Another of my images has been posted at Gnarled Oak, an online literary journal. It is the one below, titled “Rise Above”. I plan to submit more poetry and images to Gnarled Oak. I am glad to be a part of it.
I am very excited and honored to have one of my poems published at Gnarled Oak, an online literary journal. I have been writing a lot of poetry lately, and am working on a book with poems and images of the forest. There is fantastic old-growth hemlock, spruce, and birch surrounding our property on two sides, and wandering about in it has been inspiring me.
No much snow at sea level, so we headed up the Chilkat River last week. It slipped below zero a few times, and it was hard to keep fingers warm enough to take many photos but it was so beautiful with snow on the trees, ice floating on the river and rising mist. We have a little wood stove in our 1966 VW bus that helped keep us warm.
With a new governor in Alaska, there is hope for the new year. Walker has halted spending on destructive mega projects including the Juneau road! Fighting the mines that threaten the salmon rivers will be the next battle around here. In the new year, I hope to get out and explore more of the wonderful wilderness around Haines by boat, plane, and on foot.
I have sadly neglected this blog, being swept up in the flow of life. I feel more alive out wandering in nature than sitting at a computer, and give a choice there is no question. Plus my introverted nature doesn’t help make my online efforts ‘popular’, which doesn’t particularly bother me but there is no encouragement to continue. I know I should try harder to put my work out in the world. It isn’t just trying to sell prints, which will happen if it does, but to share the beauty of wild places I visit in hopes to help protect them.
Haines Alaska is an amazing place to live, and I hesitate saying that for fear the crowds will come and ruin this sleepy place. So few people read this blog that there is no danger I will spill the secret! I like it best in winter, when there is no wait to turn left at stop signs and strangers wave. No traffic lights, fast food or malls here, and if those show up it will be time to move on. Haines is surrounded by magical forests, fjords filled with salmon, and vast rugged mountain ranges. The air and water is pure, and you can easily find blissful silence except for the lapping of waves, wind in the trees or birdsong. Having traveled around a bit searching for my idea of paradise, I am painfully aware of how hard this is to find. The lower 48 was so disappointing and supposedly wild places were not longer wild. It seems obvious that we should protect the precious bits of wilderness left, but even here in my paradise there are threats. Mines threatening the pure water and eagles of the Chilkat River and they are determined to widen the Haines Highway to accommodate trucks hauling ore. A road is planned that would be blasted across steep slopes along the Lynn Canal supported by Juneau residents who want a new day trip route in summer. It makes me sick to think that this might happen before my eyes and ruin this place I want to call home. After moving 27 times, I am ready to put down roots and will fight to keep greedy development from ruining this place. If you are interested in helping, support Lynn Canal Conservation or Southeast Alaska Conservation Council.
An Alaskan spring is slow to unfold but each sign is welcome. At the end of March it is light enough at 8 pm to wander through the woods without a headlamp, which is appreciated since we are still walking in to our little house through the snow since we don’t plow the road. In places the snow melts during the long day and freezes again at night, making fascinating random abstract art creations. There is something more fantastic about those patterns than from someone’s imagination, somehow. The Chilkat river is starting to flow again, and we walk out on the river flat to examine ice patterns and hear booms as large chunks break free to flow down the channel. The sun is bright, the wind is brisk and fierce. Each day is glorious.
I was excited to learn that one of my stock UFO images has been used as a book cover, and I just finished reading the book and it is fantastic! Just the sort of story I love to read with quirky characters and a surprising plot. I highly recommend reading A Place Without a Postcard by James Brush. James is in Austin Texas, and I am glad to learn he is working on another novel since I would love to read more from this clever and talented author. His blog is Coyote Mercury.
I am taking an interesting free online class through Coursera given by a professor at Wesleyan University, Michael S. Roth. How to Change the World is the class, and you can participate to any degree you desire (I watch the video lectures and do the reading but skip the online forums, quizzes and writing assignments, for example). In a lecture I watched yesterday, it was mentioned that art can be valuable in getting people to care, and can work where scientific facts alone fail. I am thinking more about what I can do to help with environmental issues besides ecological lifestyle choices and writing a lot of letters… maybe art can play a part.