PAGE 2 MID-NOV 2020
Hailo, Age 6
Brigid, Age 8
Jayden, Age 12
Kit, Age 13
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Arts Contributed by Douglas Girard
by water such as on islands or old muskrat and beaver dens. Trumpeter Swans lay three to eight cream-colored eggs. Unlike other birds, they do not feed their young, instead, they stir up the sediment which causes aquatic vegetation and invertebrates to rise to the surface which the cygnets then eat.
1. Raven: Ravens can be found all over North America from the northern forests to the deserts. Ravens have accompanied people around the Northern Hemisphere for centuries, following their wagons and hunting parties in hopes of a quick meal. These corvids are among the smartest of animals, smarter than dogs, and perhaps as smart as dolphins. They can use tools, figure out locks, and know that the sound of a gunshot means an easy meal.
The ebony birds have a complex language they use to communicate with each other. One can often watch Ravens “surf” on the wind currents or play a game of chase as they quork and yell. Ravens will eat just about anything they can find from left out dog food, berries, other birds eggs, and of course discarded fast food. Ravens mean many different things in different cultures. In Norse mythology, Odin has two Ravens that fly over the world each day to gather information for him. They are monogamous and form long-term pair bonds. Pairs typically stay together year-round. Their nests are about 5 feet by 2 feet tall and they lay 3 to 7 eggs. 2. Bald Eagle: Eagles are the most iconic symbol of freedom. Where I live, I see them almost every day. In the spring, the Arctic Terns will dive-bomb them as they sit motionless on the top of a tree surveying their territory. They are the masters of their domain and when you see one soaring overhead it reconnects you to the raw beauty of nature. Rather than doing their fishing, they are like pirates of the sky, snatching fish from other birds like osprey and even humans. For the first four years of their life, they are nomadic with some eagles from California found wandering up to Alaska. They eventually find a mate
4. Snowy Owl: One would think that living in Alaska, one would see snowy owls everywhere. It seems that this is true for some people but unfortunately for me, I am not so lucky. Finally, after living here for 20 years, while driving over the hay flats of the Matanuska Valley, I spotted one chasing a Raven. Look for them in wide-open areas often perched on fence posts or telephone poles.
and are monogamous but spend the winter and migration alone until they meet up with their mate again at their nesting site. These nests are fixed up and added to each year and can become quite large, up to six feet tall and six feet wide. They spend about two and a half months raising the young. Eagles can be found all over the United States from Alaska to the Mexico border. They live 20 to 30 years. 3. Trumpeter Swan: Early spring is the time to see the first trumpeter swans arrive in the northland. Their distinct trumpet call lets me know they have arrived at my lake. After the age of four, they find a mate and stay together throughout the year, even
while migrating. Trumpeter Swans mate for life and I like to think the ones that arrive at my lake each spring are the same mating pair I have seen for years. The husband and wife swim side by side bobbing their heads up and down reaffirming their bond. Some males who have lost their mate do not mate again. They were once endangered, almost driven to extinction in the early 20th century but are doing well now. They are six feet in length and have a wingspan of eight feet. They are North America’s heaviest flying bird weighing about twenty-five pounds and live about twenty-six years. They build their nests in a location surrounded
These owls are very patient, often sitting for hours in the same spot occasionally swiveling their head looking for food, blinking their large yellow eyes to get a better view of any movement. Their diet includes rodents, rabbits, wading birds and squirrels. The male, during the mating season, will rise in the air above his mate with exaggerated wingbeats holding a rodent in his beak or talons, then descend to the ground dropping the rodent for the female to inspect. They nest on the ground and have 3 to 11 eggs. To defend themselves they have been known to attack wolves and even humans. Artwork by Douglas François Girard. You can order prints of birds, Alaska landscapes, dancers, and myths at studiogirard.com. Subscribe to my newsletter for 20% off. Please follow me on Facebook and Instagram @studiogirard
