This year we have been richly blessed with moose visits. One day we had seven! I was working in my greenhouse when this yearling came sauntering by with his sibling and his mama Matilda. This is a “baby” moose about one year old.


Matilda returned a couple of weeks later with her new calves.  We named them Mocha and Marvin. Matilda looked scruffy with scars and partial shedding of last winter’s coat. Before a moose gives birth, she chases away her yearlings so her newborns will not be hurt by them.  Matilda’s yearlings still appear alone on our property from time to time, but not with their mom.  20180619_152245

The other morning I was inside the cabin when a different yearling strolled through the yard and began to investigate my greenhouse which door I had failed to close the night before.


He poked his nose inside the doorway, so I knocked on my window to scare him off.  If he had gone inside, I’m sure he would have destroyed the place trying to get out.


So, we love our moose! Last month while it was rainy and cold, I painted a picture of a couple to decorate our wall…20180614_181703

… and now I am working on a wood-burned moose sign to hang on the front porch. This is a fun project. We have named our cabin “Spruce Moose” for obvious reasons.


I’ll finish burning in a few more spruce trees, varnish it, and hang it by the front door.

We have less than two months remaining here in Alaska before we return to Florida. Tom still has lots of fish to catch, I still have more projects to work on, and lots of writing to do, so I’ll close for now.

Thank you for following.









Alaska, Jack B. Nimble

Alaska Arrival – May 18, 2018

When last I wrote, we were in Montana, the weather had become increasingly cold at night, snow still lay along the roadsides, and we were not even in the mountains. I became increasingly apprehensive about continuing north alone where snow and below freezing temperatures were forecast, where there was a real doubt that campgrounds with electricity would be open yet, and the clincher — where we had no way to heat our tent camper except a small electric space heater, and… Jack was cold!


This was an entirely different situation from our only previous road trip to Alaska — which was made in the height of summer, and we camped in a hard-sided, gas-heated camper. So, we made a difficult decision — to drive west to Tacoma, Washington, put the car and the camper on a ship for Anchorage, and to fly the rest of the way to our summer home. We did that, arriving in Soldotna the morning of May 8th. I apologize to all of you who have been faithfully following our progress, but I know you understand.

Our last three days camping we spent in Montana, Idaho, and Washington. We camped in a most interesting town in Idaho named Wallace. It was established as a silver mining town in the 1800’s. In an antique shop in Wallace, Tom bought a very odd antique musical instrument. It’s a “valve trombone,” and the best we can determine by looking it up on-line is that it’s a rare J.W. Pepper and Son instrument, made in the early 1900’s. Tom polished, and now it actually looks silver.


In Washington we camped two nights in a park by Moses Lake. They were having a bass fishing tournament, so Tom was entertained. Canadian geese with dozens of goslings paddled around the lake. Cute!


On Monday morning we took the car and the trailer to the port to ship out for Anchorage, and caught a ride to the Sea-Tac airport to spend the next 10 hours waiting for our red-eye flight to Kenai. We made it home about 6:30 Tuesday morning.

So, we have been home for over a week now. It has been cold (40’s) and rainy almost every day thus far. The birch trees have tiny green leaves, there is still a lot of snow on the mountaintops, and we have spent several days working to clean out the back acre. Tom has cut up fallen birch trees, cut scraggly lower limbs from spruce, and hauled over 4000 pounds of debris to the dump.

Our back acre is virgin territory — never built on, never cut as far as we know. This week we have been inundated with moose! They have taken to bedding down out back, and


when they do, they are almost invisible. There are three moose in this picture. See if you can find Waldo.

Last year two wonderful friends from Church in Florida came to visit, and they built me a greenhouse!


Yesterday I was planting vegetables in it when Tom came rushing in. A mama moose and her two yearlings had quietly walked up behind him while he was cutting wood out back. They followed him toward the greenhouse…


… and while we watched, they strolled by like they own the place…


… which they really do, come to think of it.

So far, I have planted tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers in the greenhouse.


Lettuce and cool weather vegetables — broccoli, cauliflower, radishes and cabbage we’re keeping on the upstairs balcony to protect them from the moose.


Someday, perhaps we’ll build a moose-proof fence and plant such things in the ground. For now, the balcony is fine and easy to check every morning. We have grown vegetables up here before, and they do very well.

I think I’m running out of space for this post, so I will continue the Alaska story in a few days.

Thank you for reading!


March 27, 2018 Alaska Adventure

20180324_103429Our first drive to Alaska was in 2001…

… when we took our Astro Van and a camper up there to live in while we worked on building our house. We entered Alaska via the Al-Can Highway, which was only partially paved back then, much pot-holed, and rather desolate for long distances. We never passed a gas station … we always stopped and filled up, for we were warned that you never knew how far away the next one would be. Remember, this 17 years ago, before we had driving technology!

We arrived “home” after eleven days on the road. Our building site was marginally ready, so we parked our camper in our neighbor Ben’s driveway. He let us run an electric cord to it, and a hose from his well. In Alaska, most folks are eager to help one another, and we certainly found this to be true on Lumberjack Lane. Yes, that’s really the name of our dead-end road.


Backstory: On our vacation trip in 1999, we fell in love with Alaska and, on a whim, bought an acre and a third near Soldotna and the Kenai River. We tied neon-yellow plastic tape around all the trees we wanted cut out, and contracted with a land clearer and a well digger to take care of doing some work while we were back in Florida.

In 2000, we did not go up . We stayed home and saved money to pay for the work going on in our absence. Our neighbor Ben oversaw the preparation of our lot. He was having the same work done on his property, so he did that for us too. Amazing man! We had the trees removed, the house site and a short driveway prepared, a well dug, and septic system installed.

In 2001 while we were there again we …


…discovered that we needed to raise the house site about a foot, so we hauled in more gravel,


smoothed it out, and…


poured the 24 x 28 foot slab. Below, Tom is shoveling dirt over the exposed blue styrofoam insulation to keep the wildlife from eating it over the winter, all under the watchful eye of Mama Moose…


and her precious baby.


Mama moose have learned an advantage to giving birth in areas inhabited by humans. Berries and baby moose are the mainstays of a Grizzly bear’s diet until the salmon start to run in late July. A mama moose knows that bears are hesitant to venture close to people, so their babies are more protected there. A couple of years ago, a moose gave birth in a grocery store parking lot!

Moose are not at all afraid of people, though. We are very careful not to get between mama and baby. Cute though, aren’t they?

So, we put our vehicles in storage, and flew back to Florida until the next summer.

NOTE: These old photos were taken with my old 35 mm SLR film camera, prior to digital.