Archive for May, 2009

Minor Flooding – UPDATED

May 27, 2009

flooding 040

Minor flooding in Nunam Iqua

May 27, 2009

The river  started breaking up last night and we have very minor flooding.   Our boardwalk to the airport is still underwater but we’re pretty sure it will go down enough that we’ll make it out tomorrow.

UPDATE:  We have planes coming in so that means we will be off to Ugashik tomorrow morning, assuming our water doesn’t rise between now and then!

Water is Rising

May 26, 2009

brkup_map (1)

May 26, 2009

We are starting to flood in Nunam Iqua.    The river has not broken up yet, but the The boardwalk to the airport is completely underwater right now and it’s coming up to the 2nd set of boardwalks by the housing.  We are flooding due to the tides coming  in and running into the ice jams upriver and downstream water under the ice.

Victoria: Substitute Canned Salmon for Tuna

May 24, 2009


May 24, 2009

In last night’s open thread at Mudflats ChiCat reported that she tried a recipe for salmon fish sticks that Victoria had posted a while back.

A few weeks ago you recommended making fish sticks from canned salmon–I finally tried it and both my son and husband loved them! Thank you!

Several readers asked for the recipe so she reposted it this morning.

I had a little bird tell me the discussion was going on for the recipe.
We do all sorts of versions so this one is workable too but might be slightly different than the original –
Canned salmon – we use skinless boneless only cause that is what we process at our plant BUT any works- just stir the can so all parts are mushed.
6 ounces of salmon + 1 egg+ ~ 1/2 cup rice krispies (I use bread crumbs when out) and any seasoning you like- we do cajun, Old Bay, etc.
Use about 1 -2 tsp per 6 ounces.
Mush all together – form patties, balls or sticks.
Can brown with a good non-stick skillet or bake in oven 400 for 20-30 minutes.
So much of this is just see as you go but you get the idea:-))
Kids love the Rice Krispie idea so that helps.
Some time soon will try and do other simple ones.
Remember pretty much anything you use for tuna canned salmon can be used.
Hope this spurs lots of ideas :-))

I wanted to post it here but had to make a batch in order to get a photo – such an easy recipe!

I didn’t have Rice Krispies so I used Panko breadcrumbs because I had them. If you use crumbs, add them a little at a time – ½ cup is too much. Next time I’ll venture out and get Rice Krispies – they would make a light, crunchy treat.

With lemon, pepper & dill (from the backyard) sauce and one of the 27 mangos from the kitchen counter, this was a tasty project.

~ Jane

6 days and counting… Break up is NEAR!

May 23, 2009

May 23, 2009

Yukon River ice break up:

Emmonak flooding, Alakanuk just starting to break up, Nunam Iqua break up to follow.

Emmonak: The river ice broke yesterday afternoon and they are now having moderate to major flooding.  A friend in Emmonak said that water was all the way up to her house, which is behind the school.  The Emmonak stores are closed.  It is unknown yet whether anyone has had to evacuate from the low lying areas.

Alakanuk: A resident in Alakanuk announced on the VHF radio that their river ice is just breaking up and has started moving.  There is no word yet about whether the village is experiencing flooding.

Nunam Iqua: River ice at Alakanuk  has started to move, so it’s likely that Nunam should break up tomorrow.  Ice is still intact but there is a lot of open water.   We do not yet know if this will cause flooding.

Counting down…Ugashik or Bust

May 22, 2009

Picture of the river from Nunam's dock.

The Yukon River viewed from Nunam's dock.

May 22, 2009

We are scheduled to fly to Ugashik on the 28th.  It will be a long day – we leave Nunam in the morning and arrive in Ugashik in the evening.  The first leg with either be to Bethel or  Emmonak.  From there we will fly to Dillingham,  King Salmon and then to Ugashik.

Flights and route are dependent upon break up, flooding, and weather.

*   *   *

Break up/Flooding Update

The news reported that the village of  Marshall had some pretty bad flooding and residents in low-lying areas had to evacuate to higher ground.  Emmonak is on flood watch.

We went down to the dock last night and there is a lot of open water on the river.  There is still lots of ice and it hasn’t started shifting yet.   The river ice has started moving up and down with the tides again.  I asked a relative whether she thought we were going to flood, and she replied that it really  depends on how the coastal ice breaks up and jams even if the river break up looks normal.

We are scheduled to fly to Ugashik on the 28th

Victoria Briggs: Another Alaskan Morning!!

May 22, 2009


DSC06528Neo and Pod

May 22, 2009

I had to share a great photo a friend sent from another beautiful place in Alaska. These are from the Juneau area.

This morning we went to Outer Point and the dogs had a great morning in celebration of “spaced outedness…”

I had to comment that no matter how pretty the part of Alaska I live in is, there are so many other parts I can’t imagine having a hard time living in.

All this sharing of the beauty happens as I am sitting near one of our main windows, with a pot of sweet peas blooming, which always remind me of my grandma and God mother, and getting to smell their sweet scent!

It is still to cool at night for me to take covers off veggies growing outside. Sweet-smelling goodies like sweet peas and lilies get a special place in my windows so I can remember spring and summer will come!

signs of spring-may 09 004

We are quickly moving into busy mode as hubby was off this morning, 1 AM, to do a quick freight run with the boat. Sorry no pictures as it is still pretty darn dark at that time of the morning here.

This means the VHF is turned up and dialed into a mutual channel while he is out on this run. You sleep but always with an ear open. Given there are no highways to get things to Ugashik, water freight is the next possible mode for heavy or off shaped things. You would be surprised by how much of one’s household and business items fall into those categories when one begins the process of shipping things.