Events 2020 NEW RELEASE PUBLISHING PANEL 11/17/2020 - 7PM Alaska Writers Guild Zoom FREE Event www.alaskawritersguild.com VALLEY REPUBLICAN WOMEN OF ALASKA MEMBERSHIP MEETING 11/19/2020 - 7PM Sunrise Grill 918 S Colony Way, Palmer FREE Admission BRIGHT UP THE NIGHT 11/26/2020 - 1/2/2021 Alaska State Fair 2075 Glenn Hwy. Palmer Tickets: $25-$75 www.alaskastatefair.org
OXMAS November 27-29, 2020 - 9AM The Musk Ox Farm 12850 E Archie Rd. Palmer FREE Admission www.muskoxfarm.org CHRISTMAS BAZAAR 12/5/2020 - 10AM Big Lake Lions Club East Lake Mall 3261 S Big Lake Rd. Big Lake FREE Admission VALLEY RECYCLING RECYCLE REVIVAL 2020 LIVESTREAM EVENT 12/5/2020 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 12PM Valley Community for Recycling Solutions Live on Facebook www.valleyrecycling.org
Contributed by Sharon Aubrey, Relevant Publishers LLC. The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards, hosted by the Jenkins Group, is a national competition celebrating exemplary children’s books for over 14 years. Winners were selected for 30 different categories in October, including a local Alaskan author. Me-Now, The Adventures of Mickey the Mushing Cat, a children’s chapter book, won first place. It received the Gold Award in the Animals/Pets Fiction category. Me-Now was written by Kasilof author, Leon S. Mensch, and published by Relevant Publishers LLC of Sutton, Alaska. The story was originally inspired by Leon’s his real life cat, Mickey, who he and his wife, Beth, rescued. The real Mickey went on many adventures and traveled from the East Coast to Alaska.
About Relevant Publishers LLC: Relevant Publishers LLC celebrated five years in book publishing in 2020. They have grown to include nine authors in a variety of genres: Children’s Picture Books, Jewish Children’s Fiction, Youth Chapter Books, Youth Fiction Action/ Adventure, Alaskana, Memoir, Christian Ministry and Theology. For more information about MeNow, The Adventures of Mickey the Mushing Cat or to inquire about new manuscript queries, please visit www. relevantpublishers.com.
Leon’s children’s book is targeted to second through fourth grade readers and follows the life of Mickey the cat who was born a stray and abandoned in Maryland. Later, he is rescued and adopted by a family in Vermont who eventually move to Alaska. There, they open a dog sledding kennel. Mickey is an adventurous feline, who having overcome many challenges early in life, doesn’t want to be left home alone when his family is out on the trail. As any brave cat would do, he sneaks out of the house and learns to ride with the dog team. Later, Mickey accidentally ends up on the Iditarod Trail. He and his team face the harsh challenges of the Last Great Race and the other dog teams that want to eat him. Can he survive? Will his team finish the race or scratch? Young readers can find out what happens to Mickey in his first book, Me-Now.
Contributed by Glenda Field Glenda Field, a local Mat-Su artist, will present her paintings during the month of November at the Bearpaw River Brewery, 4605 E Palmer-Wasilla Hwy. Glenda works mainly with acrylics and watercolors and also paints on glass and porcelain. She is known for her floral art, but also enjoys painting other subjects. Her paintings and glasswork can be seen at the Aurora Gallery in Anchorage and at the Wagon Wheel Store in the Carrs Mall in Wasilla.
She renewed her artistic journey after retiring form the Fairbanks school district, and became more involved in artistic endeavors after moving to Wasilla 7 years ago. She joined the local Valley Fine Arts Society and the Alaska Watercolor Society where she met fellow artists and had opportunities to grow her art. Up until last year, she also taught watercolor classes. She likes bold and bright watercolors and acrylics and works to continually improve her paintings.
