Palmer Buzz

The seasons are changing fast and everyone is scurrying around. Like both the birds and the animals, we are trying to be ready for winter.

Here now is your Palmer Winter Checklist—

Do the last mow. Find flash lights and check their functionality. Find shovels.

Remove accessories from spigots. Button up the greenhouse.

Drain hoses on sunny day, roll, and store on coat hangers.

Pick up tools you’ve left all over the yard. Put up lawn furniture, horseshoe stakes, and croquet pieces.Turn the compost. Cut and stack wood. Fill feeders. Empty planters. Dig tubers. Scatter poppy seed. Find your ice grips. Prepare for ice with bags of sand or kitty litter.Have your furnace checked along with your filters. Do annual maintenance.

Inspect fire extinguishers and detectors.

Clean gutters. Clean outside of windows.Check the seals around doors and garage doors.

Bring out your family’s winter wear.

Get your car ready with emergency gear, extra clothing, and scrapers. Unload shed, remove snow tires, refill shed.

Dream. Buy Tickets. Pack.

Pre-dig pet graves, just in case.

Stock up your larder and book shelves with some of your PFD. Buy yarn.Put away fans and dig out the extra blankets.

Finish all the summer projects you started.

Put up all those little holiday lights before it gets too cold and early dark.

Take a Drive—It’s the shoulder season and so very beautiful. You owe it to yourself to see Hatcher Pass in September. It’s a total gift for your soul. Then drive slowly up to the top and embrace the colors and majesty of the mountains. Walk some of the precious wooded trails while the leave are falling, especially at Matanuska River Park or Reflection Lake or Government Peak Recreation Area.

Healing Waters—Stop at the Little Susitna River and inhale the negative ions. I learned this when I was at the river bridge on the way to Hatcher Pass. An elder was there and although we were strangers, we agreed about the special quality of the air as you stand near the rushing river. Her son mentioned that we were sensing the negative ions—which are actually oxygen atoms with extra-negatively-charged electrons. A bit of research shows that negative ions are abundant in nature, especially around waterfalls and rivers and widespread in mountains and forests. However, water in fast motion produces most abundant negative ions, bringing more energy and vitality.

This Palmer Weekend—There’s some great live music in town this weekend in the Bar block, at the breweries, and at the Ale House. This weekend is the Blueberry Ball up at Skeetawk, in Hatcher Pass, from noon to 8pm. There will also be scenic chair lifts, a full series of bands, food trucks and wonderful fun.

Additionally this weekend, LouiseFest, the annual APU Spring Creek Farm festival honoring Louise Kellogg, happens Saturday from 12-7. There will be live music, wood fired pizza and walks around the beautiful grounds. This might be the last weekend for some of the local farm-stands. Big farm harvest festivals start next week. A community outdoor drum circle is Saturday afternoon celebrating Percussion In The Valley’s 10th anniversary. Don’t forget, next week is the Autumn equinox. Dear Palmer, please stay safe.

Barbara Hunt is both Palmer writer and artist. She works hard to keep the robust pulse of Palmer, Alaska. (She is working hard on the 2022 Palmer Community Calendar, which will be available in October.) Barbara 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 or text 907.315.3222

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