We are lucky in that we have a boat that can make the trips – short distances of under a half week to help get things out to us.

As transportation has become harder in much of Alaska, many villagers do without replacing items because transportation costs are prohibitive. You can image the whole issue this makes with transporting such things as vehicles, construction materials and even such items as a BBQ!

This weekend we are making one last quick trip to Anchorage before the season starts to meet with a fish buyer, pick up more supplies and do some last minute business in ‘town’.  These are always whirl wind trips that leave us wondering if we will ever get a chance to do anything again without constantly noting the time of day and what is next on the “list.”

~ Victoria

Anonymous Bloggers announces Bella Awards

May 21, 2009


Our self-awarded  Jammie Grammy

May 21, 2009

We have been awarded a coveted “Bella  Award”  by 0>w/hole>1 . We are…

One of the sites that got the ball rolling for the food and fuel drives in rural Alaska.

Thanks for the recognition – we pajama-clad, anonymous bloggers really appreciate it!!

Along with this honor comes the responsibility of awarding the “Bella Award” to fifteen blogs that we have recently discovered.

Most behind-the-scenes helpers here independently recognized the striking similarity to the chain letter concept. I think we’re all old enough to remember receiving chain letters via snail mail and being faced with the risk of breaking a decades-old chain if we didn’t copy the letter BY HAND, insert a dollar and send it to all our friends.

Our pre-teen attempts to put a dollar in the mail in hopes of receiving a fortune in return has most people of a certain age wary of chain letters and reluctant to pass them along to grownup friends.

The Internet makes these things easier but it still presents a dilemma – do we or don’t we.

1bella award_After much deliberation we have decided to tempt fate and award our quota of Bellas to the entire community of Alaskan bloggers who brought the situation in rural Alaska to our attention and spurred an outpouring of love and aid from a community of caring souls worldwide! There are too many terrific Alaskan blogs to list but they know who they are and can comfortably accept our “Bella Award” and continue the chain we have dared to tamper with.

Alaska bloggers – please accept this “Bella Award” with our awe, thanks and utmost respect!

~ the anonymous bloggers team

Yukon River Breaking up…

May 19, 2009

May 19, 2009

We have been watching the spring conditions and trying to guess when we will break up.  Here is the latest report from National Weather Service, Alaska.



Here is the link if you’d like to keep checking the break up status on the Yukon.

This is Just Melting Snow!

May 18, 2009

May 18, 2009

Remember the Lap Game Ann described on April 23?

lap game 1

This is a photo of about 20 of the Nunam kids playing Alaska Native “Lap Game” kind of like baseball on Swan Lake the lake that separates the two sides of Nunam.  “Lap Game” is kind of like baseball.

Ann sent this photo of Swan Lake taken last night.

swan lake where lap game

She also reports that, although they haven’t had breakup yet, the melting snow has caused flooding on the boardwalk to the airport.

airport boardwalkBoardwalk to Nunam Iqua airport

There are still no flood watches or warnings for Ann’s area. Hopefully this will be as bad as it gets!

~ Jane

Victoria Briggs: Signs of Spring!

May 17, 2009

signs of spring 008

Native Lingonberries, called cranberries here, are showing signs of greening

May 17, 2009

Amazing how quickly it can go from cold, frozen and miserable to warm, thawing and sunny like AZ!

We have had about 5 straight days of sun, low winds and warmer, into the 70’s. Everyone’s energy is pumping. Plans that were talked about ALL winter are now moving quickly into full swing.

At the same time Mother Nature is showing all her glory and grace in our surroundings.

While out this morning doing ‘chores’ the dogs and I were treated to a rare sight. The swans, all three of them, were ‘playing’ right over the house. Dive bombing each other, turning, twisting, calling and generally having a great time. They were so close you could see their webbed feet and bill color. There are a pair and one tagging along. When you consider these guys are 20+ pounds, that is a BIG bird to be diving and rolling in the sky!

At the same time I saw our first swallow yesterday at the ‘home’ place. White/cream tummy and blue/black back and wings. They nest in the banks and also make mud dobber nests in our warehouse once we leave the big door open full time.

I always have to laugh as the great horned owls that live in the village also come down and spend their days there.  Talk about either finding the biggest protector around as a neighbor or TOTALLY flirting with danger, I am not sure.

The owls, a nesting pair of many years from what we know, stay either in the old cannery in the village to nest or for a few years on some barges we had on our beach front. They hatch at least one young one each year and many times we see two. (Have read the life span can be to 28 years).

They stand about 3 foot tall so if you are quiet when entering our warehouse you usually get a few moments to watch them before they leave. It STILL amazes me that you hear nothing when they are in flight. As a predator what an advantage!

signs of spring 005

Radishes trying to get going- still under cover!

The first planted spinach, hardy greens and radishes are doing their darnest to come up. Given we are still getting nights of heavy frost or even freeze I am thankful.

We dug a few holes for new clothes line poles the other day and found that down about 12”-18” we hit frozen ground. Winter still isn’t too far gone.

signs of spring 007

Willows adding to the pollen count!

The willows are budding out and we are starting to see tid bits of green in many places.

A few skiffs have been in the water and people are traveling up to ‘Egg Island’ to harvest seagull and duck eggs.

The first subsistence salmon nets are out in the river. Nothing but local Starry Flounder so far, BUT there is hope :-)

~ Victoria