Saturday, October 31, 2009

Frost on My Pumpkins

A blustery day in Anchorage knocked out power and prompted an air quality advisory. Anchorage saw high winds that whipped up so much dust and debris that the view of the Chugach Range was obscured. The real weather change was going from Anchorage which was in the 40’s (and no 

real deep freeze at our house near downtown) to Girdwood where this morning it was a cool 12 degrees! The good news is it’s a blue bird day and the Resort has the snow cannons blazing making the mountain's first layer of snow. A good base of man-made snow enables the mountain to, hopefully with Mother Natures' cooperation, have quality top to bottom skiing. The opening of the 2009/10 Season for Alyeska Ski Resort is slated for November 25th.

I finished a commission for a client that wanted a wall sculpture of Mt. Susitna, also known as Sleeping Lady. The evening news used this image of Mt. Susitna obscured by the high winds and dust last night. I’ve also included a clear shot of how the beautiful she normally appears. Mount Susitna is often called The Sleeping Lady for its resemblance to a sleeping woman from Anchorage and the parts of the Valley. The name is sometimes said to derive from a legend, in which a woman named Susitna belonging to a race of giants vows to sleep until world peace is achieved, but no actual legend has been confirmed. The finished metal sculpture is over 60"

wide and about 23” tall (unfortunately, the photo is not very good and was taken at an angle in my entry way because I didn't have a large blank wall available!). The client loved the piece but would have preferred that it had a bit more height to fit their space but the mountain is so horizontal I didn’t want to add any more trees or mountain to plump up the height than I already did or it 

would take away from the mountains recognizable shape.

Quite appropriate for Halloween, I received a letter in the mail yesterday that started with “Dear Citizen Scientist, Thank you so much for your participation in the Alaska Bat Monitoring Program from 2002-2009!” The 

letter was an update and summary report information and the distribution of the Little Brown Bat in Alaska. Volunteer, Citizen Scientists provided valuable little known informational data on the creature in Alaska. For years in late summer we have see the quick flutters at dusk near the eve of our roof. In the mornings we would wake to finding bat guano on our deck in Girdwood. Several years ago, we thought for sure a mouse had taken up residence in a wood stove, but we found and rescued a young bat that had fallen down the flue! We’ve tracked and reported the area and times when our little bat friends have visited. This year their time was brief, only a couple weeks in late August. I love Bats and have been inspired to use their imagery in my sculpture work. Here is a good link on the Bat Monitoring Project. There are some good Bat pictures just in time to show the kiddies before they go out trick-or-treating tonight...  -eeeeeeekkk!


cookingwithgas said...

Too cold for me!
But so pretty!
I will have to just live this through you.

cindy shake said...

HA! OK by me Meredith :o) I admit, when we got out of the truck yesterday, I was not prepared for that kind of drop in temps, it took me all nigh to warm up! Crazy beautiful though today down here. We're going on a hike up by Crow Creek Mine, Gus wants to find some ghosts -we're all putting our long johns on!

Peter said...

That snow on the mountains looks lovely. Congrats on completing another successful commission.

The young bat down the stove pipe, may hint at a smoking problem amongst bat youth, which young people here share unfortunately! Bats are great. I have fond memories of visiting an uncle of mine in Oxford, England, and Laura and I watching bats orbiting in the confines of his walled garden after the sun set in the long summer evenings.

First thing this morning we watched a DVD of musicians playing Vivaldi's Four Seasons. The Winter part of the music was filmed in Finland, and was fabulous.

cindy shake said...

I too love Vivaldi's Four Seasons Peter! Dating myself a bit, it was one of the first tapes I owned :o) Aren't bats wonderful and sounds like your Uncle's garden was being rid of insects from our bat friends.

Patricia Griffin said...

I never know what I'm going to find on your blog. Fascinating stuff... Snow machines, bat monitoring, blue bird day...

Linda Starr said...

love the mountain sculpture. I was noticing the mountain skyline here the other day here when I was driving Gary to work we only have one car now and I loved the contrast of the dark purple mountains against the faintest light of the eastern sun coming up and I have a tile drawing I will be making of the inspiration.I'll bet you have tons of inspiration up there.Don't envy you snowblowing we did that when we lived near Mt Lassen and we had a 7 foot pile of snow after the winter. A light dusting is my speed. I will check out the bat link as I am found of bats since they chose to visit me before, thx for the llink.