And the big Palmer Art and History Museum celebration kicks off on Friday with the wonderful Palmer Wine Walk and Rhubarb Rumble. Saturday is the Mid-Summer Garden and Art Faire. Both of these events are totally Palmer and totally excellent. There are art, food, and plant vendors at the fair along with entertainment. It’s right in the middle of town, beside the library and “in the green.” It extends to the fabulous Museum garden.
You will see the Garden Fairies, blue poppies, quilts, stained glass, pottery, puppies, dancers, singers, artists and maybe some performance art. There will be workshops and samplings along with a variety of demonstrations and presentations. The Palmer Arts Council and Palmer Renaissance Painters will have tents beside the museum for a public painting experience; several artists will also be doing a portrait study of an adorned flower queen. There will be a Community Weed Pull for the 8th annual Invasive Weed smackdown, along with prizes, sponsored by the Palmer Soil and Water Conservation District.
End of Summer Blooms in Mid-Summer With this heatwave, we are way ahead of normal bloom time. Our great heat spell has caused major overload and everything is exploding at once. Peonies bloomed out in June. Blueberries are being found already in July; tart blues have been both spotted and collected in Hatcher Pass. Tomatoes are ripe. Six foot fireweed is blossoming half-way up the stalk prematurely. Zucchini is already the size of small watermelons. Masses of Nasturtiums overflow the whiskey barrels. Rose hips are popping. Yarrow is ready to pick. The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye and it looks like it’s reaching clear up to the sky. Perfect hay bales stand at the ready. Since we are having this typical August bounty in July, what will August yield for harvest? Nobody knows. This year is so totally unlike many others that we may all be surprised as the Palmer summer unfolds.
Knik River Lodge—It’s a beautiful drive with a great destination. And it’s only about a half hour away from downtown Palmer. The road is good and there is little development or traffic. Once you pass the old Knik River Bridge and head out Knik River Road, you will see variety of vistas, rivers, mountains, boggy moose fields, glaciers and waterfalls. At the end of the road is Raven’s Perch, a fine little restaurant, with outside or inside dining and deck views. Local ingredients are used to make the incredible meals and local beer is served as well. Meals like seared Alaskan Scallops, Wild Berry Salmon, Colony Burgers, and Loaded Macaroni are delicious. The salads are crisp and fresh, filled with local greens, heirloom tomatoes and good dressings. The dessert is homemade carrot cake. Bones, the deck house dog, will be your friend and the attentive wait staff will serve you. It is pretty much a guarantee that you will be a bone-fide member of the “clean plate club.” The Knik River Lodge is both worthy as an excursion and an experience and they are open 7 days a week.
Fire-Ready—Palmer hasn’t had any major close fires this summer. For that, we are grateful. But all of the surrounding beetle-killed, dead, spruce are just like matchsticks in a tinderbox, waiting for ignition. Be Careful Out There.
Take the P’s—This is what we need to take, should we need to evacuate: Prescriptions, papers, photos, personal computer, phone, pills, and pets.
Swimming spots—The Palmer area has a few swimming spots at little lakes and sloughs. One of the best ones is Man Made Lake out beside the Knik bridge. However, on extremely hot days, people were actually getting in the Matanuska River; Don’t Do That.
Dogs in Vehicles—Don’t do this either. Too many dogs have been seen panting and sweating in the back of parked cars, in the hot sun, especially at the grocery stores. This enrages everyone—with a heart—and nothing good can come out of it. Store managers and law enforcement become quickly involved.
Barbara Hunt is both Palmer writer and artist. She works hard to keep the robust pulse of Palmer, Alaska. She shares the good stuff in the weekly Palmer Alaska Buzz Column in the Mat Su Valley Frontiersman and daily on the Palmer Alaska Buzz Facebook Group. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or text 907.315.3222.