There are a lot of ravens in Alaska, apparently. When I first saw them, I thought they were crows, but they are much bigger.
Seriously, these things are the size of housecats! Here’s a chart to tell the difference between ravens and crows:
Apparently they are very smart birds; they can solve simple puzzles and even learn to talk.
The weird thing is: the ravens are still here, right now, in the dead of winter.
I feel like catching one and demanding, “Do you SEE all this snow? Aren’t you a bird?! Shouldn’t you have flown south months ago?”
But they don’t go anywhere. They don’t seem to mind the cold, and food is no problem, I guess. As carrion eaters, their main source of food is garbage.
While there aren’t as many dead things lying around to eat in the wintertime, there is plenty of trash, thanks to all the humans around here. It’s kind of unnerving, though, to see these beautiful black birds dumpster-diving all over the place.
Those ravens will eat anything.
Recently my husband was in Wal-Mart and heard an announcement over the loudspeaker. “If you are the owner of a black Ford truck with this license number, be aware that the ravens are eating your groceries right now.”
When we moved to Hawaii, over six years ago now, I got rid of all of my winter things. I just didn’t want to store all of that stuff. Sometimes I wish I still had a couple of those old things, but not very often.
But now that we are in Alaska I have to buy some new winter clothes.
I was shopping at the thrift store and I found a sweater I used to own. It was in perfect condition and looked as if it had stepped straight from 1992 into the year 2015, just waiting for me to find it again.
I know, of course, that it’s not the same one, since I bought that sweater in Texas, wore it in Alabama, and gave it away in Maryland.
But it was cool to find it here in Alaska.
Maybe I’ll find the stirrup pants I used to wear with it, too.
I’ve been taking some nice scenery pictures recently. Winter in Alaska is really beautiful. I posted a picture taken from my window on Facebook recently:
I got lots of comments. “Wow!” “So beautiful!” “I’m jealous!”
Now, I appreciate the love, people, but REALLY. You’re jealous?! Of ME?! Come on!
You KNOW I’m only showing the nice side of life on Facebook, right? That’s what we DO on Facebook! Right?! (Isn’t that what you’re all doing, too? Because if you guys are all REALLY as happy as you look on Facebook I might as well lie down and die.)
The snow is beautiful here, sure, but it’s also DEADLY.
I have seen a car stranded in a ditch EVERY DAY for the past three weeks. (A different car, in a different ditch, I mean. Obviously.)
The snow is even a problem if you’re not driving.
The twins love playing in this snow pile outside their school. Then one day I saw the school had it roped off.
“Some kid broke his arm out there,” the twins informed me nonchalantly.
This snow wants to KILL us, I tell you! But it sure is pretty…
I went to Home Depot to find a part for our leaking fridge (see my last post, The Joys of Home Ownership).
I had the broken part with me, so I figured I could match it.
I walked back to the “Plumbing” section and saw a man in an orange apron standing at the end of the aisle.
“Hi!” I said. “I’m looking for a valve like this.” I held up the plastic piece.
He squinted at it. “What’s it for?” he asked.
“It’s part of the waterline for a refrigerator. It connects two pieces of quarter-inch tubing,” I answered, reciting what my husband had told me.
He stared at it some more. “Well,” he said finally. “That would probably be in plumbing, I guess.” He looked around the area vaguely.
I followed his eyes, reading the huge PLUMBING sign above his head, then looking around at the various aisle markers. I looked back at him.
“I’m Lawn and Garden,” he explained. “But it would probably be…” He looked all around again, as if searching for inspiration from above.
Then his little walkie-talkie beeped and he answered it. He started talking to someone on the other end about generators (and the fact that they are completely out of them again) and I stood awkwardly, wondering what I should do. I began an internal dialogue.
Would it be rude for me to walk off in the middle of his sentence? I asked myself. I don’t want to interrupt him.
But he interrupted himself, I answered myself. And he obviously doesn’t have any idea where the part is.
But he did try to answer, I reminded myself. He can’t help it if he doesn’t know. He’s from Lawn and Garden.
He can help standing in the middle of Plumbing with his orange apron looking as if he could help people, when he evidently can NOT, I mentally retorted.
While this little play went on inside my brain I stood there, looking like a particularly stupid deer that hasn’t decided whether or not to flee. I shifted my weight.
Finally I began inching away, glancing over at the man still chatting away on the walkie-talkie, deciding that I would give him a pantomimed version of “I’ll go find it myself” (exaggerated pointing and mouthing) if he looked up. He didn’t.
I walked around a bit and found the part myself.
When I came back out of the aisle, HE WAS STILL THERE. He was no longer on the phone; he was just standing in the middle of Plumbing, wearing his (obviously ironic) “May I help you?” orange apron.
“I found it!” I told him unnecessarily, waving the little plastic packet in my hand.
He looked unimpressed.
As I walked off, I saw someone else approaching him. I hope they had a question about Lawn and Garden….