"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Perfectly Clear

Let me make this perfectly clear:

I am not complaining.

Read my lips:

I. Am. Not. Complaining.

I am not whining, sniveling, or otherwise muttering nasty, deprecatory remarks about the weather.

I hope I've made that clear. At least as clear as the weather has been since....since.....well, it seems like forever, except for summer. There was no clear weather last supposed-to-be-summer-that-wasn't.

But for the past couple weeks, I've been feeding the insatiable maw of my woodstove with chunk after chunk of split spruce and birch, and still the furnace runs almost constantly.

With clear weather in winter comes cold.

This was a few days ago. Don't overlook that thick black bar to the left of the 12.8. That's BELOW zero. Twelve point nine below zero. But I complain not because my nephew in Fairbanks is dealing with forty below, and in Ft. Yukon, where our lone Congressman lives when he's not in Washington, D.C., it was fifty-nine below and dropping.

While I sure would appreciate some moderating temperatures, I never would have seen things like these had the weather been otherwise:

The lights of Mt. Alyeska Ski Resort in Girdwood. I lived there for twelve years and worked at the resort. I pass it on my way home from Anchorage.

Turnagain Arm just past Girdwood. That's ice floating on the water. My drive takes me all the way down the mountains on the left to the farthest ones you can see. Then it turns right and climbs into the mountains on the right.

Almost home.

This was mid-afternoon today as I drove into Moose Pass.

And this photo of the moon was taken in the same spot.

But the best part of "perfectly clear" came this evening. Well, a little later than evening--say around 9:30 to 10:30.

A full moon over my house.

And the lunar eclipse begins. A triple whammy: total eclipse, solar and winter solstice, and the closest full moon of the year. If I were superstitious...

Right about here was when I noticed a thin veil of clouds in front of the moon, barely visible to the naked eye. Just enough to keep these shots from also being perfectly clear.

That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.

I'm sure it had nothing at all to do with the temperature being zero and heading south.

And me standing outside with bare hands. Nothing at all.

So I'm posting them anyway.


  1. phenomenal photos and I thank you for posting them since in my little corner of Washington I couldn't see a thing ....probably because I was asleep. News photos weren't bad but can't hold a candle to these.

  2. Phenomenal is right!! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Gully, for staying up to take these. I was asleep like Rilly when I should have been up and out like you.

  3. I watched it last night too. It was incredible! Glad that you got some pictures.

  4. Cloudy here and a balmy 36 last night. No eclipse visible, so thanks for sharing such magnificent pictures! Your drive pictures are wonderful also.

  5. Awesome photos. (I hate to keep saying the same thing. . . but I will!)