Ahhh, August

by • August 8, 2013 • ToastComments (0)155

As summer nears its end, we turn to harvests and home

 

Melissa DeVaughn picks blueberries on Bear Mountain in mid-August. By Liz Shen

Melissa DeVaughn picks blueberries on Bear Mountain in mid-August. By Liz Shen

As I write this, the sun is shining and I’ve been celebrating one of the best-weather summers in recent memory. Like most Alaskans, our family simply has not been able to stay indoors when the sun has been out – and boy, has it treated us to its kindness this year. We know how fleeting and precious those dry sunny days can be, and we’ve taken advantage of every moment.

In recent mornings, though, there’s a slight chill in the air. The undergrowth in the forest around our house is dotted with the telltale signs of fall – wide, squat mushrooms popping out in bright contrast to the earthen foliage. Our sled dogs are starting to look plump from a summer of leisure and the thickening of their soon-to-be winter coats.

Try as we might to deny it, summer is just about over.

Still, August might be a time of transition – from summer vacations and fractured schedules back to the routines of work, school and wintertime chores – but it’s also packed with so many things to do before the snow flies.

First on the list for many is fishing – August brings with it the arrival of the feisty silver salmon, one of the most thrilling fish to catch. In Seward, the annual Silver Salmon Derby gets under way and offers fantastic prizes ranging from daily awards to a whopping $50,000 tagged fish lurking somewhere in the waters of Resurrection Bay and Prince William Sound. It’s the place to be if you really want to catch a silver in a big way, and you can read about it in this month’s Coast.

August also rings in Alaskans’ very favorite fair of them all – the annual Alaska State Fair, which begins Aug. 22 and continues through Sept. 2. After so many years, it never gets old checking out the giant cabbages and pumpkins that ambitious growers produce under the Midnight Sun. Check out Page 6 for more details on this annual tradition.

And, for those who might be looking for the indoors fun to be had in our neck of the woods, it is my extreme pleasure to introduce our newest addition to the Coast family, Apres columnist Katie Pesznecker. Faithful nightlife readers might remember this name, as Katie for years wrote a weekly entertainment column highlighting the great bar, restaurant and social scene in and around Anchorage. Katie is back, this time with Coast, and she has stretched her social wings to such locales as Valdez, Hope and Seward. She welcomes your suggestions, and will entertain us monthly with her visits to the best places for fun in the state.

Meanwhile, our family will be eking out the last final bits of summer – fishing, camping, kayaking and maybe even a little berry picking. After all, August might be ushering summer out, but it’s also bringing forth a bounty of produce, grown under that nurturing sunshine we’ve all loved so much.

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