September 1, 2016

Aurora Borealis (August 31st)

Aurora was going crazy above my head in our driveway.

Just before we went to bed, I went out to our porch and quickly checked out the sky, then the norther lights were really active!
The picture couldn't show the colors, but I could see some purple too this time.
It was a little bit after 11 PM and the lights stopped being active in 20 minutes or so.


August 30, 2016

Aurora Borealis (August 29th and 30th)

Aurora Borealis seen from the road in our neighborhood.

The sun set around 9:20 PM now here in Fairbanks, so it is getting dark enough to see northern lights at night.  In addition, it has been windy for a couple of days and all the clouds and dust were blown away from the sky, so the sky was pretty clear.
We walked up on the road from our cabin around 11:30 PM and we enjoyed seeing northern lights!
It was first time for me to see them, so it was really exciting.
I didn't use tripod, so the pictures are not perfect, but they give you some idea what we saw.


July 20, 2016

The Sweets with Berries (July)

Chocolate and Blueberry with Mascarpone Muffin.
I separated the dough into 2, and then
I added blueberries to the one
and cacao powder to the other. 

Here are the pictures of sweet stuff I made using bunch of berries.
Some berries were picked by myself, and others were on sale at Fred Meyer.


I baked some tartlets using the rest of dough I made the other day.
The usual convination of Crème d'amandes with Pâte sucrée,

I found a spot to pick some raspberries in our neighborhood.
I have been picking them at that spot 3 times so far this month.

Tartlet with raspberries and mascarpone cream.

Tratlet with blueberries and mascarpone cream. 

These strawberries were on sale, but
they are getting really ripe.

So, I made some of them into jam.

And I put some of them into muffins with blueberries.
This time I didn't separate the dough and 
I just added some cacao powder to the dough, mixing it in roughly,
so that we can enjoy both of the plain dough and chocolate-flavor dough. 

The rest of the strawberries were made into another tartlet. 

Strawberry, Blueberry and Cacao Muffin.

I added fresh berries, so the muffins kept some moisture.

I made the blueberries, which I picked at Wickersham Dome and Angel Rocks, into jam.

And we had it with vanilla ice cream. 

 My partner likes to mix the jam and ice cream completely.
Isn't it pretty color?
The wild ones have more fragrance, I think. 

I picked more raspberries in our neighborhood. 

And I made them into syrup-like jelly.

We had some jam with scones I baked. 

The last handful of store-bought blueberries were put into New York cheesecake. 

I mixed some sour cream to cream cheese. 

Angel Rocks, Part 2 (July 14th)

Angel Rocks on Chena Hot Spring Road.
The trail is not so long and you can get amazing view from the ridge!

Here is the latter bunch of the pictures taken on the hike to Angel Rocks.
It was so hot in the sun on that day.  The temperature reached more than 30 degrees Celsius.
After hiking, we camped out at Granite Tors Campground.
At the campsite, we helped a Canadian couple who left the key in the rented camping car.
There is a small window at the loft in the car open, so I squeeze myself into the window and open the lock from inside!

Angel Rocksを周回するトレイルは、高尾山、小仏城山をまわって日影に下りるくらいのイメージですが、巨大な岩の上から眺める景色がすばらしかったです。
下山後、Granite Tors Campgroundというキャンプ場に泊まったのですが、カナダ人夫婦がレンタルしたキャンピングカーの中に鍵を入れたままにしてロックしてしまったそうで、携帯を貸してくれないかと言ってきました。しかし、携帯はあるもののエリア外で通信できず、結局、キャンピングカーの上部にある小さな窓から自分が無理やり中に入り込んでドアの鍵を開けることに成功しました。

Lots of huge rocks on the ridge.

We had lunch on the top of one of the huge rocks.

Can you see the tiny people on the rock in the center?

There are a few people standing on the top of the rock in the right.

Here is the close-up.

You can tell how huge the rock is.

Campanula lasiocarpa (Mountain Harebell or Alaska Harebell).

 Papaver macounii (Macoun's Poppy).

Papaver macounii (Macoun's Poppy).

Campanula lasiocarpa (Mountain Harebell or Alaska Harebell).

My partner is standing at the top of one of the rocks.

Vaccinium uliginosum (Bog Blueberry, or Northern Bilberry).

Vaccinium uliginosum (Bog Blueberry, or Northern Bilberry).
There were lots and lots of blueberries!
We collected bunch from just a couple bush. 

Vaccinium vitis-idaea var. minus (Lingonberry).

Vaccinium vitis-idaea var. minus (Lingonberry).
We found lots and lots of Lingonberries, too!
They weren't ripe yet, though.

Vaccinium uliginosum (Bog Blueberry, or Northern Bilberry).

Goodyera repens (Lesser Rattlesnake Plantain).

Goodyera repens (Lesser Rattlesnake Plantain).
If you look closely, you can tell this is a kind of orchid.

Rubus chamaemorus (Cloudberry).

Rubus chamaemorus (Cloudberry).
There were quite a few plants growing at the forest, 
but the berries were not so many. 

Rubus chamaemorus (Cloudberry).
The ripe one is soft and slippery texture with sweet flavor. 

Goodyera repens (Lesser Rattlesnake Plantain).
They were growing at the mossy forest.

Goodyera repens (Lesser Rattlesnake Plantain).
Interesting patterns on the leaves.

Ribes triste (Northern Red Currant).

We found a beaver dam on the way back to the entrance of the trail.

We saw a cow and a calf of Alces alces (Moose)
on the way to the campground.

At Granite Tors Campground.
We slept on the back of our rig.

Here is the blueberries we picked at Angel Rocks.

Left...grown at Angel Rocks.
Right...grown at Wickersham Dome.