The 2018 earthquake was am impetus to change her watercolors. Her home was damaged and her artwork fell off the walls. Acrylics survived, but the watercolors had damage, either broken frames, smashed glass and/or torn paintings. During this pandemic, she has been experimenting to find ways to make watercolor paintings that do not need glass and mats, and in some cases frames, making the watercolor easier to ship, lighter to hang, more durable, and less expensive for the buyer. After a long experimentation with various surface preparations, she is now able to start selling her new watercolors. Fortunately for her, the Aurora Gallery has taken most of her work, but she has set aside some of her new watercolor paintings for this Bear Paw Event. Please stop by to see a sample of her work at the brewery. She will be displaying an assortment of acrylic, watercolors and hand painted glass and cups.
Poetry & Prose Contributed by Caitlin M.S. Buxbaum after Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer It’s like Rosemerry said: sometimes, the poet just doesn’t show, and we have to pretend we know how to do what she does. Or, if she does appear, she is exhausted, has brought only a bag of second-rate groceries to feed us, having traded her prettiest words for passage home. Looking on her harrowed face now, I try to hide my disappointment — accept what little either of us has to offer. But we both know what starved looks like.
Contributed by Robert Lyons
Contributed by ZiggySon
And think not to say within yourselves While leaving the message on the shelf We have Abraham singing hymns To our father Falter! Haltered! For I say unto you Paying for fables That God is able To foreclose loans traded Of these stones Thrown for failures to raise up children An alter but no ram unto Abraham
Whoo whoo Whoo whoo She called from the dark morning
Contributed by Robert Lyons with great honor to Henry Longfellow This ship of state, O Union great, has sailed on thru with endless faith! With humanity still oppressed with years of fears, hope again has arised Fateful storm, Republic worn, but still we shall never forget lost lives! The workers, welders with hammers wailing, the anchors forged in bloody battle Stocks full from field men’s crop, this ship still sails the worlds waves Manned with sailors of the brave, rolling deck, rattling block. Sailing thru! As water sheds, upon men like rocks raining on their backs Insane the heaving waters, Never to falter, we haven’t sunk, not yet oh my! Lights leading to rocks shock us with fake news, we pursue the true way Alas, At last, we sea the land, uniting with our fellow man! Our blood, and tears And faith and hope are in the boards that make the decks, of the ship that never forgets, We are with thee, oh Republic, with the all in Unity! Sailing the seas of free...
Whoo Whoo Whoo Whoo She called from the hidden tree not sure am I, perhaps a Nomad who was mired in the southern climes Whoo Whoo Ancestors from the Asian steppes Is it their mustang hooves I hear When my feet crush the snow Whoo Whoo I breathe the winter freshness and it feels right I see the sharp morning mountain shadows And feel at home at last Whoo whoo Whoo whoo I answered back
Contributed by Richard Estelle, Palmer Museum of History & Art This month’s photo is of a log cabin located on the north side of Matanuska River east of Palmer, a mile or so past the narrow spot in the river where the steel road bridge would later be constructed in 1934. The original owner and date of construction of the cabin are not clear, but is thought to have been owned by Eugene Marsh at some point. The log frames at the right of the cabin appear to be pens for holding foxes, likely during the 1920s or early ‘30s when fox farming was a profitable enterprise throughout much of Alaska.
