For most people, “Scat!” means “get outta here!” or “Shoo!” but up here, it means one thing: it’s time to watch out for the ‘bear necessities”!!
So what does “SCAT” mean for us sourdoughs up here in Alaska? It means watch for more tourists (or onlookers like us) trying to get the “ultimate” photo of a bear. It means you carry a pistol or rifle with you if you are going hiking. It means your senses are alerted, walking on our own property down to the river, looking for ‘scat’ (aka: bear poop!) and watching for the cubs in the trees!!
Believe it or not, we have seagulls, too, which means that the fish are in or on their way upstream, and that berries are about ready to be picked. It’s been a REALLY warm summer up here in the Mat-Su area – in the 70’s to 80’s (85 yesterday!) That’s compared to last summer when we never had the sprinkler on or watered the garden!!
The renegade spinach is in mid-processing – 20 packages/meals so far! The strawberries are in the freezer (what we didn’t eat or make pies with) as is the rhubarb. The wild raspberries are ready and currants are picked. Now we are waiting on the domestic raspberries, which shouldn’t be too long! We ate the first of the YUMMY red potatoes and made a fresh green salad from the fruits of Bill’s labor of love.
As I have lost more function and slowly losing more independence, my labor of gardening has been doctor mandated down to sprinkling a bag or two of Arctic wildflowers that only require watering. They frame our views outside the back windows of the kitchen and my office. It’s hard to not be able to garden as I used to, but just gazing at the poppies, bachelor buttons, baby’s breath, lupine, Shasta daisies, cosmos and more – a veritable feast for your eyes and an array of rainbow joy every time I look at them, are a quick cure and my disappointment quickly fades. We are letting the neighbors use the greenhouse which is sky high with tomatoes and pepper, so I get to “vicariously” garden!! Hmmm – maybe I WILL get used to this type of ‘gardening’ after all.
Unlike the lower 48, our lilac tree just finished it’s blooming for the year, and the hydrangea is almost ready……..ahhhhhhh! Nothing like a good summer in Alaska. Think I’ll leave you here and get out an enjoy s’mores!!
Don’t forget to stop and smell the posies around you!! It does a body wonders!
Care Tuk is a nationally known speaker, educator, and retreat/workshop leader. She has been a school, hospital, and home health occupational therapist for more than 30 years. She has been named as a Top Business Woman in America and recognized for her work with youth, disability outreach and awareness, and the American Cancer Society.