Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Settling in for the long haul of winter


Something like 4 inches of snow fell on Barrow overnight and we'd already had two or three inches on the ground already.  Our freshwater is frozen and winter is no longer just a rumor.  It is here.  People have traded their ATV's for snowmachines and cars everywhere are starting to be plugged in.  And you know what?  I'm ok with that.  I've decided that Barrow looks best under a beautiful blanket of white.  AND I've seen more wildlife since the snow started falling than I've seen all summer.  This is evidently snowy owl season.  They are everywhere...  almost like the eagles in Homer.  Barrow's Inupiat name is Ukpeagvik which means, "The place where we hunt snowy owls."  And yeah, no wonder! Ian pointed out to me the other day that they are completely silent and they really are.  The take off without any sound whatsoever and without any warning.  This morning breakfast was postponed for an hour while I stalked one that was hanging out at our house.  Somebody must have told it about all the lemmings living under our house.  :)  And not just the snowy owls have been out.  I've seen two arctic foxes in the last two weeks.  Now if only another polar bear would show its face around here!  But that's all in good time.  Fall whaling starts on the 8th and with whale carcasses comes bears.  Unfortunately, I'll be out of town for the start but hope they catch one when I return!  

Our elections were held today so hopefully we'll find out in short order who will be mayor. One of the primary candidates is rather controversial.  His wife has recently been indicted for embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the native whaling corporation. And yet, it won't surprise us if he's actually elected.  Ian and I thought it was kind of funny that we were watching part 3 of Ken Burn's movie on Prohibition tonight while votes here are being tallied to see if a liquor store will be allowed in town to those who qualify to buy.  Wouldn't that be something?!  Of course, Ian is actually against the idea.  It'll make work that much more difficult.  Ian and I didn't get to vote today.  We had asked to be added to the voter registration list when we updated our drivers' licenses but evidently that didn't go through. That's life in a small town for you.  I enjoy the atmosphere of a small town immensely though.  It's nice to go to the post office and see people you've just seen around town before.  It's homey.  

1 comment:

  1. The pictures are very nice, MV!

    I have been watching "Flying Wild", the TV show about Era Alaska. A lot of it is happening in Barrow and I love the thought of knowing a family up there :-)
    We'll have to come up for a visit some time!