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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Taku Winds, Formerly Known as Hell Winds

Severe weather is a fact of life in Southeast Alaska. Storm surges, dense fog, heavy snow, dangerous ice, heavy rainfall, high winds.... we endure some extreme weather conditions here. For my money, the winner is - the Taku Winds! We all can tell grim stories of being blown off our feet or being hit by flying debris. The capricious Takus can be dangerous in the air and on the water. And they cause irritation - extreme irritation depending on how long they blow. And they have been blowing for weeks now! Like the Twinkie defense, I believe the Taku Winds could be a viable defense in court. And until now, no one has seen the positive side of the hurricane force gusts - 72 mph or greater -  that keep us shivering inside for days at a time. A young student from University of Alaska Southeast, Ryan Cortes Perez, experienced the wind and responded with the largest wind chimes I have ever seen.

He strung them between two old pilings left from the days when the Treadwell Mine was running on Douglas Island. You can see from this photo how venerable these pilings are.

Even the way he installed the heavy logs with rope and wire is beautiful, simple and clean. I love the way the rigging looks.

And now all of us can enjoy his take on the hell winds because instead of being driven to mayhem, he was driven to creativity.


  1. i heard about these when i visited last week, but they're gone now. maybe the wind and water swept them away. great images!