Every day, more and more snow melts away, revealing the brown grass below. Our front yard only has a small patch of snow left, but our back yard - which is mostly in the shade - is still rather white. The snow in the woods has melted, so this big patch of white is surrounded by brown. I even noticed some green growing under the dead brown leaves from last year. It won’t be long. Some of my friends have reported seeing buds on the bushes. All I’ve seen so far is willow buds and catkins.
Yesterday, while I was out with Raven, a Green Comma butterfly flitted above my head and came to rest on an old tree stump, where it basked in the sunshine. Later in the afternoon another (or the same one) flew around the back yard and landed on our shed door where the sun was hitting. I didn’t have my camera, so no photos this time, but you can imagine how exciting this was for me. I literally found myself smiling from ear to ear as I watched it fly. (The smile was also because my mother loved butterflies, and seeing it made me think of her) I am really looking forward to seeing more butterflies, and wildflowers, and especially green leaves on the trees.
Because I blogged about our trip to Valdez in my last entry, I didn’t post photos from the week leading up to the trip, so I wanted to share them now. A week ago, I photographed my last aurora display. The northern lights did show a few times after I took these photos, but I have just been too tired to wait up for them, considering they don’t usually show up until after midnight, and the sky is too bright to see them by 4am. (I am loving all the daylight that’s coming back!)
These photos were taken between midnight and about 1:15am on the early morning of April 16th. I think these are the latest aurora photos I’ve ever taken while living here, but I could be wrong. In these photos, you can see that the lower part of the sky is still fairly bright as the sun isn’t too far below the horizon.
DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE … & SWANS
The arrival of waterfowl at Creamers Field, and on the Chena River, is one of the first indications that Spring has arrived in interior Alaska. As the snow begins to melt, the Friends of Creamers Field prepares for the arrival of Canada geese, ducks, swans and other waterfowl on their migration through this part of the world.
Here’s a photo of Creamers Dairy, at Creamers Field, with just a small snippet showing the geese and swans present. Someone told me there were 40 swans at Creamers at one point. Today, when I visited, I only saw two. I’m glad I was over there before they flew off.
I took the photos of the ducks at the Chena River near Pioneer Park. These ducks winter over in Fairbanks, because folks keep them fed and the water stays warm due to hot water being discharged by the power plant upstream. The pigeons also winter over here. It’s much better to view and photograph them in the spring than in the winter (in my opinion). I always feel so sad for them when it’s so cold out, whether the water is warmer or not. I have seen ducks there in the winter with frost on their feathers. That can’t be any fun! I wish they would leave with the other birds in the fall and spend their winter in a warmer place.
Things should start thawing out more quickly as the temperature continues to rise. While April is my least favorite month (dirty snow, litter appears, bare trees, etc), it is also a reminder that soon the green will return. I can’t wait!
Until next time….