Birds are coming to my feeder by the droves. I may have jumped the gun on putting it up. I’m still getting used to life in Anchorage, and one of the changes is that you’re not supposed to feed the birds until after the bears go into hibernation. That’s if the bears go into hibernation. Apparently they’re still having problems with the big thugs down on the Kenai Peninsula. Seems they don’t want to put out the lights when there are still smorgasboards of trash and dog food sitting around on people’s front porches. Imagine that.
But I hung my second feeder today, outside my writing window, and hope for fluttering wings, not three-inch claw marks. The seasonal change is always fun, though if someone can explain the point of messing around with the clocks up here, I’d like to hear it. I walked to the post office at 3:30 today amid slanting shadows. Conformity is the only defense that comes to mind for daylight and standard time swaps. If you’ve visited Indiana as I did a couple of weeks ago, conformity takes on more meaning. I couldn’t getting used to adjusting my watch every time we crossed a county line. I’m thinking the real meaning of hoosier is confused.
We’re still out hiking, even though the trails are alternately sloppy and slippery. Julie and I tried to beg out last Friday, but delightful Helen Nienheuser, who happens to be a wee bit older than I, insisted we forge ahead despite the blustery winds and stinging rains. Good thing she shamed us into it. We had a great hike and got to check out the new but not overly-informative maps along the Campbell Tract trails.
Speaking of age, I was amused to get a note today from the editor representing Franklin Watts and the America the Beautiful series. It seems they’re compiling a book on Alaska covering “the geography, history, government, economy, culture, historic sites, and famous people of the state” and they’d like to include a photo of me. Why? I couldn’t say. I did let them know that if it were up to me, I’d rather be featured as a famous person than a historic site.
(Anyone who remembers reading this essay when first placed online over 13 years ago, please let us know. Thanks, Dan Branch)