Ahhh, Alaska -- home of the 8-month Winter. Where weather becomes, if not a matter of life and death, at the very least a factor in how you're going to be leading your life. Like, whether or not you're going to get to see your friends, or go outside today. Or if your power will be staying on.
|The void of space; almost as cold as our car in the morning|
Thank goodness for Summer-- the Alaskan skies switch their game up with sunshine, rain, and these beautiful white flurries that stream past the windshield like -- hold on, wait a minute! What the fluff?
|Just lather, rinse, repeat...every year.|
No, you didn't reread -- and I didn't mistype. Here, in the depths of August, white specks float silently in the air, and collect in drifts along the ground. But it isn't snow; thank the gods for that. It's dandelion fluff.
|Disregard that my work building is in the background; I do.|
Yes, dandelions are one of the many types of wildflower Alaskan hills sport in nigh-on every available color, and it is certainly the most proactive in getting its action in before the Summer fades. Ever accidentally biked through a cloud of gnats? Try having that experience every yard of the way. It is a unique sensation, to say the least, and inspires post-cycling dental hygiene like you wouldn't believe. But it is a sign of Summer, and I'm willing to take that as glass-half-full. Unlike every other white person I seem to meet, I'm not allergic to dander or pollen, and am familiar -- nay, even comfortable -- with the reality of insects. I guess I have my tropical upbringing to thank there. However, in semi-urban Anchorage, the outside world is treated with a strange, hesitant sort of hopeful suspicion. They're used to it trying to kill them, and at least Winter is a familiar concept to them. Summer is full of bugs and burrs, and Kana prances quite alone, barefoot in the backyard.
|That speck? Way in the distance? That's her.|
And while the brilliant sunshine phase of the brief Alaskan Summer has largely passed us by since last I wrote, this newest of sky-occupants waiting for me to bike through it is none other than glorious, miraculous rain. With my (relatively) new flora-inspired bumbershoot, I look for excuses to go out in the wet. It didn't work so well against the dandelion fluff, so while it means our Summer is fading, I bid a blithe farewell to Alaska's Other Fluff, in favor of a sub-season I can really accessorize with.
You may tease shallowness in the "Comments" section below. :)