Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Lion Roars

In the more temperate areas of the country, it is the month of March that comes in like the lion and goes out like the lamb. Here in the subarctic, the lion is still roaring as we dance between winter and spring. Yesterday was winter and the view from the front window looked like this.

The temperature stayed in the mid-30s and snow fell for much of the day, big wet heavy flakes that accumulated to an inch or two. Visibility was minimal and everyone was groaning that it really is time for this to quit. It is late May, for goodness sake!

Overnight the wind picked up and a high pressure cell moved in. This morning we awoke to bright sun, and today it is spring again. Temperatures are in the low 40s. The lion is still roaring, and now the view from the same window looks like this. Yes, that's a pond in front of the house, and it is frozen. What you can't tell from the photo is that the wind is really whipping. There is a steady blow at about 20 mph with gusts to 30 or more. The wind actually helps our transition by drying things out. Mud Season is upon us, and the roads become quagmires that seem impossible in places. The old joke about discovering a hat in the road and finding a guy under it, still on his horse, is not too implausible, except that we don't have horses up here. At least our mud has no clay content, so it doesn't stick to your boots, your wheels, and everything else, the way it does in Georgia. This is silty, river-bottom stuff that washes off easily. The bad roads look like a stage for a tractor-pull, and the good roads have teeth-rattling washboard surfaces with axel-breaking potholes. The road crews are working seven days a week to keep things as good as they can.

This, too, will pass, and in another month the big problem will be the dust. And the mosquitoes, but that is a story for another post. And we are still waiting for break-up. Maybe by next weekend...



Anonymous dr peg said...

Oh my goodness, TPA. That looks bleak to me. And then, when you finally get sunshine and greenery, mosquitos!

If it gets too bad, come south for a visit!


BTW, your blog is beautiful!! Does Dutch do consulting?

Monday, May 22, 2006 7:47:00 AM  
Blogger I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...


I miss Alaska.


Monday, May 22, 2006 8:23:00 AM  
Blogger TheTundraPA said...

Peg--thanks for the invite. Quick trips to hot places are popular here, esp. along about Feb. Is it the flatness that looks bleak to you or the snow? The first photo was looking pretty bleak to me too, mostly because I'm ready for winter to be over. The second photo is beautiful to me. Dutch and I love to sit on the deck in front of that window and gaze at that view. If you head for the horizon right in the center of the photo, you'll cross one dirt road about a mile away, and then nothing more for 30 miles, until you come to the Eskimo village of Atmautluak. Yeah, the bugs will be coming, and they are a pain in the @$$; but they are the food that brings the huge flocks of migratory birds. Literally millions of geese, ducks, swans, sparrows, jagars and more. It's all the raw cycle of Life here.

Thanks for stopping by, I've missed your comments.

Monday, May 22, 2006 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger TheTundraPA said...

MD--glad to rouse a few memories for you. I can't imagine ever leaving Alaska, I love it here so much; but if I do, I know I'll miss it incredibly. Thanks for commenting; it reminded me to add you to my blog roll, now that I have one.

Monday, May 22, 2006 10:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Moof said...

Tundra PA ... what a wonderful blog! Where have you been hiding? ;o)

I'm blogrolling you and adding you to my Bloglines RSS.

Thank you so much for dropping by and introducing yourself.

Alaska! Wow!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 3:04:00 PM  
Blogger Bardiac said...

Holy cow, and I've been feeling sorry for myself in the upper midwest this spring!

Great pics!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 7:40:00 PM  
Blogger TheTundraPA said...

Moof--thanks for your warm comments! The blog has been just what I need to get me writing more. It is being a great process, and I'm really happy about it.

Bardiac--glad you like the photos. I want to do more of that; this place is hard to capture in words. Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 8:25:00 PM  

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