This week's theme was "Colors of the Rainbow". In a past Friday Photo Shoot-Out, I commented on how Juneau is so uniformly green. Juneau's seemingly interminable verdigris did nothing to stop me trying to find the colors of the rainbow in our little town, however!
The Mendenhall Glacier is one of Juneau's most colorful attractions--in part because of the diverse crowds that it attracts, and in part because glacier ice is inherently blue. Geologists can think of no better explanation for this phenomenon than "the ice absorbs all colors other than blue"...which is really the reason why anything is the color it is, isn't it? Either way, the pure ice peeking out from behind the dirt is a startling sort of blue that makes me thirsty every time I see it. The coolest part about blue glacier ice? The fact that the color doesn't stop at the ice--the glacier water runoff is a translucent slate-blue hue that clearly marks the difference between the rivers in town that come from the mountains, those that come from the channel, and those that come from the glacier.
Alaskans are constantly reminded of their heritage in the names of towns (try saying "Unalakleet" ten times fast), the high native populations, the constant cultural festivals, and by the transformation of seemingly everyday stores into culturally-marked territory. Case in point: our neighborhood box store, Fred Meyer, which has a drive-thru pharmacy adorned with colorful totem poles.
My favorite intersection: red light, green sign, grey pavement, green mountains, white mist.
If I'm craving a color other than green, the best place to go is to the fabric store for its own interpretations of the colors of the rainbow.
...Or perhaps the fabric store isn't the best place to go. Maybe it's just outside when there's a beautiful sunset. The one high point to living in a constantly overcast town is that the sunsets are consistently the one time of day when the sun peeks out from the clouds as if to say, "It's okay, Citizens, I'm still here!" and gives us hope that maybe, maybe tomorrow will be sunny. The sunsets here are without parallel--reds and oranges and yellows in shades the mind can't imagine and the eye can't fathom. My favorite view of the Juneau sunset is this one, driving past Aurora Harbor with the sunset in my sideview mirror and its reflection on the boats and water and mountains and even the summit snow beyond.