18 April 2013

Neither One Nor The Other


This is a tough time of year for Alaskans.

The winter just passed seems to be gone, but we're all aware that it can come roaring back in a heartbeat, dumping two or three feet of snow in a short time. I give you, as example, April 27th of 2008 - when we received 27 inches of snow in about 12 hours' time.

But in the meantime, the snow that's already here is receding. Sunny days and cold nights produce bare spots where the afternoon sun is strongest, and leaves the compacted snow two feet deep in shadier spots.

We look longingly at the sunshine outside, but are reminded each time we step outside that it only looks warm. The picture above was taken just a few moments ago, and the temp is 37 degrees. Any breezes bring windchills in the teens and 20s, and the ground is still cold and hard.

Once the frost thaws far enough down (it's some nine feet deep right now, much of which never melts - hence "permafrost") we'll see buds appearing at the tips of branches, and even some tiny shoots of grass will begin to appear.

But until then, we look at the calendar ... then outside ... and sigh.


PioneerPreppy said...

LOL those buds are a trap as we are finding out down here this year. They promise warmth and then take it back.

Stupid buds :)

Rev. Paul said...

True, Preppy. We frequently see them in late February or early March, and then summer doesn't start until mid-May. Or late March. Or mid-April. Never the same two years in a row.

Sandy said...

Rev. Paul,

Mother nature keeps teasing us. It's time she stops teasing and starts producing the real thing!!!

threecollie said...

If I could wish spring your way I surely would. We are getting some...not trustworthy yet and won't be for a while, but more than welcome.

Stephen said...

Enjoy it...our weather jerk said to expect a high of about 90 today. Humid too. I'll trade you in a heartbeat.

Max said...

I was enjoying the 60+ degree weather and then went back to shoveling snow yesterday morning. It's almost gone already but the moisture was welcomed.
The melt did fill my 200+ gallons of illegal water collection, so I'm pleased.

Rev. Paul said...

Sandy, I couldn't agree more. :)

threecollie, thank you for the "warm" wishes.

Stephen, 90 is WAY too warm for here, even in July or August. The entire population of southcentral Alaska would jump into Cook Inlet & refuse to emerge until the temps cooled off.

Max, I'm glad you got the moisture you needed. The only other good thing about late-season snows is that they melt away quickly.

On a Wing and a Whim said...

This is why I often contemplated making birch sap - the sap run is over when you get the first signs of spring, so it'd help fill the extremely impatient hours of breakup.

Rev. Paul said...

Wing, if the tree on my lot were mine ... oh, well.