Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The longest (Winter) Breakup ever

Tree and grass at Town Square.

When the snow melts away from the Anchorage lawns and streets leaving a tattered brown patchwork of dead leaves and grass, and dusty gray concrete, we call it "Breakup." This year Breakup started in February and still is going strong. It may eventually hold the record for the longest ever. We thought (I thought) that while we were basking in the California sunshine, that a little Anchorage rain here and there, some warm days would bring out more green. But it didn't happen. It stayed just cool enough to keep everything hibernating, and just warm enough to melt much of the remaining snow leaving the aforementioned spring brown. It will surely never be a fashion color of choice.

But Anchorage isn't all dull. Look awhile:

Morning view of the Alaska Range across Cook Inlet.

Pussy willows along Ship Creek.

A single dandelion blossom (and elsewhere, some leaves).

Gulls! Who knows when they actually arrived, but they are at least a week early -- their traditional arrival date has been April 6 or 7. These are at Ship Creek.

Winter isn't entirely gone -- Mt. Susitna with a fresh bright coat of snow.

Snow and ice linger along Ship Creek at high tide.

Chilly enough for Jim to wear hat, coat, gloves.

A little bit of recent snow on the Chugach Mountains.

A chunk of ice perched on another chunk; mudflats at the mouth of Ship Creek.

Raven on the fence, about to fly off.

Meanwhile, in the people world, today was the last day to file for the Permanent Fund Dividend. As you all know, if you stick around the state long enough each year, you get $1,000 or so, every child, woman, and man. This was the line waiting to apply in person for whatever reason (most people file online or by mail). That is a double line, so basically, about a block long. Later, during lunch hour, it stretched for nearly two blocks.

At the Fifth Avenue Mall, the Easter Bunny has replaced Santa Claus. I'm waiting for the Thanksgiving Turkey to show up some year to grant little children's wishes (like, "Please Mr. Turkey, don't make me eat the beets this year!")

Ships in the Port. I think that they are supposed to sail tomorrow.

Flowers? It's not California, so none (aside from the dandelion) out-of-doors, but plenty at Fred Meyer.

A profusion of Easter lilies.

Pots of miniature roses.

Easter lilies are lovely and smell wonderful, and you only see them for a few weeks at this time of the year.

Unlike the lilies, people grow tulips somewhere in the world most of the year. In Anchorage, they tend to bloom in late May and June. At Fred's, they brighten the flower department during much of the winter.

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