Friday, October 11, 2013

Hiking in Kodiak: Summer vs. Fall

I've mentioned this before, but Kodiak is nicknamed "Alaska's Emerald Isle" because of how green the landscape is during the summer.  Aptly named, no doubt.  But, now that the summer is over and we're smack in the middle of autumn, the landscape has changed pretty noticeably.  And little hints of winter are creeping into the air.  You know that crisp, frosty feel that comes around this time of year?  (If you don't live in Florida, that is)  It's totally here.

We took a hike up Pillar Mountain last weekend, and the difference in the scenery was striking.  Check out these two pictures.  The first one I took in July, and the second one I took in October.  Same spot, but wow! - What a difference.

Pillar Mountain - July, 2013

Pillar Mountain - October, 2013

It's so vibrantly green in the summer that the color change to all these shades of amber seems so drastic.  The grasses have started to dry out and get crunchy when you walk on them, and the wildflowers are long gone.

There are still some patches of reds & greens around, and they really stand out since they're surrounded by so many muted yellows, tans, and browns.  There are also some mossy spots that still have their bright green colors, but mostly the landscape has transformed into shades of saffron and gold.  What a dramatic change from the lush green of summer!

Cheety in disguise

And I noticed that Cheety is now completely camouflaged in the grasses.  It's pretty funny.  He's almost exactly the same tan color as some of the open fields we were walking through.  If the grasses were any taller, he'd disappear right into them.  Cheety in the bush!

I'd love to take a hike up Pillar in the winter and take another picture in that same spot as the first two shots.  I'm looking forward to seeing how the mountains will look in, say, January compared to now.  Besides the obvious fact that they'll be covered in snow.  (For all you smart-asses that I just know are thinking, "snowy" like only a good smart-ass would)

I'm sure it'll be just as dramatic of a transformation in winter as it is seeing the colors change from summer to fall.  It's definitely still beautiful, but in a different way than the greens of summer.  It's funny, because as I read this over, it sounds like I've never seen the seasons change.  But really, it's just been a long time since I've lived somewhere that has any dramatic differences between each season, so I guess it's become novel again.  Plus, I'm still enthralled with the mountains.  I've never lived around mountains before, so I'm pretty sure I'll be marveling at them no matter what season it is.  Because really - who doesn't love a good marveling?

Hubby and the Pugbull

I've never been snow-shoeing before, so I'm looking forward to giving that a try this winter, too.  I bet I'll be able to get some nice, snowy landscape pictures when we attempt it!  Lord knows I'll have plenty of winter hats to choose from for our winter outdoor activities:

Hat intervention, perhaps?  I joked that winter hats and socks would replace my flip flop collection, but it looks like I'm on my way to doing exactly that!  Ridiculous as it sounds, I don't think I'm done yet.  I still have my eye on a few cute ones I've seen.  Apparently six winter hats isn't enough.  What can I say?  I've never pretended to make any sense whatsoever.

I guess it's time to say goodbye to Alaska's Emerald Isle until next summer. Bring on winter.....I guess?  At least I know my hats won't go to waste. 
Ta-ta for now.

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