An exciting time of year for Alaskans as we begin to come out of a long, dark, and cold winter. Around the start of April, each warm-ish breeze brings the hope of melting snow. We like this. And we're thrilled to be gaining daylight in larger chunks each day. We love this. Then we get a sneaky dump of April snow. We generally don't like this. (Unless you ski.) Then everyone says, "We live in Alaska. What did you expect?" We all know this is true, but we still have great hope every year that spring will start early. But if you've lived here for very long, you know that spring starts when it wants to start.
My experience with spring in Alaska is in the southcentral region. So I can't speak for all areas of the state because as we talked about before, that would be like talking about spring in Minnesota and Texas as if they're the same. Alaska's too large to generalize. So I'll speak of what I know.
Spring in Alaska, in my humble long-time Alaskan opinion, is the ugliest time of year. The beautiful snow is gone, which most everyone is thrilled about, but it's ugly, smelly, brown, and muddy. Aaaand it's still cold. Bummer.
But there's the hope of summer and green that lies just around the corner. So we like spring. We do. It's just not so picture-perfect.
The following pictures were all taken in "spring."
The beginning of spring. Still abundant with snow and alive with bird visitors.
This was taken in the middle of May two springs ago when we received a surprise snowfall after we'd already started watering the lawn for summer. It caused quite the uproar.
Another surprise snowfall. This time in April. As you can see, it was a big one. And yes, we keep our grill outside to use all winter. After first shoveling the snow off the back deck, of course.
My favorite part of spring is the arrival of the migrating birds. The area behind our home is a gathering grounds for Canadian geese, sandhill cranes, and snow geese. Some stay for the summer and some move further north. We all get really excited when we hear the large flocks of birds crying, honking, and celebrating their return. It's amazing.
Come mid-May, the leaves begin to bud on the trees, and a hint of green can be seen, causing much rejoicing. That's what we call the start of summer.