Palmer Buzz

It’s official. Palmer Parades are a thriving thing now. It started with teachers driving a caravan by their students’ homes waving. There was much honking and cheering. Then it was the firetruck parade for birthday children. This was followed by the antique cars cruising slowly around. The weekly parking lot parades and wagon-wheel picnics became a thing.

Then it was the High School Seniors’ parade at the fairgrounds, full of balloons attached to vehicles, and jubilant grads.

This week is the Sky Parade with helicopters and C-17 Globemasters flying in the skies. The purpose is to honor the front line responders and essential workers by soaring around in the atmosphere at a very fast speed. Local neighborhood hikes turned into socially distant dog walking parties.

Parades are very functional now because all the observers can spread out and not be jammed up in one little space. They are fun because you get to see others celebrate—which makes you celebrate. Soon there will be vendor parades and horse and sheep parades. Maybe the Alaska State Fair will become one big continuous circus parade.

Landslide rumble

There was a big landslide on Sunday at 3:30ish in the afternoon. Another piece of Pioneer Peak’s flanks crumbled into a big dusty pile. Apparently it was very noisy and was described as “continuous distant thunder.” And now that the dust has settled momentarily, all of Palmer is looking at a new “geologic marking” on our favorite mountain. There are huge differences of opinion as to how large the landslide was in size.

The Palmer Buzz was unable to find any scientific data to back up the dimensions. So, as always, we rely on personal observations from avid mountain watchers. A collective explanation is that rockslides occur during changes in temperature and wind; the rocky scree field will cut loose and tumble down, creating a different monogram on the familiar mountain side.

Tulips in Palmer

They are erect, magnificent and strong. They are yellow and orange and red and very short lived. But this is a significant spring Palmer moment. Make sure you see them over at the Palmer Museum and Visitor Center. Now is also the time to check out the wee and precious perennial primroses in the rock gardens.

Hands and muscles time

If you garden, farm or landscape, then this is the seasonal time when your body aches. After a long winter, your hands are now doing double time pulling weeds, digging soil, spreading seeds. Likewise, back muscles are screaming at the loads they have to carry or push around in a wheelbarrow.

“BC”, “DC” & “AC”

“BC” is how we refer to the time “before Corona.” So if you are speaking of a party time, shopping trip or holiday festival, it was probably “BC.”

We are in the “DC” time which means “during Corona. The big problem with the pandemic is that is feels like an ongoing car wreck—daily, weekly, and monthly. Yes, things are better at some levels. But the automobile accident hasn’t been cleaned up and it feels like it just happens over and over again, Especially when you consider the people lost, businesses closed, dreams dashed, and sicknesses exposed. And the very lengthy “DC” time it is not over.

I personally look forward to the “AC” time, which logically means “after Corona.” However, that’s probably a long way off.

Palmer is still going

The Corona Pandemic has changed our entire world and Palmer is not exempt. But Palmer has this unique way of staying together despite the awkward changes.

This past weekend there was a delightful “Main Street Mothersday” event. NonEssentials, Whimsy, Don Berberich, Denise Statz, Northern Lily and Peak Boutique participated. Peak Boutique prepared a “Potting Succulents Project,” which was a great planting success. Customers were thankful for an “experience” or “project, rather than just shopping to spend money. NonEssentials did an “oil and vinegar” demo. There were also doorprizes and strawberry baskets. It was totally Palmer and totally wonderful.

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. Her “Palmer Buzz Community Calendar” is available at Palmer shops and the Palmer museum. Contact at or text 907.315.3222

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