Monday, April 12, 2021

Alaskan Spring Update

 It's the time of the year when everyone begins to share photos of their grass, budding trees, tulips and daffodils.  Spring was formerly my favorite time of year. The jury is still out, but I am leaning towards summer or fall being my favorite time of year in Alaska....spring...hope of a summer while winter lingers on and on. 

I can tell it's spring in Alaska because some days get up into the 30's and it is comfortable to go for outside walks again. 

This walked started out well. A few skirmishes where dogs seemed to be hyper aware of checking us out, but always stopped at the end of their driveways - no tie downs, no fence. We rounded a corner 1 1/2 miles from home and out of nowhere a snarling, snapping chocolate lab was on us. He was mad. All the hair on his back was raised. We were in the middle of the road. He lunged at us. Kids were running at us screaming at "Jake."  Jake wouldn't back off. We continued to slowly walk. Jake begin to seriously try to bite Millie and us....he was foaming.  Mother came out yelling at Jake and still Jake wouldn't back down. Dad was called. They began kicking Jake and screaming at us to kick Jake. Jake was undeterred. Jake chased us for a block before the kids and Mom formed a line across the road with shovels and kicks between him and us. It was horrible. Millie had only surface damage.  Dad came home and drove out to find us before we reached home. He wanted to know what had happened. We told him we hadn't even known Jake was around until he was in the middle of road, bristling, snapping and foaming. He said Jake had been bitten a month ago "in a very private place"  - which led to him being neutered. Jake is friendly. Jake is not aggressive, Jake IS SAFE - which is why Jake was in an unfenced yard, off leash with no one in arm's on people. We were walking down the middle of the road.  Stacia commented she wanted a dog to protect her from these dogs, not to attract all the hyper dogs in the neighborhood. We won't walk that way again....because I doubt they tie Jake down. He's NEVER done this before.  We will remember our pepper spray and bear spray from here on out.  I just wish dog owners would remember that dogs are animals and we never know completely WHAT they will do...I mean I am sure Jake is usually a well-mannered dog and comes when called. Something made him attack us. A fence or tie-down would help. 

Spring walks...usually a favorite sign of spring.  We don't get the stereotypical spring colors. Ours tend more to white and brown....sand and snow mixed on the sides of the roads.  

HOWEVER - on our warm days we see water running down the road. This is a sign of break up - which is really more of what we have than "spring."  Our vehiciles are also COVERED in mud on the warm days - this is a sign of break up. 

I am noticing grass in town. Up here near the mountains - we still have lots of  snow.  Our first year here I planted seedlings in Feb and they were all worthless by June. Last year I planted in March. I haven't planted any yet....this is what our spring garden looks like. 

The fire ring is still under snow... BUT this is 9:40 p.m. 
9:40 p.m. 

Our sunlight is amazing. We are up to 14 hours and 35 minutes of "sun" a day...longer if you count the twilight hours.  This is a SURE sign spring is coming. This sunrise was around 6:30...its the time of year when the colors from the sunrise peep over the mountains that ring our home. It's pretty. I'll try to catch it...we had these pinky colors in the back, side and front of the house. 
6:40 a.m.

Grandpa is going from waking at 10 or 11 a.m. to waking at 7 - 9 a.m.  As for spring flowers? 

I really TRIED not to put these out this year...but it's APRIL 12th  and we don't even have brown grass. I always smile when I put out the daffodils. They remind me of the Japanese farmer who was our neighbor for 4 years. Each season he'd bring over a GIANT bouquet of daffodils as a thank you for the time the kids pushed his wife's car out of the snow.  I'm glad I put them out - even if they make it look like a little old lady lives here. 

I set tulips in the kitchen. Grandpa was excited and asked if they'd come from the yard. ::snort:: Well - sort of. He couldn't believe they were silk.  I removed them from the snow bank so it felt a bit like picking tulips from the yard.  I plant to plant some bulbs this summer or fall....maybe we'd have tulips by June. 

Millie loves spring. She is horribly matted. We've been trimming her face, trying to comb her, cutting the worst matted bits out. She is going to have to get a short hair cut. We were doing our best to wait for warm weather. I'm not sure what our plan should be for next year. She's going to probably be we're trying to wait for weather in the 30's and 40's before doing it.  It will be best for her to be shaved before she begins playing in the woods anyway. 

The sure sign of spring around here is the calendar. It says it's April - so it's spring - an Alaskan spring.  I will not covet your spring flowers and green grass. I love distinct seasons and we get them here. Nowhere we have lived is as beautiful, or wild, as Alaska. We love it. I'm just done with snow this year. 

Thursday when I drove Alex to work at 4:30 a.m. it was -10* outside. Today when I drove Alex to work at 4:30 a.m. it was 37*.  Maybe....just maybe...last week's snow storm and cold snap was the last of it....maybe this week things will rings will reappear and in a week or so....GRASS....trees will bud....I probably should plant some seedlings.