I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.
By: joealaska , 9:37 PM GMT on February 24, 2012
Tomorrow morning we have 7 container vans to unload on our Friday vessel. The crew is going to be there in about 9 and a half hours. Right now it is a blizzard outside. Blowing snow and sleet that hurts when it hits your face, that blurs when it hits your lens. We tend to have interesting weather on Friday.
Internet is down right now. TV is still OK.
I wanted to post a lot of photos, but that is on hold for now.
This is a record book winter in Alaska. Record snow in Anchorage. Record cold in the interior. We do get breaks, usually spectacular. Yesterday, Wednesday, we had blinding snow during two periods in the morning. In between those storms we were blinded by the sun on that new snow. After the second storm it was full bore sun for most of the day, and immediate meltage.
The roads here, especially the rock roads, are in the worst shape ever. Superlative pot holes. The big heavy trucks have to creep along to avoid damage. They laid some rock down on Ballyhoo Road that was small boulders, baseball size or bigger (bear with me UK) that filled in the holes, but provided its own challenges.
After a few days, whether it was by compressing the boulders in the ground, or breaking them up with MY tires, the road is better. Better, but still not good. The BIG debate here is spend CONSTANT money on maintenance, or just pave.
(Internet is back UP)
The Chow Porch has been sold out the last few nights. Perhaps it is the new florescent lighting (AND new logo!), but I think it is more word of mouth. Twice there have been 4 in line to chow. A new participant is NOSEY. You will know him when you see his picture. Not sure if he was a victim of a fight, a trap, or just an accident. But he is a victim. His nose is injured, maybe even a bit bent...
But he is a repeat customer. He uses the fox butt block method (FBB for Arbie) to ward off other hungry vulpines as he chows. Just keeps his rear in the way of the others. NOSEY is aggressive in defending his food, but I saw a rare FOX FRACAS as he was away from the CHOW. Fox fighting, and last night I heard one loud BARK. Not sure who produced it.
Tonight, GNU and I had dinner on a big boat. Good food. I had heard of the storm coming in tonight, but it was just starting to blow when we left.
(INTERNET IS DOWN AGAIN.)
An hour later it was CRANKING. Only 35 mph wind, but that snow was sticky. 33 degrees at my place, but colder up top where it was coming from. I turned on my FAIRY LIGHTS (is late February too Tennessee??). And I also turned on the full porch lights. That is when I saw the fox head near my northern facing secondary chow porch.
(THE TV IS NOW CRASHING) (PIXILATION MAXIMUS).
The fox I saw was a small common brown colored fox, not sure if he was a regular. He was camped out in a snow drift. And it looked like he was prepared to be drifted over for protection. Maybe that was FOX WILEY WAY RULE #4. All I know he was in a swirling blizzard and just sitting there.
This was on the downwind side of my duplex, the protected side. The side now having a 2 foot funny shaped drift that was not there 2 hours ago. I opened up the back door a few inches, all I could do, as a snow drift was now blocking THAT. But I told him I would be back with food.
(INTERNET IS BACK)
Then the wind started BLOWING, so I went to the southern facing porch. The main porch. I chose to call to the fox, asking him to come around the duplex. I whistled, and he was there in a second.
I put out some dog food right by my door. I fully expected the kibbles to be blown away, but no. And that fox SNOWFLAKE came right up to chow down. I was the least of his problems. He was coated in snow. And he ate a lot of food. I approved it as NO CHARGE.
Took a lot of pics and some film, but conditions were tough. Lots of blowing moisture. This is why I do not buy a $2000 camera.
The door was open as I was pelted with ice, but SNOWFLAKE was cool. FLASHES for FOOD. It was all agreed .
When I returned tonight from the boat dinner, I turned the Tahoe around to face outward. Just to have a running start to get out. The drive was clear at that point. Now I see a two foot drift right in front of the Tahoe.
But the night is still young, and the terms will change.
It is Alaska.
Are there any questions?
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