Thursday, September 30, 2010

Open eyes

It's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget how geographically amazing, beautiful and strange this place I live is. But over the last two weeks, I've had several reminders that I'm in Alaska:

1. EARTHQUAKES: Last week we were rattled with two earthquakes. First was a 4.9 magnitude on Tuesday just 15 miles from Anchorage. Everyone at work jumped as the sound of a semi-truck slammed into the side of our building, but really it was the sound of the earth moving. It shook for several seconds, but no damage was reported anywhere. The second was a 5.4 about a 3-hour-drive north. It woke us up Saturday morning at 4 a.m. I had to get up and to see how fast the local news reported it online.

2. WIND: We had a windstorm Friday with gusts up to 70 mph in places that knocked down trees and knocked out power through much of Southcentral Alaska. Some more remote locations had no power for days after the storm. We actually rarely have much wind at all here, but it contributed to a strange week.

3. SNOW: Termination dust capped the mountains Sunday. The official sign that summer is over. The sight makes skiers cheer and lovers-of-summer like myself pout. We also had flurries in Anchorage Sunday. Nothing stuck, but it reminded us that it will soon. The photo above was taken Sunday traveling south on the Glenn Highway. (Note to my mother: Don't worry, I was in the passenger seat.)

4. FOG: I'm kicking myself for not photographing the eerie for that shrouded the 3 feet over the baseball fields the other day. It looked like the opening scene of a scary movie.

5. DARKNESS: The Fall Equinox passed the other day, and with it, my ability to drive to work without headlights.

Hopefully I won't wait for the next round of earthquakes to open my eyes and remember the beauty and wonder of my surroundings.

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