Summer Solstice

    We’re about ten weeks into this blog, and yesterday, being Solstice marks the “official” beginning of summer.  Here on the Kenai Peninsula we are just kicking it into high-gear with projects and work that lingered from before winter. Yeah, I know-Solstice has now passed and many of y’all have been baking, sweating, planting, weeding and what-all for months already….but on our slice of paradise all of  that’s just starting.

Two weeks ago I was walking in the woods near my studio past an unmelted mound of snow-but when summer does arrive things grow FAST! and burning the candle at both ends becomes the norm…

Yesterday we celebrated Solstice by stopping all of our projects and heading down to a nearby beach in the evening. We sat around a bonfire with friends and watched the  kids and dogs swimming in the ocean and the adults marvelled that kids in Alaska are so hearty.

This beach is on Cook Inlet, where large tankers and oil wells co-exist with salmon, halibut, beluga whales and serenity. You can see on the left in the above picture Mt. Illiamna, which is a live volcano, and the sun is setting and making it hard to see another live volcano, Mt. Redoubt. You don’t see a third volcano, Mt. Augustine, but it is just to the left of Illiamna.

   While kicking back on the beach, one of the subjects that came up with the adults was the BP gulf oil spill…   because there is a proposed gold mine “prospect” across the inlet and near Lake Illiamna (reportedly the largest deposit of gold in North America) we are very aware that greed could also turn this marvelous area that we value so dearly into another disaster of horrific proportions.

I mentioned the volcanoes, and this is earthquake country as well, yet the Pebble Mine people want to construct earthen dams higher than Hoover Dam to contain the toxic tailings that the mine will produce. At the same time, the mine developer would like us to believe that the industry is capable of self regulating potential problems  without need for any oversight…which at this point, after the BP Gulf oil spill, and the Tennesee coal-ash spill sounds like a fairy tale.

The above photo was taken from our porch at 11:35 pm on summer Solstice 2010. The fog had just started rolling in, and in fact is still with us as I write this. Unless we are vigilant and continue to pay attention to  how industry wants to change the world around us, the sweet places in the world could evaporate as fast as the fog in a breeze.

…I will return with satire and goofiness next post. I’m so happy that summer is finally here!

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