The accompanying photo is of the same cabin, the view taken from the east side looking back toward Palmer. It shows an associated cache close to the river bank with the new road located between the two structures. The cache was removed as the roadway was widened in later years. The cabin remained a familiar sight to motorists traveling the Glenn Highway to the Butte or to Anchorage through the 1960’s as new houses grew up around it. The prominent white mountain behind the cabin has been known by a variety of names over the years. We don’t have a record of a Native name for it, or how it may have been referred to by early
homesteaders, but folks associated with the beginning days of the Matanuska Colony sometimes referred to it as “The Horn” or “The Matterhorn”. History researcher, Joe Lawton, found the June 26, 1942 edition of the local “Valley Settler” newspaper reported that some locals called the mountain “Cow Horns”, while others called it “Granite Mountain”. The paper reported that a week prior to that June 26 date a local minister, Herman Edward Beyer, had made a 17hour climb to the top of the mountain where he erected a rock cairn and placed evidence that he had reached the top. It is believed that Mr. Beyer was
the first person to have climbed the mountain. Subsequently, the mountain was commonly referred to by folks of the region as “Beyers Peak” for many years, and many still do. In conversations between pilots who routinely use the Palmer airport, the name “Pilot Peak” is sometimes used for the mountain as it is a common reference point when approaching to land at the airport. In 1969, the U.S. Geological Survey bestowed the official name of “Matanuska Peak” to the 6,093-foot tall mountain, deriving the name from the Matanuska River which had been noted on maps since 1879.
Looking to 2021, the Alaska State Fair is pleased to announce the first three acts in the 2021 AT&T Concert Series: Jon Pardi on August 28th, The Guess Who on August 29th and Common Kings on September 1st.
The award-winning country artist was named “New Male Vocalist of the Year “by the Academy of Country Music Awards and “New Artist of the Year” by the Country Music Association Awards in 2017.
Concerts take place rain or shine at the ConocoPhillips Borealis Theatre on the fairgrounds. Tickets went on sale to the general public Friday, October 30 at 10 a.m.
Sunday, August 29th: The Guess Who. Known for their electric instrumentation, timeless balladry, unpredictable jamming and ultimate sing-a-long experience, this Canadianbred band’s hit parade spans 14 Top 40 hits, including “These Eyes”, “Clap for the Wolfman” and “Hand Me Down World”, as well as their #1 rock anthem “American Woman” and “No Sugar Tonight”. Their long-awaited album of new material, The Future is What it Used to Be, was released in 2018.
Saturday, August 28th: Jon Pardi. This traditional country singer is known for his throwback sound, as heard on hits like the platinumcertified “Heartache Medication”, as well as “Dirt on My Boots”, “Heartache on the Dancefloor” and “Night Shift”.
Wednesday, September 1st: Common Kings. Common Kings deliver head-rocking beats and feelgood vibes with rock, reggae and island influences. Known for their crazy, fun-loving attitude, the band has produced hits, such as “Wade in Your Water,” “24/7”, “Alcoholic”, “Fish in the Sea” and “No Other Love”, as heard on albums including One Day, Lost in Paradise, Hits and Mrs., and Summer Anthems. Their most recent single, “Happy Pill”, was released in August 2020. Beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 30th, tickets became available for purchase on the Fair website, alaskastatefair.org. Concertgoers have the option to purchase
concert-only tickets or tickets including Fair admission. The included admission is at a discounted price and good any day of the Fair. Concert tickets including Fair admission must be purchased by August 25th. Details on ticket options and pricing are available on the Fair website. Convenience fees apply on all online ticket purchases. Visit alaskastatefair.org for additional information on the confirmed concerts and upcoming concert announcements. For more information, contact Melissa Keefe, marketing and communications manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tara Waters loves being a firefighter and the adrenaline rush of fighting wildfires and saving lives is her calling. She must be on her game to join an elite hotshot crew in Montana. But when Tara is sent to fight fires in Alaska, her dream falls out of reach.
Someone is sabotaging Tara on the job and she soon discovers a threat more dangerous than fire—a threat that can destroy everything she’s worked for and another chance for love that could be snuffed before it ignites.
Alaskan smokejumper, Ryan O’Connor helps Tara when she fails to save someone on a wildfire, and she figures she owes him one. But she doesn’t owe him her heart just because of his undeniable charm and good looks. He tries to help her deal with the line of duty death, but Ryan has his own story with plenty of demons in his past. And Tara may be the spark his life needs.
As they grapple with the unknown threat, Tara and Ryan discover fighting fire isn’t just about battling flames—it’s a fight for survival—and a willingness to risk everything for love. Romance, fire, and sabotage… an explosive mix!