On the Ground

Moss, moss everywhere

Not all is green yet


Nightly temperatures still fall below freezing, but the days are in the 50’s. The winds died today. The streets are dusty. V’s of geese and ducks are frequently sighted. You can hear gunfire in the village nearly every evening. Shotgun shells litter the ground in the wood across the street, evidence of the lazyman’s hunt. Bears have been reported outside the village.

Not all is green yet. The earth is in no hurry to awaken, it seems, probably because the nights are still so cold. But moss and ground cover are proliferating wildly and the rose hips are shooting up everywhere.

The children are restless and ready for the school doors to close for the summer. On Friday our two seniors will graduate. Everyday Kandace and April giggle with excitement and remind each other that it is really happening. They are responsible for planning their own graduation and have decided this is no easy task. I am helping them create a slideshow of their growing up pictures. They are both headed to college. This is a great achievement for our school and village.

Update: I just had to add this. I moment ago three of my students came by. Kandace, who graduates on Friday, and her teen-aged brothers Franklin and Jerry brought us a duck! I am deeply honored by this because I know they depend on the land’s bounty to feed their family. It is a fresh kill; Franklin shot it and he has taught me that the spring ducks are the best because they have just returned from the lower forty eight fattened on grain from the farmer’s fields. They have dressed it for us because they know I am quite the idiot about such things and I am sure they suspect I wouldn’t know the head from the tail. Recently Kandace asked me if I liked duck and I told her honestly that I had never really tried it. Her eyes double in size, “You’ve never tasted duck?!? I’m going to bring you a duck.”

Tomorrow night we will celebrate the end of my first full year teaching in the bush. Main course: roasted duck.


15 thoughts on “On the Ground

    • Many thanks! Many first year teachers can’t wait to high-tail it out of Alaska. It’s not as easy as they think it will be. But I’m an seasoned old guy.

    • Thank you, Cornel. I’m trying to get better at them. I decided that my lens wasn’t focusing correctly in the close-up mode back when it was so cold. That’s why I kept getting out of focus close-ups. Now that it’s spring the camera seems to behave better. It still doesn’t get as close as I wish, but I can crop some. You still are the master!

  1. Wow! Awesome shots once again Dave. That grass really looks like a carpet! It’s gorgeous!
    Enjoy the duck. 🙂

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