It's been quite a November in Alaska, with warmer-than-average temperatures to kick off the month, followed by a quick freeze around much of the state, then nasty winter storms in Western and Interior Alaska.
Through it all, there has been beauty to be found, just as there always is in the Last Frontier. As the days get shorter, the northern lights return, marking a perennial period of skygazing for many Alaskans. November also brought the beaver moon, a full moon said to be perfect for setting those final fur traps before the snow flies. Alaska Dispatch photographer Loren Holmes snapped a slideshow of Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, basking in the glow of the full November moon.
The late sunrise and early sunset also means more potential for Alaskans to see spectacular sunrises and sunsets, which take place closer to high noon. Except, of course, in Alaska's far-north communities, where the sun sets for months at a time. Barrow, the state's northernmost community, experienced its last official sunrise and sunset for the year on Nov. 18, when there was a mere 54 minutes between sunup and sundown. The sun will be gone more than two months, returning in late January.
And though the state's Arctic regions may be shrouded in darkness, there is still lots to do around Alaska in wintertime, from skiing to sledding to ice climbing to fat-tire biking to winter hiking, and more. In Alaska, winter may be long, dark and cold, but in the end, it's what Alaskans make out of it. And many Alaskans make it the best they can.