Last week my friend Anna and I drove down to Chitina to try our hand at dipnetting for salmon. Though not my first trip, it was my first success. In past years I’ve always managed to get the timing off and come home nearly empty-handed.
It don’t have any photos of the process. It’s too dirty, frenzied, and focused for me to remember to take pictures. We got into our spot along the bank of the huge Copper River towards the late afternoon, and Anna persuaded me to stay put and fish through the night. It was a beautiful day, and we watched the sun go down, the full moon come up, and a couple of hours later the sun rose again.
It felt very elemental – moonlight, water, the occasional frenzy of a fish in the net, the reluctant but necessary thwack on the head, blood, dirt, exhaustion. (Exhaustion in particular when we stopped fishing at 4 am and began the process of gutting and hauling up the trail to the truck!) I’m not a killer by nature, but I figure if you’re going to be a critter-eater, it’s best to understand what that really means.
And, of course, always the clean-up of all the fishy gear and clothing. . . .
I wish this time of year lasted a little longer. Between my own small plant growing projects and my farm job the fridge is full of fresh veggies, the blueberries are ripe, and the freezer is now full of fish. We had friends over for dinner and feasted on a meal nearly entirely made from Fairbanks food. Yeah, you can eat local here in Fairbanks for oh, about three weeks. . . . longer with the freezer and canning, but boy is it ever fun when it’s fresh.
I am trying to take care of both a large pile of computer work AND get studio stuff done. I want to keep going on what I started on Isle Royale – but my website desperately needs my attention and applications and reports never stop coming. Please excuse the poor photography in the above “Fog Study” and “Night Lake.” I meant to post these two new pieces prior to First Friday but they never even made it on the wall at Alaska House before heading off to new homes. Whoa.
I’m holding everything else for now pending a photo shoot next week, but I’ll post new work after we have that taken care of.