Much ado about August!
We have been hard at it getting done as much as we can before summer closes the door on us. The leaves have slowly begun to change and now float about with every breeze, which can only mean one thing: winter is coming!
At the beginning of the month, we spent an afternoon cruising through the beautiful Hatcher Pass, making occasional pit stops to search for blueberries or just to take in the view. It was a gorgeous clear day, perfect for such an excursion. We ended up with probably a quart of berries. In similar fashion to most of our fishing trips, by the time we really got into them everyone was pretty tired and ready to head home.
Pete spent some time chasing critters to put in the freezer, but hasn’t had much luck. He went fishing near our place a few times but always came home empty handed :( He also drove about four hours north to the Denali Highway to try and get a caribou. Him and a friend spent a couple days looking, but didn't have any luck. They figured they were a bit early and the caribou hadn't had to leave the base of the mountains looking for food. Most people around here set aside a week or more to go hunting, due to the vastness of the terrain and the time it can take to locate and reach the animals. He did say the scenery was amazing and so we have added a camping trip up there to our list of things to do (...sometime!)
We rented a mini excavator for a weekend and did a huge amount of work with it. Pete trenched in our 300 feet of electrical cable going from the meter to the cabin, 50 feet of conduit for the well pump wire, 40 feet of conduit between the cabin and garage, and another 40 feet of pipe under the driveway so we can run power and water to the garden. He dug 24 big holes for fence posts in the garden and found several massive rocks in the process. He also dug out some stumps and cleared more space for the firewood shed behind the cabin. Not to mention, pulled out several huge logs from the woods which we’ll cut up and split for firewood. We love when we are able to get a piece of heavy equipment on the property because of the speed in which major projects can be whipped out.
Even after putting overtime hours on the mini excavator we still didn’t get everything done with it which we wanted. Pete had to spend a few hours filling in some of the trenches by hand, which is agonizingly slow after witnessing the speed with which the trench was initially dug. We are sad when the equipment has to go back because there is almost always more we would like to do. There was a bit of sticker shock when we were considering buying a machine last summer due to the high cost of equipment up here. Now, however, we are considering the cost of renting the equipment every year and it’s starting to make more sense.
As I write this on the last day of August the rain is pouring. Over 1 inch in the past 24 hours. Usually, August is the wettest month around here. This year, however, it waited until the last day of the month to make that the case!
All the moisture over the past few days has produced some humongous fungus! They love the cool, damp forest floor and they come in every shape, size, and color. Mushrooms are actually the fruit of mycelium. Starting from a singe spore, the mycelium network grows throughout the ground similar to how mold grows on bread. Large mycelium networks can collect and transport nutrients from hundreds or even thousands of feet away! Not only does the network feed itself, but it also works with the surrounding vegetation to exchange and transport nutrients between different plants and trees. It is also thought that plants and trees are able to use the network to send communication signals to each other, providing a heads-up warning of invading pests or other stressors. Fungus plays a vital role in the health of a forest ecosystem, so try to watch your step!
That's about it for August.
Thanks for reading, Everyone!
Hello, I am Melissa, owner of Wild North Design. Recently, my husband and I decided to pick up and move to Alaska. This dream has been a couple years in the making and we are enjoying the journey so far. We love to learn and make all kinds of things. From wood craft, to painting, to vehicles, landscaping, building, exploring...we love it all! We are finding out that Alaska is a great fit for our restless minds and bodies! Excited for what the future holds for our expanding family!
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