When life gives you lemons, make lemonade the old adage goes–so when Covid hit, it’s time to make pies.  I don’t care what our orange-headed Buffoon-in-Chief says, I think these pies will ward off anything bad.  With a generous dollop of whipped cream with a cup of coffee, they make the perfect breakfast–here about two weeks worth.  This is #1 and #2–strawberry/rhubarb.   I’m going to go on from here with all my summer projects.

Two little fawns show up–mom is always showing off these little guys and parades them around the house.  This is the view from my kitchen table. And my black bears are back–the first thing they do is hang out in the salt chuck and eat grass.  Note at about 10 o’clock to the bear on the edge of the wood, is a small fawn–the one above.  The bear’s favorite spot is on the right side of the photo–you can see a crater in the grass.  I was watching this bear lying there eating grass and two brown ears pop up behind–seems mom hid her fawns on the same knoll of grass.  The fawn came up to the bear from behind thinking it was mom and the bear chased it into the woods…..however, this is not that fawn–it was the twin.  Upon the bear’s return, another fawn got run off the knoll–and by now I had my camera ready.   Not sure who was more startled–the bear or the fawns.  Their back in the yard so all’s well that ends well.

We had 13″ of rain in June and so far (July 20), we’ve had another 9″–nothing but rain here this summer–perhaps 5 or 6 days of sun.  This is a crab spider and they’re chameleons perhaps?  If you look these up on the internet, they have all sorts of names and colors but I’ll bet if you take this guy off this flower and put him on a red or green flower, that’s the color you’ll get.  This one sat exactly here for 3 days as the bud opened.  An unsuspecting bug lands on the opening bud and the spider–like a spring, grabs it’s prey.  Nature is very cool.

Number 3 and 4.  Peach on the left and strawberry/rhubarb.  OK–the crusts are a little rough, but I can whip two pies up and have them in the oven in about 30 minutes.  No complaints at the South Kupreanof Yacht Club.

OK–the garden is a train wreck this year.  I did get all the flower boxes planted and the deer ate them–perhaps their flowers didn’t bloom on time?  I tarp over raised beds not being used and they’ll stay this way for two years–which will kill off most weeds….I hope.  Weeds are hopeless this year.

Here are my carrots and radishes.  If you can’t grow these veggies, you can’t grow anything.  FYI, the carrots rotted in the ground before sprouting and the radishes can be seen on the far right…..barely.  I’m good at sprouting chickweed though.  When I turn the soil three months ago, I harvested about three dozen nice carrots that somehow made it through the winter.  I expect nothing this season.

A typical summer day.  I ask myself why do I live here but with Covid-19 lurking about, it’s actually the perfect place.  We’ve had 6 cases here in Petersburg now (by July 20).  Businesses are operating about half, I’m guessing.  The Ranger Doug poster business is down  42% from last year…….this is a game changer and I predict that this will plunge us into a full depression and will last for years.  We Americans are trying to buy our way out of this problem but nature and science don’t work that way.

Here’s another project–after 15 years of daily use, it’s time to buff out the throne….pardon the pun.   A lot of water has passed under this bridge–so to speak–and things were looking pretty rough around the edges, if you follow my drift.  This hand-made Alaska Yellow Cedar seat is no ordinary seat–it has 6 spacers and is rated at 400#, probably more!  The greenhouse is the logical place to varnish.

Another project is to get fishing–Harry–the owner before me had a bunch of stainless steel prawn-trap frames so I’m rebuilding them.  Don’t try this unless you have a degree in mechanical engineering.  There must be three indented portals of entry, a bait can hanging from the top center (this is the bottom-up view) and a draw-string on the bottom.  Pots must weight at least 30 lbs. and have their own anchor or you’ll never see them again.  They’ll be placed in 250-300′ of water and set for 1-2 hours only.  There is no trap door so it’s a quick tug upward that keeps them confused. More on fishing in a minute…..

Another project is to scrimshaw the handle on my baleen desk.  Here I attempt to scrimshaw with a Swiss army knife–I liked the font and decided to apply it to this ivory handle to a drawer front that I made many years ago out of etched baleen.  Here’s another shot of the three panel scene:

Hunting scene on the left panel.  I’m still looking for a flying duck for the right panel.  I found a husky dog and glued it on along with the handle modification–a work in progress–now 10 years.

Pies #5 and #6.  Covid’s not going to get me!

Let’s talk ferries:  The bozos in charge here in Alaska, refuse to raise, or even create taxes for the common good.  After oil was discovered in Alaska, Houston moved in and we became a Republican state which is being sold off to the highest bidder.  Meanwhile our ferry system was neglected with ferries breaking down as I write.  This is the Matanuska–Petersburg’s first ferry since last November.  We had only one operating ferry then and then it broke down--here’s the Washington Post article.

But, I don’t need a ferry–I bought my own.  It’s a 26′ Munson, custom built in Mt. Vernon and probably one of the best built boats for this environment.  Got my two electric down riggers installed and working.  I’ve a spacious cabin which is large enough for a bunk if I do overnights and it is also heated.  Over-lay radar on the GPS nav system, twin Yamaha 150s with 120 gallons of fuel.

This is looking the opposite (bow) direction with our subsistence fishing gear–Alaskans who live in certain more remote areas are allowed to subsistence fish so we’re baiting up 30 hooks for halibut.  BTW, the boat is self bailing.   The front bow-door is extended for easier deployment–I simply back up the boat and Rick pays out the ground line.  We didn’t catch anything this set.   I’m as good a fisherman as I am a gardener……

This actually happened to me when I was pushing out my skiff.  This is the bow line which snaps onto my outhaul and is then pulled out below the low tide line.  While standing in water, the line grabbed both boots.  I bought this property from a fellow who went missing–they found his skiff beached a couple miles away.   You cannot be too careful in Alaska.

OK–I may not be a crack fisherman or gardener, but I can bake pies.  This is #7 and #8 here at the mythical South Kupreanof Yacht Club.  These look more like the coastline of Iceland or perhaps a Jovian moon.  Speaking of moons, have any of you ever questioned why our moon doesn’t have a name?  I’m going to name it Doug.  Got to close out–the tide is coming in and I’ve got to clean the outhaul and bail the skiff.    (Next:  My book and Doug’s theory of the missing mass of the universe.–stay tuned!)

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