Friday, August 28, 2009

Jeremy's dad, Richard, is arriving today with his friend Steve. We are so excited to see them and have some visitors. This is what it looked like the last time that Richard visited in November. It was below zero and getting dark.

When he was here last he spent most of his time on the snowmachine and ice fishing.

Now he gets to come up here for some fun silver fishing!

And it looks more like this now. Weather is in the high 40's and it is sunny. I hope that it lasts while they are here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First Day of School

Well it is the first day of school here in Unalakleet. Here are some of Isa's first day of school pictures.

Although we are planning on homeschooling again this year Isa is going to go to school for the first week and then she will go for two hours every day after that. It looks like "school" is all going to work out again for us.

It seems that I too will be returning to school. I found an online masters program for rural community and economic development. I am excited and it will help pass the time when those looooong winter nights hit us.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Beautiful Fall Day

Yes, it is already fall here. We do check the weather of those of you living down south. I know you are still having 80 degree days and sunny. Here the temperature no longer reaches 60. A great day is about 56 with sun and a little wind (to keep the bugs away). The tundra is starting to change color, the berries are ripe and the Silver Salmon are running. We, like everyone else here in Unalakleet, are trying to fill up our freezer with fish for the winter. This weekend was a Jackpot! Jeremy and I brought home eight silvers to cut up and freeze. Here is Jeremy with his beauty and then me with mine.

Of course once you get home you have got to cut up your fish. We made salmon steaks, salmon fillets, and are now trying to dry some to smoke tomorrow. Here I am cutting up a salmon with an ulu. An ulu is a "women's knife" and is really good at cutting up fish. I guess the Inupiaq have had thousands of years perfecting it so it should be.

While we were fishing Isa spent her time building "rockets" and "shots" out of a syringe Jeremy gave her to play with. (It was not used and it did not have a needle of course!) What amazing things you can build and experiment with when you have water, air, and a little bit of pressure. Here Isa is showing you how she put a hollow grass into the syringe to build her own "shot".
She immunized us against diphtheria, MMR, and diabetes. We also talked about how salmon feed the river as well as the people. Isa stated matter of fact that of course, it is the cycle of life.

In our exploration of the tundra we found a sundew. A sundew is a carnivorous plant. We had no idea that they grew in such cold climates, but here is the proof! There certainly are enough mosquitoes to feed these plants.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fishing, berry picking, and fish heads for dinner!

We have been able to spend some more beautiful days on the water fishing for Silvers. Here is Jeremy trying his luck on the beach one night. He was luckier on the river the next night and came home with four Silvers.

After filleting all the fish we had salmon for dinner and Jeremy could not let the heads go to he made fish head soup as we have been told to do. I did not eat any but Jeremy said it was not bad. He even ate an eye!

(Fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads, fish heads, fish heads eat them up YUM!)

Just so that you don't think all we do is go fishing around here these are some photos of us going berry picking. Here is Isa with her friend picking, and eating some blueberries and salmon berries. After a while we took a rest on the tundra and ate the rest of the berries in our buckets!

I think next time I will go out alone with my own buckets to fill. There might be less eat and more picking!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Beautiful weekend

We had a beautiful weekend thanks to a generous family that let us stay at their cabin 30 miles "upriver". They wanted us to go up because a bear had been breaking into the cabin and it is always good to have someone check on it. The cabin was in good condition with only a few big piles of bear poop and big prints on the door. We hoped to see the bear but never did.

The cabin was on a hill with views in all directions.

Here is Isa showing you a Salmon Berry. We were able to pick a bucket full of blue berries and eat just as many.

Isa really felt at home on the big tundra. Here she is snuggled down like a baby caribou calf. She entertained herself for hours braiding plants together and eating berries.

The next day we took off floating down river and fishing. We caught 3 silver salmon and countless numbers of grayling. All in all just a great day! With weekend like this it is hard to imagine ever leaving such a beautiful, amazing, and wild place.