It’s break-up season in Girdwood. We had record snowfalls this winter, and now it all has to melt (well, except for the snow that will add to the glaciers, I guess).
Gravel blackens the shrinking piles, creating starkly beautiful patterns.
Melting isn’t an even process. Weird shapes protrude, like ice monsters.
When I walk past some of the more interesting shapes, I wish I had a melting expert with me, someone to explain these physical processes.
Some of what I see is easier to understand: snowfall, dirt and gravel, snowfall, dirt and gravel, all becoming spring’s striations.
The piles are still very big. Many of them are at least twice my height.
As the snow melts, lost items emerge––including a dog’s tennis ball.
What also emerges is a winter’s worth of dog poop, some of it crushed by the weight of so many snowfalls––and footfalls.
Alaskans get real excited about even just this amount of green, this sign of life, this promise of spring.
Some paths are clear enough to walk.
Others are impassable, melting snow turning them into small lakes.
It’s a messy, ugly time of year. But it means that summer is coming––and summer in Alaska is spectacular.