Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hatcher Pass, Talkeetna Mtns, Mat-su Valley, AK


Friday, September 16, 2011

Is There A Name For That Delightful Time Between Summer And Fall?

Fireweed tops out. 

(A few minutes ago, it looked like this:)

Chlorophyll production slows down.

Carotenoids and anthocyanins become exposed in leaves.

Cute little moose calves lumber into that awkward adolescent stage.

I am thoroughly enchanted.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


As you know, when copper ages, it turns green. These are rooftops in Copperton, UT. Some of the homes are brand new with the old copper shingles preserved and used in old and new ways.

I have a connection with Copperton, UT, and indeed the whole copper-mining "world," in that D C Jackling is an ancestor of mine.  Here's his 100+ year-old house on South Temple in Salt Lake City, and a bit of professional history about him.  Actually, I think the genealogical history is much more interesting, dealing with his family's immigration from England to the United States and his orphan-hood, etc., but this suffices for now, because this post is about copper.

Daniel Cowan Jackling, a prominent mining engineer, was known as the “Utah Copper Prince.” Among his many successful ventures were the development of the Masabi iron range in Minnesota, gold mines in Mercur, Utah, and developing copper lands that became the Kennecott Copper Company. This massive open pit mine has been referred to as the largest man made excavation on earth.

By midway through the twentieth century, Jackling had his hand in most copper companies in the American West and more than 60 percent of the world’s copper production was being mined using Jackling’s development of low-grade ore processing.

During World War I, Jackling, for his outstanding wartime efforts, was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal by President Woodrow Wilson.

In 1926 Jackling received a Gold Medal Award from the Mining and Metallurgical Society of America. In 1940 he was given the Washington Award of the Western Society of Engineers for “pioneering in large-scale mining and treatment of low-grade copper ores, releasing vast resources from formerly worthless deposits.”

Upon his death, his will stipulated gifts to several mining colleges, churches and individuals.

Daniel C. Jackling enjoys a worldwide reputation and a full size bronze statue of him sculpted by Avard Fairbanks stands in the rotunda of the Utah State Capitol building. In the later part of his life Jackling moved from his home on South Temple to Woodside, CA. (San Francisco Bay Area) where he built a very large estate that was eventually purchased in 1984 by Steve Jobs of Apple Computer.

It had a lot of copper in it.

But that didn't save it.  For many years, Jobs fought with an historical society group for his right to demolish the estate, which battle raged for many years--maybe 20?  The house was neglected and then became too expensive to renovate and restore.  Jobs finally got his way THIS YEAR.  Wow.

But this post isn't about that, either.  This post is about Copper on and in houses in California and Utah.  It's about...


(And I swear this picture was snapped in Copperton the same day I drove around looking for copper.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

To Hope: A Rainy Day During Rainy Season In A Rainforest

On the way out of Anchorage at Turnagain Arm.

I've been down this road before and this is actually a picture from a previous trip. It was raining so much on this trip that I didn't get the pictures I wanted to get along the inlet. In reality, the scenery is so lush I can hardly believe it's real. On the inland side, green gives way to more green, backed by blue and green new mountains and the view suddenly opens up to a blue river as wide as a lake and then rolls and rolls off and off into the distance.

I went to bed last night having decided to maybe--depending upon the weather, depending upon how sleepy I woke up, depending upon my penchant for making sudden, "damn the torpedos, full speed ahead" moves--take a trip to Hope, Alaska, a little historic gold mining town about 80 miles south of  Anchorage on the Kenai Peninsula where some of the original structures are still standing and still in use--cafe, library, museum, church.

I always learn something valuable from people I meet in my travels.  Here the proprietor of this tiny, cluttered gift store shares a little-known golf secret that I will probably take to my grave before I ever take it to the golf course...you know, not being a golfer and all.

In the picture below, you can see the school through the woods--kind of.   It's there.  I remember going to a very small school in the mountains of Colorado for a few months.  Didn't hate it at all.  That's when we lived way out there, way up there and even when we went to down to the town, there was hardly anything and anyone there, either.  We had fun.

On the way back to Anchorage, I took a little spin around Girdwood and the Alyeska Ski Resort area.  I don't know quite what this pig's head in the yard is meant to mean.   I do know (from spending time in the mercantile with other shoppers) that the main form of transportation in this place is the Canna Bus.  That may explain something.