Monday in Alaska – Sept. 9

Last week I posted a few pictures of early September in Alaska. The colors are continuing to turn, and I thought, since I live in such a pretty place, why not share it a little? 🙂 Every Monday I’ll post a couple pictures of what Alaska looks like this week … in my little corner of it, anyway. (I’m just north of Fairbanks, in the interior of the state.)

So what is Alaska doing this week? It’s been rainy the last few days, but today is brilliantly sunny and gorgeous, so I went out just now and took some pictures to share. The trees are starting to show their colors. Our autumns have very few reds except in the underbrush; our dominant deciduous trees are birches and aspen, which turn yellow or gold. Some years you get quite a bit of red and orange in the aspens (last year was a very red year, actually), but it’s not looking like this is going to be one of those years; so far things are pretty solidly in the yellow category.

Here’s a pretty nice shot of the approach to our yard from the old, now unused and kind of overgrown driveway … with extra bonus dog — I’m sure you’ll see a LOT of the dog in weeks to come, since he always accompanies me on any excursion around the yard. (click for bigger)

Yard in autumn

This is actually about noon, but looks more like morning since the sun is pretty low. In our latitude the sun is always at a fairly low angle — never directly overhead. It’ll be lower and lower as the year goes on, until by mid-November it will be completely hidden behind the hill south of our house, and we won’t have sunlight in the yard again until February. (We aren’t far enough north for true darkness in midwinter, though. The sun always rises on Fairbanks, just not for very long!)

Here’s a small beaver dam just a couple hundred yards from the house. This little creek flows through our property and the dam is upstream of us. Unfortunately this is a very inconvenient place for a beaver to build a dam; you can’t quite see it, but I’m standing on a gravel road to take this picture, and the dam is, in fact, in a culvert. (That’s the end of a large iron pipe sticking out at the bottom center-left of the picture.) The beaver must wonder why he keeps coming back and finding that his dam has been removed from the culvert by angry men in hardhats! It’s quite pretty though …

Most of my tender plants (tomatoes, peppers, squash, etc) were killed by an unseasonably early frost back in late August. In one of life’s bitter little weather ironies, it’s stayed above freezing at night ever since, and I left my one little pumpkin on its (mostly dead) vine to see if it’ll go ahead and ripen. My garden was rather dismal this year — due to weather and health issues, I planted very late, and then hot, dry weather in July slowed down my cold-weather crops to a crawl (my cabbages survived the frost fine, but they’re only just now starting to form heads), while my hot-weather crops all died when it frosted in August! AARGH. Though I realized a few days ago that this tomato plant is actually still alive, and started watering it again … oops.


Some years I’ve managed to grow really nice, bright orange punkins. This …. is clearly not going to be one of those years. Still, I’m hoping this little guy will be ripe enough to keep until Halloween by the time I finally have to harvest him.

I'm a writer and artist living in Fairbanks, Alaska.

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Posted in Alaska, Photos
2 comments on “Monday in Alaska – Sept. 9
  1. Pam Bliss says:

    Amazing to see early fall in these images when it’s still full on Spider Time in Indiana–hot, short days (it was 93 this afternoon) and cool nights full of big fat spiders building beautiful webs to catch the insects that sing so loudly.

    • Layla Lawlor says:

      It’s always a little disconcerting to remind myself that it’s still summer in most of the rest of the northern hemisphere! The days already have that crisp autumn edge to them here.

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