Sea and Sky in Hoonah


Spent yesterday in Hoonah at what used to be Cannery Point; now a tour destination with restored cannery buildings housing cafes, exhibits, and souvenir shops. It was warm for September, with cloud-chased sunshine and occasional stutters of rain. Port Frederick was so calm, so quiet that we could easily hear the breath of a lone humpback whale in the distance…and, every so often, the thrilling calls of the sandhill cranes skeining overhead.

Autumn Storm and Autumn Fruits


Northern Southeast Alaska was battered by a muscular Pacific storm yesterday– all eerie light and buffeting wind, with purple-gray swaths of rain hitting Stephens Passage so hard that the ocean water seemed to be jumping up to meet them in mid-air. I walked through the storm to the beach, listening to the wind moan and hiss. Collected these late fruits on the way back. Crabapples are among the few native shrubs here that show any fall color; in yesterday's wind their leaves were spinning on the branches, flashing red and orange, flying through the air like bonfire sparks. Down below, bunchberries hugged the ground, slick with rain.

Fall Colors

Fall-colors It's a gorgeous day today–a welcome relief from the sogginess and high winds of the past couple of weeks. But it's clearly no longer summer. Fireweed fluff is bursting from the pods as the sun dries them, the shadows are distinctly chilly, and reds (from blazing cadmium to cool maroon) are standing out in the foliage. Here are a few leaves (and one thrush wing feather) found on my walk today.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), goat'sbeard (Aruncus dioicus), fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium), and trailing black currant (Ribes laxiflorum); primary feather from a varied thrush (Ixorius naevius). Watercolor and colored pencil on hemp paper.