Palmer Buzz

Cottonwoods and alders are the last deciduous trees in Palmer to show their colors. Some still show green but not for long. Pretty much all the birch have turned yellow and dropped their leaves. You can now distinguish between the species if you look carefully at the remaining leafed trees.

Palmer’s Nice Mix—Despite the small town loveliness of Palmer, we are constantly comforted by the power of nature. This is one of the special things about our area. The beneficial effects of vegetation, mountainscapes, flower gardens, and lots of trees gives us that important link between our souls and nature.

Medicinal Qualities of Nature—We might not think of this frequently but we are so fortunate to have this obvious link to nature, both inside and outside of town. Natural view-sheds, sitting areas, pedestrian walkways, and big glass windows give us all opportunities to connect with nature, anywhere you go in Palmer. It is a proven fact that people recover faster after surgeries, with less painkillers if they have the opportunity to view nature. This curious fact speaks loud in our quality of life, especially when things are chaotic, sad, grief-stricken, or confused. This past year has been full of disappointments because of the Covid Corona Cooties. But throughout this time one only has to look for a contact with nature to improve one’s spirits. Other benefits of our nature neighbor is reduction of stress and coping skills during isolation. Our mountains surrounding our town give us strength and help our tired souls. Our majestic views neutralize the numbness and sadness. This is a non-quantifiable asset of living near Palmer. We have our town and we have our nature. We are so fortunate.

October is the Color of Memory—Between Palmer’s fall colors and the fall scents, October is solid with remembrance. All sorts of memories are rejuvenated because of the significance of this time of year: Here are a few of the most poignant: Campfire smoke and golden coals; ironing leaves in wax paper; packing up the summer gear and retrieving the winter gear; crisp air, coupled with shortened daylight; tall vegetation falling down from the weight of frost; frozen crunchy weeds; the melancholy sounds from the high flying V of birds in flight—heading south; the delicious decay smell of musky rotting leaves; and the appearance of bear scat filled with so many berries, it looks like jelly.

Palmer’s Deep Blue Autumn Sky—It’s not a trick; the skies really are deeper blue at this time of year. Part of the scientific reason is because of the contrast with the earthy colors. Plus there is little reflection of water or ice to diminish the color. I am not making this up. There are two profound scientists who I rely on—Dr. Ned Rozell with the geophysical institute at the University of Fairbanks. And Dr. Neil Davis at the University of Fairbanks. These are smart guys and I read everything they write.

Looking For Our Cozy—Palmer has “cozy” in a big way. We have the cute shops. We have the book store and bike shop and delicious coffeehouses and restaurants. We have sidewalks and safe walking. We all know to wear good footgear and warm sweaters. We have the library and senior center, post office, playground and schools. We have bars and breweries and the Kombuchery. We have the clubs and yoga studios. We have good services and support and law enforcement and safety. We have the medical providers, banks, and grocery stores. It’s all kind of different this year, but we definitely have some cozy to look forward to this winter.

Be Safe—The numbers are rising for the Corona daily train passengers This is worrisome. Be extra safe and make the smartest decisions possible. And please be careful out there.

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 museum. Contact at or text 907.315.3222

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