For millennia salmon has been our lifeblood, touching every community with it’s nutrition. This has been a hard summer. The fish have been scarce all over Alaska with the exception of Bristol Bay. We hope that our salmon are not disappearing and that this summer was just an off year. Our salmon have to contend with many obstacles to make it home to our streams: warming waters, hazardous wastes, plastics, pollution, and becoming by-catch of fishermen fishing for other species. Once they get here, we make sure the escapement for spawning is sufficient for future years. Our subsistence foods feed our physical nutritional needs, but also fill our cultural needs; one is just as important as the other. (Turn the sound down…that is just our constant wind drowning out the sound of splashing salmon.)
Already the 22nd of October and we are heading into the cold and bluster of fall. It is definitely warmer than our falls and winters up until five years ago. I am still hoping for some late blueberries, and, of course, I still need to pick moss berries and cranberries. The never ending cycle of subsistence waits for no one. Especially if they take a small vacation. It was fun while it lasted.
Puffins have always seemed such a comical bird. I suppose just their coloring and crazy beak, plus their little round eye that seems to be bisected by two black lines is a good start. They also have these colorful flappy feet sticking out of their rotund bellies that make them waddle-walk. Out at sea, they run on top of the water, flapping their wings furiously for what seems like eons, trying to get their unsvelt bodies up off the water and into the air. And somehow they manage to catch little fish and get them all lined up without dropping them, and walk and fly with them hanging out of their beaks. We laugh at them a lot. They are cute and funny. I have to say, though, that I had to laugh at myself when I was going through my shots of trying to capture juvenilles flying to and from the cliffs, practicing flight and strengthening themselves for their time at sea and finding out that only two out of the twelve pictures I shot had birds in them at all. Haha. Crazy fast when you don’t want them to be.