Just sittin’ out on my porch drinking my morning coffee and enjoying the view. There are gorgeous white puffy clouds in the sky, the corn looks fantastic and the soybeans are coming along nicely. We have had some much-needed rain in my area that has made a difference. There are still some other areas that are very dry.

The hummingbirds are flocking to my feeders. I have a large one and a small one and both were empty this morning, so my first chore for the day was to get my birds fed. I have to refill the feeders every day. I have counted as many as 10 feeding at one time. Trying to count a lot of hummingbirds as they flit and fight is not an easy chore!

My son and daughter-in-law were here yesterday and brought along pictures of their recent cruise to Alaska. The pictures were beautiful and very interesting. The size of the icebergs was hard to believe. They definitely have not all melted yet! There were 3,000 people on their cruise ship. They had a picture of four cruise ships docked at one of the towns at the same time; one held 5,000 people the other three held approximately 3,000 each. That is a lot of tourists descending on a town at the same time. Over a million tourists visit Alaska between May 1 and Oct. 1. Tourism is definitely very important there.

Coats, toboggans and gloves were the fashion style for the trip. It was difficult to adjust to the sun rising at four o’clock in the morning and dark not occurring until midnight. The temperature on one of the mountains that they went up was in the low 30s. They saw a mountain goat there. All supplies must come in by boat or airplane and boats and seaplanes are everywhere. Once the tourist season ends many of the people leave the cities and live elsewhere, as getting supplies in during the bad winter weather is so difficult. Doctors and dentists are flown in to the cities at various times to take care of the people’s needs.

The cities they visited were Juneau, the capital, population approximately 30,000; Skagway, approximately 1,000; and Ketchikan, approximately 8,000. In Katchikan, the main businesses for years was a cannery and lumber. The Tongass National Forest is located there. It covers 16.7 million acres and averages 3,000 trees per acre. A total of around 50 billion trees. In the mid ’90s laws were passed to stop the harvesting of the trees, so now tourism is vital to that area.

There is no livestock in those areas. There is nothing for the livestock to eat, and if there were any there the bears would eat them! So no cows! A driver on one of their tours told them that the cost of a gallon of milk is $6. Could we load up a few plane loads of our surplus milk and send it to Alaska?

While Alaska is beautiful and interesting, I think I will just stay here in Ohio. While I won’t see whales, bald eagles, mountain goats, sea lions and bears (on second thought there have been some bears seen here), this week I will be "cruising" to Lisbon, where I will enjoy seeing beautiful cows and great people at the Columbiana County Fair Dairy Show. I am looking forward to it!