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

Monday, September 2, 2019

Preoccupied, to say the least

Yes, I have been preoccupied most of this summer.   Tremendous thunder and lightning rocked the area June 5 and started a small wildfire in an area of the Kenai Peninsula called Swan Lake.   Thus, that fire was denoted as the Swan Lake fire.

Smoke shrouds Tern Lake.

From a small fire in a remote area with no road access, it has grown to more than 162,000 acres and threatens two communities.   One, the first one threatened is Sterling, just five miles from the leading western edge of the blaze.   Heroic efforts seem to have halted the fire at the five mile line.

A bit of beauty at Tern Lake.

Fireweed at Jerome Lake on a smoky day.

On the eastern edge, wildfire managers determined  several weeks ago, that the fire would burn into the mountains and run out of fuel as it reached the lichen and moss covered peaks.  Thus, personnel were pulled off the fire and sent to other fires burning in Southcentral Alaska.

High winds, lack of rain, and high temperatures (three days of 93 degrees at my home!) breathed new life into the eastern edge and the fire now is within three or four miles of Cooper Landing.   Many residents there have removed extra vehicles, boats, snow machines, trailers, etc., and stored them elsewhere.

Our days have been smothered with smoke.  Often, I cannot see the mountains that surround my property.

Though less than 200 feet from me, I can just make out two swans on Tern Lake.

The fire is 12 air miles away from me.  That distance is increased when you consider that the fire would have to burn up a mountain and down the other side to get near me. I'm concerned, but not frightened.   I do, however, pay close attention to the daily reports from various agencies involved in the fire fighting.

Sun filtered by thick smoke at mid-day.

So, yes, I've been preoccupied and have neglected this blog.   I'm also disappointed.   Two people have brought their home chest freezers to my yard and plugged them in to keep their contents safe from fire.

And neither one of them contains ice cream!!!

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I have also been watching an injured American dipper near Tern Lake that somehow got its foot entangled in a twig.   It seems to be held in place by fine fishing line or hair.   One toe has already died and another appears to be turning black.

In the mean time, we are all--like this duck--praying for rain and lots of it!


  1. Having been back in Alaska for a little over a month now, I saw our Anchorage mountains clearly for the first time two days ago .. after just enough of light showers to clear the air. I openly cheered! I have been thinking about you every day down there in the real thick of the smoke. I will take the stance of the duck and pray for more rain. I wish I could help the little bird with the tangled foot. Sigh. Glad you are back on your blog. Missed you! Patti (and Cap also still out of the country)

  2. Amazing the photos showing the smoke. Like Patti I have been missing your Posts but I have known what you have been facing there with the fires. We had friends in Anchorage that drove to Homer this past Labor Day Weekend. Amazing that anyone would drive through the area with all that is going on. Yes they did experience a delay en route. Mother Nature wreaking havoc. Cap and Patti