Feeling the winter blues

Hello all,

Is anyone feeling the winter blues? While the east coast is still dealing with a lot of snow, here in Alaska we have had recent snow fall as well. Snow is forecast through about the first week of March. Last week temperatures reached middle 40s and in a couple areas in the mid 50s. A few trees out back have even started to show buds. How exciting! Yesterday while hanging out in the woods, I watched two Hairy woodpeckers squawking at each other climbing up and down on branches across from each other prior to flying off. The squirrels are out and about more and are chasing each other hopping across the trees. Still winter is feeling a little bit long about now. Oh there is plenty of activity to keep us busy up here. The 75th Fur Rendezvous started in Anchorge this past weekend and as usual people from throughout the state will have participated and attended, although we opted to forego the festivities this year. The beginning of the Iditarod started downtown with the sled dog racers running a course through the city. The Running of the Reindeer is always a hoot. For those who so desire to run amongst the reindeer down one of the streets (similar to the running of the bulls!). Of course you can't have a festival without fireworks at nightfall! There was also the annual dog weight pull for all of the varieties dog categories. This entails pulling a sled and adding more weight each time. Lucky we just received more snow just in time for all of the events. Next weekend, first weekend of March is the restart of the Iditarod in Willow. All of our favorite mushers from across Alaska, the lower 48 and a few other places around the world, come to compete and race off to Nome, Alaska.

It's about this time of the year I start feeling the long winter blues. Thoughts of warmer tempertures, longer days, though I feel a little sad as some of my winter birds leave and head back up north. Not having to put on so many layers of clothing and being a little lighter in my step moving about is always something to look forward to. Those of us who love the mountains for their snowboarding, cross country sking, snowmobling, and snowshoeing (my favorite), are little hard pressed to see the snow leave for Spring. It's just that we have been in the snow for the past 6 months. Mother Nature teasing us with warmer tempertures is a way of slowly telling us that the snow will go, spring will arrive and once again each of us can dream up new thoughts about what this summer will bring for new adventures. So I guess for now I will toss another log in the fireplace and watch the remaining birds that come to my feeders. Dream away as to what I want to accomplish this summer. I know spring hits early for the lower 48, but when it does arrive I will be ready to look for returning waterfowl, spring song birds, hiking on a dirt trail instead of snow without the long underwear.

Well make the best of your March - April won't be far behind.

See you on down the trail,

Buford T. Porcupine


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