Wednesday, January 28, 2009

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

Inspired by Nigel, Sola & Co.
and by Wimsey, Bentley and Marmalade Bloodhounds, 
supreme eviscerators of evil stuffed objects.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Alaska- Extreme Weather Only, Please!

A chinook sunrise in Fairbanks, Alaska, January 16, 2009, around 10:00 a.m.  Taken from Lathrop High School.  

What a crazy few days it has been.  40-60 degrees BELOW zero here in the Tanana Valley a few days ago, and now 50 degrees ABOVE zero!  100 degrees difference in 3 days.  Does that happen anywhere else?  We are all dancing on the ice and slush as the second chinook blows in, bringing more extreme weather!

Up in the hills, our driveway is the most fun, as it is long and steep.  It is pretty much a luge run in this weather.  We turn off the road, point the car down the drive and hope for the best as we slide all the way down and around the corner to the garage.  Why not sand it, you ask?  Because it is our sledding run, of course!  And it's kind of fun, I have to admit.

The three hounds, Molly, Dimond, and of course Gus, are all full of energy.  They are begging to go outside constantly.  We do not have a fenced yard on our acreage, so humans must go out to make sure the 2 coonhounds do not get on a scent and take off.  Gus the bloodhound is always leashed.  We can call the two coonhounds off a moose if one is encountered, but Gus is a different story.  As a young male, he is unpredictable.  We can't take a chance on any accidents happening, as moose are constantly around the house.

Speaking of moose, below is a photo of a cow moose and calf on our driveway.  This is where the girls have to walk daily to get to the bus stop in the dark.  Earlier this week, Amanda was walking up to the bus, heard a grunt and rustling off to the side, and was charged by a cow moose.  Yikes! Fortunately, the bus was pulling up, so she ran for it and made it safely inside.  Whew.  Glad she's in such good shape and can run fast!!

Gus has been enjoying spending time on the deck now that it's warm again.  He has raided every flower pot since they have thawed out, and devoured as much dirt as possible.  Snout and ears covered in mud, he looks rather like a pig.  I was too mad at him to take a picture!  Here he is, cleaned up, but still rather piggish.

We have been trying to get some chores done now that it's warm for a few days, like cleaning the "nose cement" off the glass doors.  Problem is, Gus thinks he needs to chase the paper towel, re-cementing the inside of the glass as the outside is washed.  We should realize by now that cleaning anything is futile with 3 hounds living in the house.


At least the hounds are getting more exercise in the warmth.  Last night was a joy as they settled down to sleep quite early instead of driving us crazy with wrestling and barking all evening.

Now the delightful chinook is coming to an end as are our record breaking temperatures.  Snow is expected tomorrow, and temperatures will be dropping down to the negative side once more. Sigh. Here we go again!  Never a dull moment around here as we settle in for a few more months of winter...

U.H.O.  (unidentified hairy object) Yet another reason nothing is ever clean..

Wishing all of you pleasant weather and decent dogs until next time!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!!

Why do we live in Fairbanks, Alaska?  I'm not really sure, especially when I've been looking at weather forecasts like this day after day after day...
(from on January 9, 2009)

Fairbanks, Alaska (Airport)

Updated: 2 hr 55 min 16 sec ago


-44 °F

Freezing Fog

Dense fog advisory in effect until 9 am akst Saturday in valleys...

Forecast for Middle Tanana Valley


Mostly clear. Areas of dense ice fog near Fairbanks. Lows 40 below to 60 below...except around 30 below in the hills. Light winds.

State Lows for today:

Northway    -61 F

Arctic Village        -52 F

McGrath            -50

So, why are we here?  Those of us who choose to stay here are tough.  We love a challenge.  We love remoteness.  We love being 5 minutes from the middle of nowhere.  At -45 F yesterday I saw a guy riding his bike to work.  Really!!  

High noon in Fairbanks, Alaska.

This photo was taken on December 28, 2009 at Ryan Middle School, 

12 p.m.  Temperature -41 F.

Our house, 3:15 p.m. December 30, 2008.  Temperature ??  The thermometer in my car quit working.

Over 2 weeks of intensely cold weather is coming to an end.  A warm chinook is blowing in, and our temperatures should be almost 90 degrees WARMER by the end of the week!  But it is still only January, and we have MONTHS of winter left. After this chinook we will have plenty of cold, brutal weather to come.  Alaska is always extreme!  

The 3 hounds are beside themselves with happiness at their ability to run and play outside again for a few minutes at a time.  Their humans are relieved that there is a slight reprieve from putting 12 booties on giant feet every time the hounds go outside!

Putting booties on a bloodhound 4 times a day takes some finesse and outright willpower!

The following are photos on our driveway and from our back deck:

The following was taken on the Chena River, Fairbanks, Alaska.

All in all, it takes fortitude to survive in Alaska.  We endure it and love it at the same time.  The beauty is simply breathtaking no matter the season.  I guess that is why we are is beautiful.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas Day in Fairbanks, Alaska

Hello, everyone!  Gus here, to tell you about Christmas Day.  It was an eventful morning in our household.  Actually, it was a major event, because it was the first year that I was allowed to participate in Christmas morning with the family.  My first two years I was crated during the opening  of the gifts.  Granted, I always had a new yummy bone to  keep me occupied, but it wasn't the same as being with the whole family.  So this year, Edie and the girls insisted that I join the fun, and oh boy, was it fantastic!  All those scents.  Wow!  I thought you might enjoy the following holiday photos and videos.  

Here is a video clip of me helping Amanda open a bottle of cologne, using typical bloodhound technique. 


Dimond Willow has been helping open gifts for about 7 years, so she has perfected her technique.  She is delicate yet persistent in her efforts.  This is a clip of Dimond helping Alyssa.


Every year we take a photo of the girls and dogs in front of the tree.  Last year it would not work because Dimond was the only dog to cooperate.  After many tries, Edie managed to get this shot.  Note the leash.  This is the first year a leash has been employed to keep a dog in position!

This next photo is proof that Amanda can tame the wild bloodhound beast with a cello:

This is what my humans see when beginning  to open a present... I try to be as intimidating as possible!

Here are Dimond and I relaxing on the couch.  Edie refers to it as "hairing up and smelling up the furniture."  

We had a wonderful Christmas season, and hope you did as well.

Wishing you peace, happiness and good dogs in the New Year!

Gus, Bloodhound of the Alaskan Frontier