Palmer Buzz

There was no rain. Wind was continual. The dumpling truck got smothered by a flying tent. Chocolate macrons made an entrance. Food trucks worked hard. Vetch was collected from roadsides. Wine walkers shared love and laughter everywhere they went. Former Governor and Donna Walker and lots of family joined in as usual in the Friday night Palmer Wine Walk festivities, which benefit the Museum. Volunteers painted the hundreds of beautiful wine glasses and other volunteers helped to pour, greet, and direct the walk and destinations. Music was constant and dance parties erupted spontaneously. Saturday’s Garden and Art Faire was arranged by the Greater Palmer Chamber of Commerce; the green, between the library and borough building was filled with music, art, happy people and puppies. One small volunteer performance art event——The Annual Palmer Renaissance Painting Peony Portrait—featured the fierce but beautiful Heidi Sena, resting on the antique white wicker chaise lounge with a perfect Moon Stone Farm peonies blossoming around her. (see picture above).

Middle Month—We’re smack dab in the middle of Palmer’s High Summer Season. And it has been glorious. We’ve had the May and June festivals. We’re halfway through July and we just did the MidSummer Garden and Art Fair, Palmer Wine-walkers, Invasive Vetch Weed Smackdown. Most of the farm markets are now open regularly; they and the Friday Flings will continue at a gallop all the way through September. Farm events continue the rest of the summer. Various outdoor music events are frequent on the weekends along with tag sales, garage sales, and flea markets. Coming up this weekend is the Fiber Arts Festival at the fair grounds, the Animal Control Resale event, a large faith gathering at the pavilion. Next week is the downtown Palmer Pride Picnic, the Recycle Revival and various Valley Garden Tours.

Porcupines and Bears—Mammals are being spotted frequently this summer. We have all heard of the bears goofing off near neighborhoods, farms and trailheads. But less talked about is the high frequency of porcupine sightings. Porcupines are a strange little animal. They mate in the fall and give birth in May. A baby porcupine is a tiny one pounder and although they nurse for up to four months, they are also currently learning to forage and waddle around with their mother. Right now we are seeing lots of small, young porcupines wandering around the roadsides and trails. These are slow animals who never seem to be a hurry. They are attracted to salt. roadside greenery, spruce bark and willow. They don’t seem terribly wisened to the many dangers of cars, trucks, people, curious dogs, predatory owls, eagles, foxes, coyotes or lynx. And some of our dogs have not wisened up to the porcupines either. According to research, porcupines have about 30,000 quills with a backwards-facing barb, which makes them difficult to retrieve from a dog’s face or muzzle. The best thing to do is to clip the barbs with pliers and go to vet immediately. The quills tend to travel and embed themselves in critical organs.

Goodbye Palmer Library Spruce Trees—Those voracious spruce bark beetles have nailed another bunch of old spruce behind the Palmer Library. You can see how the trees have died and they are now destined for removal. There really is no remedy for this and it is sad. The beetle infestation causes death of the trees and a public safety and fire hazard. Good bye old trees—you served us well.

More Palmer Upgrades—The Pioneer Hotel, near the Bike Shop on Arctic, has undergone some terrific renovations. It is quite nice now and a great option for out of town guests. The Eagle Hotel, near the pavilion, has undergone a well-needed paint job and looks wonderful. Lots of Palmer businesses have done fine work with landscaping and exterior beautification. We are so lucky to have good businesses who help our town with all aspects.

Palmer peeps, please stay safe. Keep a look out for pedestrians, bicycles, and children, and enjoy our grand summer.

Barbara Hunt is both Palmer writer and artist. She works hard to keep the robust pulse of Palmer, Alaska. She shares the good stuff on the weekly Palmer Alaska Buzz in the Mat Su Valley Frontiersman and daily on the Palmer Alaska Buzz Facebook Group. Email bhunt@mtaonline.net or text at 907.315.3222

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