Garden Designer Ayse Gilbert. Fruit trees hardy to Southcentral Alaska are showcased  here, as well as a  “Gold Medal” Peony collection and Primula collection."
'Renowned landscape artist.'  So I checked on that too.  She's headquartered in Boston.   Check out what other things Carol R. Johnson's company has designed.  We're in good company.

Finally as I was leaving I was struck by the quiet beauty of this ornamental cabbage.

The Thai Kitchen had my book waiting for me.


  1. I've likely said it too often, Steve, but it is such a joy to once more see, hear and smell the creeks and woods in Alaska images you share with those who left. I reckon most of us can't forget first home; those things which bind all living things to their roots.

    I sit each morning on a sofa overlooking a view of forested suburban valley below. What I sometimes recall in the pink dawn meets sky-blue horizon are low-lying clouds that shroud the Chigmits.

    It's a reminder of what I loved so easily -- and why it is remembered deeply.

    Thank you.

  2. I enjoy taking the pictures and putting them up. It's an added pleasure when others enjoy them too. So thanks both of you.


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