Thursday, May 28, 2009

Happy the Sled Dog goes to School




School kids and sled dogs - what a combination!

Happy the Sled Dog and I visited Badger Elementary School in North Pole, Alaska one morning this spring. We told stories about the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest and talked about overcoming hardships in order to reach your goals. Of course, we also talked about caring for dogs and how to stay warm in the winter.

Happy and I hope that we are invited to visit, as well as skype, with more schools later this year.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Summer is on its Way!


The dogs chew on their bones in the sunshine. The tomato greenhouse is in view behind them.

Interior Alaska is truly the land of weather extremes. We do have four seasons here in the Great Land, but two of them are quite abbreviated.

Here is a quick seasonal recap:

Winter began in mid October 2008.
Winter left us the end of April and Spring began.
Summer is here in mid May.

The snow berms began melting during mid April and were gone by the end of the month. I heard the first Robin on April 28th. We did have a minor relapse on May 10th when snow fell over night and the temperatures were again below freezing. This was Mother's Day, so my guess is that Mother Nature took the day off and things went a little haywire.

Summer is certainly showing itself now. We have had high temperatures in the low 70's since mid May. Nights have been in the mid 40's. The leaves are nearly at "full mast" on most of the birch and cottonwood trees. Many folks, including myself, are considering moving our tomato plants outside.

The dogs are in relaxation mode. Everyone has a bone to chew. Very few of them have started to shed their winter coats, so these warm afternoons will find them laying in the shade. During the late evenings when the air cools they spend several hours playing with their neighbors.