Hey everybody! I’m BAAA-AAACK! Thawed out and alive. I know, it’s been a while since I’ve posted as I’ve been up in the frozen awesomeness of Alaska. You can view a slideshow of a few shots here, or check out the gallery here. It was my first time travelling without my fam, but their constant calls/photos/facetimin’ kept me warm through it all. Just wanted to say thank you to my wife, Dahlia, for watering and taking care of the plants while I was away. She would send me photos from the garden and keep me updated on all the plants. Thanks baby!
I have a new revelation of what “cold” is… I’ve been accustomed to wearing SPF 50 sunblock and working in 80F temperatures on the regular. I went from that and into consistent -20′s and with lows dipping to -36F. And yes. For me, it was AWESOME. I was doing some night photography in -30F temperatures and the Gatorade in my bag froze solid within minutes.
In the middle of this frozen phenomenal-ness, there’s an oasis of botanical beauty. And guess what?! It was filled with carnivorous plants!! Well, kinda… TOMATOES! According to studies done a few years ago, scientists have found that tomatoes, as well as a few other plants, have the ability to “eat insects.” Before I start posting about our regularly featured carnivores, I wanted to share a few photos from the geothermal powered (yes, geothermal powered!) greenhouses at Chena Hot Springs located in the North Star Borough of Pleasant Valley, Fairbanks, Alaska.
This green oasis was a refreshing change of climate. Dude, this makes me wish I was on some geothermal power back at my place! Special thanks to Vanessa for showing us around the place!
Killer tomatoes grown on a pulley system! Once the tomatoes reach a certain height, the pulleys lower the vines down so that they can continue to climb, vine, and grow. So fresh.
Tomato cutting/grafting action.
Beware of the killer tomatoes.
Pointsettias grown under LEDs.
Being so remote, they’re using geothermal power here to grow their own food and be self sustaining. Fresh veggies in the winter while everything else outside is frozen. Love it!
Lt. Benton II, Vanessa, and me.
Thanks Vanessa for showing us around the place! And Jameson, nice meeting you too – it’s always great to run into other horticultural minded folks!
Meanwhile, outside – a frigid yet beautiful scene…
Another thing I might as well share on this post are a few photos from the road trip back to Mark’s place. After leaving Chena and driving for a little bit, I noticed something lighting up the sky along the horizon. Lo and behold it was the Aurora! It was my final evening in Alaska and I am so glad to have been able to witness the amazing phenomenon. Mark quickly veered off the highway; we ended going down a random street and finally ending up in a driveway. Sandy, the owner of the property asked us if we were lost, in which Mark replied “Oh no, just wanting to see the Aurora.” Dude, I was sitting there all freakin’ like a little kid itching to see the lights. Sandy was so awesome and kind enough to let us shoot a few frames from her driveway. They told me this was a rather mild occurrence. (WHAT?!) Sandy also mentioned that if I thought this was cool, then I should see it when it’s intense and blazin’ overhead. Man, I gotta come back for that! Thanks again Sandy for letting us shoot from your driveway!
Last but not least, I wanted to express my gratitude to 1Lt. Andrew Chung and my bro 1Lt. Mark Benton II for their hospitality and boundless generosity. It was truly a blessing to catch up and experience all I did up there. Mark, dude — thank you for everything bro! Mos’ def’ I will be back!
Me, Mark, and Andrew – on the road in Denali National Park, Alaska.