Sunday morning as I was getting in the car on the way to our awesome church, I literally stopped, opened my mouth wide, and pointed. My Alaskan-born husband looked where I was pointing and said something to the effect of, “Nope. I don’t see it, so it’s not there.” :) It was the undeniable sign of fall on the mountains—termination dust! If you’ve never heard this Alaskan term, it’s what we call the first snow that graces the mountaintops. Alaskans have various methods for telling when the first snow will arrive at our homes, including a certain number of weeks after the last fireweed bloom reaches the top of the plant and a certain number of weeks after termination dust appears. Snow doesn’t usually stick and stay around in Anchorage until mid-October or sometimes later, so we’ll still be able to enjoy fall for a while.
What we REALLY wanted was to hear them make their signature noise. And we were rewarded! For such a tiny creature, the sound they emit is remarkable (and it looks like it takes their whole body to make that sound)! It’s got to be one of the cutest things I’ve seen in my life! This video here will show you what I’m talking about… you’ll hear a pika call at around 30 seconds in.
After that, we headed a little farther up the road to the top of the pass, where Summit Lake is. This small lake is breathtaking and is a rich bluish-green. This picture doesn't do justice to its beauty.