Tag Archives: fairbanks

Museum of the North #UAF

Friday was the last day of our friend’s visit to Fairbanks. After their sixth night here, we decided we should probably do something “touristy,” and took them to the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Museum of the North.

It’s been years since I’ve actually gone through the displays. The last time I was in the building was when I was taken downstairs for a genetics class, and my class got to see all the taxidermied animals not on display.

This time, I was pure tourist. Granted, I looked through things a lot faster than I would have if I hadn’t seen them all before, in multiple different displays.

Regardless, it was fun to see Otto the Brown Bear, who has greeted tourists at UAF Museum since the ’80’s. I remember him when I was growing up!

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Selfie with Otto!

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Blue Babe, the Steppe Bison. Found in the summer of 1979, it has a bluish tint due to the phosphorus in the animal tissue reacting with iron in the soil, producing a coating of vivianite that became a brilliant blue when exposed to air. Thus it was nicknamed Blue Babe after Paul Bunyan’s ox.

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Fairbanks High School Diploma, 1917, written on moosehide.

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Taxidermied Polar Bear and Seals.

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Ivory and baleen Native Alaskan carving.

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An animal hide canoe.

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I won’t be putting one of these in my house anytime soon, but it’s definitely unique!

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The tour isn’t complete until you see the beautiful sun out the window of the Museum of the North.

Three Hours and Forty-Eight Minutes

It’s that day again.

That day where we stop losing daylight and start to (finally) gain it again.

I don’t think most of the world looks forward to this day as much as Alaskans do. After all, today in Fairbanks, Alaska, we had a mere three hours and forty-eight minutes of daylight.

The sun rose at 10:59 a.m. and set at 2:37 p.m.

In high school, I remember arriving at school in the dark and leaving school in the dark. It seemed I’d missed an entire day.

Now, as an adult, I have a bit more freedom to seek out the sunlight.

Today, I took my first ever solstice run. It was a short, unscheduled run, only 3 miles, but it felt good. I ran it fast, racing the sunset, wanting to get home and off the roads before darkness hit. Up here there are a lot of dangers other than cars out at night.

I didn’t take any pictures of today’s run, but I did of yesterday’s long run, so I’ll post those here instead. After all, what’s a solstice run without an appreciation of the beauty a low, setting sun offers to frostbitten trees?

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Will There Really Be A Morning?

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Will there really be a morning?
Is there such a thing as day?
Could I see it from the mountains
If I were as tall as they?

Has it feet like water-lilies?
Has it feathers like a bird?
Is it brought from famous countries
Of which I have never heard?

Oh, some scholar! Oh, some sailor!
Oh, some wise man from the skies!
Please to tell a little pilgrim
Where the place called morning lies!

-Emily Dickinson

More Snow

Well, finally, we got more snow–just in time for Thanksgiving!

Oddly, one of the things you hear up here when there is a lack of snow is concern. Alaska needs snow. Its insulating properties keep pipes from freezing and plants’s roots from dying.

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Because of the low, low, low temperatures here, we need snow, unlike much of the United States. Oddly, our weather seems reversed of the rest of the U.S., whereas they are getting dumped on, we haven’t had but one snowfall until yesterday.

Snow, although a necessary evil, does make for pretty pictures and holiday cheer. So while in March, I’ll be long ready for the snow to be gone, right now, I’ll try to enjoy it.