FALL

Fall is breaking into blossom;
The gold of devil's club and birch
The maroon of cranberries
The salmon and peach and flame of
Currant
And fire weed.

           -Ann Chandonnet

We split our time between Alaska and Colorado these days. This means, (besides the fact that we have enough Alaska Airlines boarding passes to wallpaper our house) when fall arrives our freezer is full of salmon from Southeast AK and wild blueberries and cranberries from Northwest AK. 

Back in my hometown of Fairbanks, they certainly had a short autumn this year. The first snowfall occurred on September 13th, and then on the 29th a whopping 11.2 inches fell at the Fairbanks airport. My cousin's kids donned snowsuits and built themselves some new lawn furniture. 

My 95 year old Grandmother just called to say that the entire city was without power for five days. She still lives in her own house and sounded pretty darn excited about the fact that she was roasting marshmallows in her fireplace with a coat hanger during the outage. 

Photo by Rodger Burkes

Photo by Rodger Burkes

"If the seasons bleed into each other like a watercolor painting, it means not enough berries to the last the winter, not enough wood chopped for the stove, not enough meat in the freezer. One year winter came so fast and so hard, the leaves on the birch trees didn't even have time to turn yellow and fall off; they froze solid green on the branches." -Dora, The Smell of Other People's Houses

 Dora seems to have had a premonition about this fall, even if she was speaking from 1970. But judging by the happy smiles on these Alaskan faces, I don't think they mind.