|April snow near Palmer, Alaska
June 22, 2006
The wilderness has turned bright green with lots of rainy days. I can still see new snow on top of the mountains although the
temperature is about 60 degrees here on Midnight Drive. Bears are visiting the houses looking for easy food and they are hard
to spot hiding in the thick forest. Everytime I cook outside on the grill I see bald eagles circling in the sky.
|Iditarod | Anchorage, Alaska | March, 2006
|April 22, 2006
Afternoons brought heavy snow with very large snow flakes. It snowed all night, then began melting with the
arrival of day light all night.
March 20, 2006 | Anchorage, Alaska
The start of the 2006 Alaska Iditarod was this past Saturday in
Anchorage. I was right along side the news media on top of the
JC Penny parking garage for some photos. Then on my knees in
the snow along side other media photographers. We were
splashed by the snow flying from the dogs feet. It was a beautiful
day and the only cold I felt was in my knees. I will remember to
wear knee pads next time.
The excitement was high and the dogs felt it. They knew they
were the stars of the event. Canine competitors from the 83
teams yelped and howled, begging to run as handlers halted them
at the starting line in downtown Anchorage where they began the
race of the more than 1,100-mile journey to Nome.
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race runs across windswept tundra,
two mountain ranges and frozen seas and rivers, where
temperatures can dip to far below freezing.
March 1, 2006
Furs are needed for warmth in below zero weather. These trappers
are from Hope, Alaska. Animals are hunted here to keep the
population from overtaking the cities. Wolf and beaver are
abundant in Alaska. A good fur coat and hat will last a life time. It is
a good investment. I bought a pair of fox muck luks in 1994 in
Anchorage and I am still wearing them. They keep my feet warm in
deep snow and ice. Since there is permi-ice here the ground is
Fur industry. Alaska trappers catch many kinds of fur-bearing
animals, including beavers, lynxes, martens, minks, wolves, and
wolverines. Many Alaskans, most of them natives, hunt and fish for
food. They also use animal skins in making clothing and other items
for daily living.
|Fur Auction | Anchorage, Alaska
September, 2005 - Knik Glacier - Alaska
Icefields and an estimated 100,000 glaciers cover 5
percent of Alaska's surface and they are easily viewed
by visitors to Juneau, Valdez, Whittier, Seward,
Anchorage or the Matanuska Valley. Knik Glacier is in
the Matanuska Valley near Palmer, Alaska. It is
accessible only by boat up the Knik River or in the winter
when the river is frozen by snow machine.
The face of the gorgeous Knik Glacier is a towering
river of ice 28 miles long, some 5 miles wide, and more
than 1,000 feet thick. Melted water on the surface of the
glacier mirrors the blue of the glacier ice below.
Compressed, devoid of air bubbles, glacier ice looks
Alaska Train Trip
Alaska on the first Thursday in March, 2006. Uncertain weather
prevented me from making reservations in advance so I had to
flag the train down. It was sunny when I left Palmer and just a little
cloudy when I jumped on the train. By the time the train arrived in
Talkeetna, it was snowing lightly. When we reached Hurricane
Turn we were in a heavy blizzard.
The train runs daily in the summer, however in the winter it makes
this run only on the first Thursdays of each month. Most of the
passengers were locals that had been shopping in Anchorage for
supplies which were packed in large boxes on the train. North of
Talkeetna there were no roads to the cabins. The train was the
life line for residents in the bush.
Frequent stops were necessary for the people to unload supplies
onto their snow machines which were waiting beside the railroad
tracks. Even though the snow machines were covered with tarps,
the owners had to dig them out of waist deep snow to get in them.
Many snow machines had sleds attached to carry the heavy food
and equipment needed to survive in this wilderness. The
baggage car was full of animals returning from visits to the vet
and the passenger car held many sleeping children tired from
their visit to the doctors in Anchorage.
Locals have used this train to reach their remote cabins since
1923. It's one of America's last flag stop trains. On this wilderness
run, you can get off the train anywhere along the 55-mile stretch
to hike the backcountry, cast a fly to an elusive trout, or pack in
provisions to a remote cabin. Or take the entire 115-mile route
for a one-of-a- kind day trip. Starting in Talkeetna, the route
threads its way along the Susitna River and through the Indian
|Knik Glacier | Palmer, Alaska | September 15, 2005
|Alaska Train near Hurricane Turn
|Talkneetna, Alaska stop for passengers and supplies
|Hurricane Turn in a blizzard | Alaska
March 25, 2006
I know spring is coming soon because the temperature climbed above zero several days last week and it even got high enough
for the snow on my roof to loosen up and roar down in a mountain of white on my deck. Several days later, it fell to the low 20s,
and now I have a mountain of ice on my deck. I picked at it with an ax for an hour or two before I realized it was harder than the
rocks beneath my studio. Maybe it will melt this summer, if not I will be barbecuing around the huge ice cubes.
Another blizzard arrived today. A wonderful spring blizzard with soft falling snow flakes the size of quarters. There was no wind
and the snow flakes drifted in the air like lazy kits on a summer afternoon. I couldn't resist looking up in the sky and letting the
soft flakes of snow fall on my face wanting to enjoy this mild storm. Soon this winter will be just another memory.
|Reindeer in Butte, Alaska
June 25, 2008
The reindeer is about 4 feet (1.2 m) tall at the shoulder and is about 6 feet (1.8 m) long.
Unlike most other types of deer, both bulls (males) and cows (females) have antlers. The antlers are shed each year and
Reindeer have very wide hooves, a broad muzzle, and thick brown fur. The thick fur traps air, which insulates the reindeer
from the cold and helps the reindeer float in water.
You can visit these reindeer on the Old Glenn Highway outside Palmer, Alaska. Just turn right at the blinking yellow light
and follow the road a short distance.
It is a large herd and you can walk right in and pet them.
June 19, 2008
A neighbor off the Old Glen Highway recently got 20 musk ox. His is a gentle herd.
"Changing the Way that
the World Looks at the Internet!"
|November 12, 2008 -
View from the deck of my studio
It is too slick to walk outside this morning even with ice cleats on. After temperatures of -26 for weeks, we are up to 44 above
today. I am on the side of a mountain which makes it harder to walk on melting ice. What a shock to have a meltdown in
January. In the 90's we didn't have breakup until April or even May. Schools in Anchorage as well as the Mat-Su Valley are closed
I am going to stay inside my studio and paint. Need to continue working on my new native portrait. It takes many layers with
lots of color to develop an acrylic portrait. This canvas is 40" wide and 30" high. Actually I am using a birchwood panel rather
than a linen stretched canvas. I like the smoother texture that lets me get more detail and doesn't absorb so much paint.
|Copyright 2006 © Dianne Roberson All rights reserved.
painting at Knik Glacier
Rain, rain, and more heavy rain go away, please bring back my beautiful white snow. It got up to 52 degrees today. A record
breaking high for Alaska in January. I had to get out and go to Wasilla today for groceries. Sliding down the icy mountain in pouring
down rain was not too hard. The worst was getting back up the slick icy trail with groceries. My four wheel drive truck with studded
tires made it only half way up. I drug the groceries the rest of the way.
I think I will stay inside and work for a few days until our normal cold weather is back. Think goodness I live on top of the mountain.
People at the bottom of the mountain are getting flooded. The thick ice has not completely melted so they are driving and walking on
water over ice. High winds of up to 100 miles an hour are causing many more problems. The news is calling this the Pineapple
|Alaska Railroad station in downtown
|Anchorage, Alaska Performing Art's
Center with children sliding in the snow.
This is downtown near 5th Avenue.