Well it’s true. The end of the summer is in sight. At least according to a plant. Fireweed is a tall perennial herb with bright reddish-purple flowers that grow in long terminal clusters. The flower blooms begin at the base of the clusters and move up the stem as summer progresses.
Most Alaskans swear that summer has officially started when the fireweed starts to bloom and ends when the blossoms reach the top of the plant. Here’s where we are at:
I always look forward to the fall. Cool crisp days. Running dogs. Hunting. But like most folks, I can’t help but think of everything we have left to do! Harvesting. Canning. Freezing berries. Wood cutting. And don’t get me started on the dog yard! It looks like a jungle!
We let the grass and weeds grow high this year. It has helped with mud control and the dogs get more shade. But the rest of the canine crew will be coming home in September so the foliage will have to go. And there are many dog houses left to repair. I have some dogs who, despite all the exercise they get, still insist on using their off hours to chew holes in their houses.
We have one little dog who goes through at least 2 houses every winter. I think she’s part beaver!
Speaking of dogs, I had a really nice time in the yard yesterday afternoon. It was sunny and dry which meant I didn’t get covered in mud and dog poop while doing chores. It’s really nice to spend extra time with the old farts and the pups who weren’t quite old enough to go to Juneau this summer.
One of those dogs finally got her name about two weeks ago. Sometimes it’s easy to name a dog. While some mushers have themes for a litter we believe that a dog comes with a name and it’s up to us to figure it out.
It’s obvious sometimes:
Spud – a couch potato.
Houdini – escape artist.
Sherman – built like a tank.
LSD – little shy dog. What were you thinking?
Pudge – she’s a wee bit chunky.
But there was this one female pup who just seemed to not have a name. I tried different things but nothing felt right. But a couple of weeks ago Darrel hit it on the head. I’d like to introduce Dancer.
Ok, let’s try this again. Introducing Dancer:
One more time. This is Dancer…I hope.
Dancer is coming up to 8 months old. She moves like a dancer – fluid and graceful. She also likes to dig holes – a trait she inherited from her mother.