It is 14 below slightly overcast, the eastern sky was fiery red at daybreak. The North wind is notably absent. After years of living with the harsh grind of first the fall wind, then the north wind, it is a bit odd waking up in late October and not seeing snow drifting around the yard. Our first, and so far only, snowfall was the 15th and 16th of Oct. Back in the 1970s, between horse care duties and wood cutting, I would journey to the Slana River near Mentasta Village for a night of fishing. We fished at night by gas lanterns, using spears or gaff hooks. The catch sometimes counted 200 white fish, which we used for trap bait, dog food, and our table. The trip would begin about 6 in the evening with the drive around 2.5 hours, with the fishing lasting until midnight, then back to Nabesna Road. Totally different lifestyle then, and one that is alien to today's frame of mind. The wind started at Mentasta a month or so later then us. These days, no rhyme or reason on seasons or wind. I think the last time I went spear fishing was about 1981. The white fish hit the river in the annual run as soon as the slush ice began coating the bottom of the river. The run would last up to 3 weeks and was a mainstay of the village when we lived the winters out in Mentasta between 1959 and 1963. Summers of course was always in the home country of Nabesna.
We had snow fall last. Perhaps an inch. My observations was actually about the absence of wind this fall. Unusually in that, a north wind is part and parcel of the turn of the season, but so far the wind has been sporadic without a sense of direction. Just different directions from which it comes.
Comments from LEO Editors:
Temperature is a determining factor in wind direction and speed. According to the Alaska Climate Research Center, temperatures in Alaska have increased an average of 3.7 degrees Fahrenheit between 1949 and 2016. In the Gulkana area, these temperature changes are most pronounced during winter, where temperatures increased 8.3 degrees Fahrenheit during the same period.