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End of Summer Wrap Up

September 14, 2020

It’s been an odd summer, what with the pandemic: no road trips, no festivals up on the mountain, no house guests.

There was plenty of huckleberry picking, though. It was a good year for berries, and between the two of us, Mr. K and I picked 36 pounds of them. Most of those are in containers Tetris-ed into our freezer for us to enjoy between now and next summer, though a fair few went into crisps and pies and pancakes I made for us to enjoy this summer. On one of the last picking outings of the season, I came across this bush practically flaunting its berries for me, not hiding them under leaves like they usually do.

huckleberries on a branch with rock in background

 

Late season huckleberry picking is up at elevations near the top of the mountain, which means being treated to view like this:

view from a mountain into a forested valley

 

Sometimes we enjoyed seeing wildlife from the comfort of our house, such as the deer who strolled through the yard with her two growing offspring or the bear who ambled down the hill behind us.

three mule deer in a sun dappled wooded area

 

two views of a black bear ambling through some weeds

 

I wish I’d been able to spend more time at my studio this summer, playing with nail polish and going through boxes, but without air conditioning or even something like an attic fan to vent heat when I’m not there, it gets way too warm for me to cool it down in any reasonable fashion unless the outside temperature is quite low for the season. It got so hot in there it melted most of the window clings I’d put up in spring.

window with window clings that have melted in the heat

 

Instead of celebrating with family visiting for the end of season festival, Mr. K and I spent our Labor Day weekend riding the lift a couple last times and hiking around the top of the mountain, snacking on the last of the huckleberries as we went.

quail standing on a fallen tree in a forest

 

view from riding down a ski lift in summer

 

As always, the village has been much quieter since the lift shut down. When we go get the mail, we aren’t having to give the crowd by the pub a wide berth, and there are no families camping in the lower parking lot anymore. It’s nice.

view of alpenglow over rolling mountains and a lake

 

You can see just a hint of smoke in the valley in the photo above; that was as bad as it got all summer until a couple days after I took that shot. Then the jet stream shifted and smoke from the fires to the west and south of us came rolling in. Now we’re having to stay inside with the windows closed, running the air purifiers all day and night. We were fortunate to have a whole summer of mostly clear skies, and we’re fortunate now to not have any fires close to us. My heart goes out to those who are more directly affected; I hope and pray we elect a leader in November who takes environmental issues seriously.

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