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BellaOnline's Alaska Editor

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November 24 2008 Alaska Newsletter


Dear Readers,

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I am reminded of the wonderful Thanksgiving feasts we attended in the various villages we lived in. Although the feasts would always include the traditional “American” food – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie – there was usually just as much locally produced food: barbecued black bear ribs, salmon, sheefish, caribou stew, and blueberries. I am thankful for those opportunities I had to taste new things and share the bounty of the land.

This year we’ve experienced a new bounty – hares. The snowshoe hare population is at a high in our area right now. They ran rampant through the garden this summer (fortunately they didn’t destroy too much of our food, though they ate a lot of yarrow and other flowers) and there are trails running all over the place in the snow. So we decided to snare some – and have enjoyed a new meat source that has been surprisingly mild and tender.

I have to admit, I don’t really enjoy the process of snaring, skinning and butchering, just as I don’t enjoy hunting or fishing. I do, though, appreciate the food that the land provides and the opportunity to enter into the messy and ugly process of obtaining it. It is a good reminder of the value of life and what sacrifices are made in order to sustain it.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Kimi

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Here's the latest article from the Alaska site at BellaOnline.com.

Hares in Alaska
When I was teaching kindergarten in Kobuk, my students would come into the classroom in the morning and say, “Teacher, we saw lots of rabbits by our house.” I would typically respond, “Really? Are you sure? I don’t think there are any rabbits in Alaska. . . you probably saw a hare!”

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art59585.asp


Kimi Ross, Alaska Editor
http://alaska.bellaonline.com

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