Monday, March 9, 2015

10 More Signs of Spring in Alaska

Salmon with a side of Festuca and a dormant Calamagrostis brachytricha

Never content to hash something out one time, or even two, this Alaskan brings you the definitive list. Again. It may not be true spring here yet, but keep your eyes peeled for the signs. It won’t be long now, I have spotted numbers 6 and 10 already.

1. You just stepped in dog poop, and it made a squish sound. This is to differentiate between stepping in dog doo in winter, when it crunches.

2. You begin to consider getting your bike off the garage ceiling, where it has been dangling in suspension (heh) since November. All except those crazy kids that bike all winter. Yeah, I’m looking at you, fat tire bikers! You just switch to your summer bike.

3. You hear an unfamiliar sound: not the wind, the plow truck, a car in desperate need of a new muffler, nor even a snowmachine. The birds are singing!  Can it be true? (This charming sound will fade to annoying, when that robin is warbling at 2 am in June.)

4. Trailers begin to sport more jet skis and boats and fewer snowmachines.

5. It just snowed again. Instead of being resigned to it or excited about it  (like in winter-time) you are annoyed, and shake your fist at the sky.

6. You saw your first jogger of the season wearing shorts. Not to mistake this with teenaged boys in Alaska, who seem to wear shorts 10 months of the year. I asked one teen why shorts were chosen on a day of snow and low temperatures. The answer, “Well, I looked out my window and it was sunny.”

7. Instead of throwing down sand on the road or driveway, it is being swept up. (In my neighborhood, not until July. Grrr.)

8. Snow boots get stacked on the shelf. Out come the puddle boots. Lots of Alaskans favor Xtra-Tuffs, but I like my Muck boots, for rainy days, gardening days, river rafting days…well, you get the idea. For a discussion on the merits of each, go here.

9. The critters are out, or back. Cue the bears, the Canada geese, squirrels, etc. Put the dog food/birdseed out of reach. We read about what hungry bears do to get people/dog/bird food almost every year in our local newspapers.

10. You just saw a motorcycle or Corvette on the road. Viva la spring!



Is it spring where you live? What are the signs?


Marguerite said...

Feel like more than a few of these could apply to our area. I went for a walk on the weekend and stepped in mud. MUD. I was so surprised I almost fainted. The snowbanks might be 6 feet high but there's hope on the horizon.

Sue Garrett said...

Very little snow for us and it has been mild with few frosts. It's the lengthening days that I look forward tu which must be even more pronounced for you

Lisa Greenbow said...

We have had a most unusual winter weather-wise. Too cold and too much snow. The snow came 3 weeks ago and is just now leaving. We are now in what I call the Mud season. Can't pull weeds because the ground is still too frozen. Only the top inch is thawed. The birds were singing this morning. This is a good sign.

Christine B. said...

@MargueriteNo mud here yet, but we've had slush, so it's only a matter of time. My 9 year old will be thrilled to get into any mud when it does come. I just tend to slip or get it on my clothes somehow.


Christine B. said...

@Sue GarrettYes, we've had a lot more sunlight this month. It really does boost my spirits. I find myself poking around looking for growing things since most of the snow melted even though it had been a bitterly cold week.

Hope springs eternal.


Christine B. said...

@Lisa GreenbowWeeds are visible?? Wow, that would be tempting to get a jump on pulling things out of the ground! I always find my first weed of the season is a dandelion that grows in the crack between the driveway and the garage.

Haven't seen it sprout yet, so a while to wait yet.


Bonnie K said...

My favorite is it isn't the plow truck but birds you hear. I can hear our plow truck clear down at the mail box and that is 1 mile away. Maybe we should get a new muffler for it.

Christine B. said...

@Bonnie KA quiet plow truck, that would be a dream!
I didn't know this, but our city plow trucks, even the great big monster ones, have a horn. A man parked his car in the culdesac while a plow came through. The plow guy leaned on his horn until the guy sprinted out of his house to move the car so the plow could get by.

Message: don't mess with the snowplow.


College Gardener said...

Hahahaha... Sadly this year many of these apply in Massachusetts as well. I hope it will be spring when we get back from a week away, but apparently there have been more snowfall and subzero temperatures in our absence.

Christine B. said...

@College GardenerSounds like you got our typical spring. There must have been some heavy winds to blow it all the way across the country!



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