Whether sifting through sand, or scrambling over a rocky shore, it's about finding treasures in every day. 

Turning from summer

The first snows of the season have settled themselves firmly on the mountaintops, advising Southeast Alaskans to finish our autumn chores. Still surrounded by green conifers and liquid water we enjoy the brisk sunny days despite the power of winter hovering near.

Winter is soon, but for now join me in a quick appreciation of the season past. 

Sitka Blacktail fawn.

I saw lots of fawns this year. Sweet, curious, cautious little guys, sticking close to their watchful moms. One day I watched three generations - fawn, mom, and grandma. Grandma Doe was still calling the shots. When she said it was time to go down to the beach then the family went. Mom Doe groomed and watched the fawn, who was learning that salad isn't as good as milk, but if Mom says that's what you have to eat, then it will just have to do.

Aster

Summer bloomed rainy and buggy. 'nuff said about that.

Startlingly bright spots in the woods included a robust crop of Sulphur Shelf mushrooms.  Don't they remind you of waves breaking on a beach?

Sulphur shelf (Laetiporus sulphureus or Polyporus  Sulphureus)

Hiking determinedly through the woods, old clearcuts, and muskegs, I gathered buckets of wild berries from July through early-October. Gallons of frozen blueberries, highbush cranberries, red huckleberries, and more are slowly being turned into yummy preserves. More on that in future posts.

Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum edule)

Aren't they glorious? Too bad highbush cranberries smell like dirty gym socks at this point. The musty smell goes away in cooking, and highbush cranberries make a tasty ketchup.

Wading through the brush and the biting bugs was worth it for the blueberries. Jam and pie this winter! Oh, yum.

Oval-leaved blueberries (Vaccinium ovalifolium)

Oval-leaved blueberries (Vaccinium ovalifolium)

Oh thanks for joining me on that quick summer reminiscence. Now I am ready to enjoy the beauty as fall turns to winter.

Fireweed leaf (Epilobium angustifolium)

Fireweed leaf (Epilobium angustifolium)