Thursday, July 8, 2010

FAIRBANKS: Botanical Gardens

Click to VIEW a sample of today’s pictures

At right: Livingstone Daisy from the Botanical Gardens at UAF

A leisurely morning while Shelli and Sarah are at the orthodontist! Annika and I make a birthday card for her Grandma, painting a pansy from a picture I took out in the yard. I use Annika’s oil pastels to draw the pansy also and leave the picture with the Swansons.

It is beautiful outside today. Clear skies and sunshine. I have been amazed that the mosquitos here above town are not bad at all. What luck!

Shelli and Sarah return, we grab a quick lunch, and then off to the Farmer’s Market – which is held twice a week down on College. Sarah drives! She is practicing for her license.

The Market is busy. A mix of crafts and produce. We pick up some cucumbers and tomatoes (certainly don’t need lettuce!) and I find a wonderful new denim work shirt with fireweed embroidery. I am able to purchase it without the t-shirt part of the set. We also run into a photographer friend that Shelli used to work with years ago He was selling some amazing pictures. We ended up buying two small pictures of moose up in the tundra. The colors are superb! We pick up some lemonades and raspberry ice teas to cool off – it is actually quite warm in the sun! Rick and Sarah pick out some wonderful bread to go with the potato soup for dinner. Luke calls.

We stop by the house to drop Sarah off for work and then head to the Large Animal Research Center just down the road from Dave and Shelli. A couple of musk ox are out where we can see them up close, but all the caribou are down below. We just missed a tour that went out. Maybe another day.

Then around to the botanical research gardens of the UAF. It is a gorgeous day to play in the flowers! Sure glad Luke showed me the digital zoom feature of the camera. I tried to show the same to Annika and Shelli, because Annika’s camera is nearly identical to mine. Seems like everything was in bloom except for a few fading day lilies and some of the peonies and columbine. I love the gardens because all the plants are labeled so you can see what you like and be specific about varieties! They have expanded the garden considerably, adding new shelters, a children’s area, tunnels through willows for the kids, ponds, and a soon to open viewing platform out over the valley where on a clear day you can see Denali. I only took about a 120 pictures!

Sarah requested potato soup for her birthday dinner, which we are eating tonight as tomorrow will be hot dogs over a fire. Tastes wonderful and the bread was excellent. Made a huge tossed salad to go with it, using our new cukes and ‘maters. Dave and Rick worked to install one of the new windows in the living room, and around 10 friends Muffy and Jim and son David came by for lingonberry crumble and ice cream to wish Sarah Happy Birthday. Same friends who were in Baker City 4 years ago and celebrated David’s 16th birthday there! So,,…another late night. Sun is still shining as we finally get to bed after midnight.

No posts for a couple of days now. We will be heading out to the Chena River cabin for the night to go hiking and rafting. No electricity out there!

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