Or not …
I thought my unplanned mid-summer break would have me absolutely chomping at the bit to get back on the road.
I mean, we were supposed to be camping in Valdez last week, arriving home just in time to avoid the 4th of July traffic. I had it all planned out.
Instead, I’ve found myself strangely content to stick close to home for the last couple of weeks, staying off my [much improved, pain-wise at least] knee and resting.
I’ll feel more confident in heading back out once I’ve had my upcoming consult with the orthopedic doctor. Knowing what is wrong is half the battle, eh?
This inactivity and introspection, of course, left little of interest to motivate my writing juices. Sigh.
Oh, wait! It IS summer in Alaska, isn’t it. I guess we could talk about that.
With the long hours of daylight, combining plenty of sunshine and rain, it sometimes seems there are almost more wildflowers wanting to bloom than there is room for. On almost a daily basis, the forest and roadsides undergo the usual Alaskan floral shuffle, with flowers large and small fighting for their limited time in the limelight.
Sitting quietly at home, with my meanderings limited pretty much to my own driveway, I have still enjoyed watching the changes ripple over the forest edges.
Where only two weeks ago, wild roses dominated the landscape in every direction, those hardy Alaskan plants with their delicate pink blooms are now merely part of the background greenery, nearly all their blossoms gone. It won’t be long before the rose-hips can be harvested.
Taking over the stage from the roses, we now have a plethora of wild Alaskan geraniums standing tall and lining our driveway in purple glory.
Below the geraniums, holding court at ground level are the tiny, pale pinkish-white bells of low-bush cranberry and the pure-white starbursts of dwarf dogwood.
I’m really not sure what these bright, sunny yellow wildflowers are, but they seem to thrive and are blooming in wild abandon along the edge of the gravel drive down by Jerry’s shop building.
I’m pretty sure the next round of blooms to hit center stage here in south-central Alaska will be my favorite – it’s almost fireweed season!
Right now, the distinctively tall, green stalks continue to grow skyward … you might say “like weeds”, although that’s where the similarity ends, at least in my opinion.
In spite of its height (fireweed can grow 3-6’ tall by mid-season), fireweed mostly goes unnoticed until it’s ready to bloom. Hiding in plain sight among all the other summer foliage and bright flowers, the fireweed’s long strands of pale buds stay tightly furled like a fountain of pink pearls at the top of each separate, leafy stalk.
It won’t be long, though, before the bottom-most buds will burst open in brilliant pink, almost purple blossoms.
So far, I’ve seen just a few brave stalks beginning the blooming process. Within a couple of short weeks, waves of fireweed will be blanketing roadsides, mountainsides and meadows. It’s one of my favorite summer sights.
The more I think about it, the more I think it’s time.
Soon. Soon I’ll be ready to pack up my own little traveling garden and hit the road again. I’m eager to see what’s growing and blooming in other parts of this beautiful state!