Friday, April 4, 2008

Spring isn't quite sprung yet

Wednesday night it dipped down to -37, and this morning it's -30. However, we do have some signs of spring:
  • They've started cleaning the snow off the side streets - did our street last night. This means that if you haven't cleaned your driveway regularly, you now have a 2 foot drop to street level.
  • The light has returned! It's now light until nearly 10 pm, and it's light in the morning when we wake up. We're gaining about 6 minutes a day; the sun rose at 6:48 this morning and will set at 20:33.
  • We're in the middle of midterm exams and reporting at school (a definite sign of spring).
  • The stores have started stocking up in preparation for the ice bridge going out, when we only have air access for 3-6 weeks. Large semi trailers are being parked outside most stores for additional storage.
  • The ice road north to the mines has closed. This year it didn't close because of warmer weather and deteriorating conditions, however; it closed because they got everything up there that they needed to.
  • The ice roads to some of the more remote communities (like Wekweeti) have opened, so those communities are virtually deserted while the residents drive out to get a year's worth of supplies. They'll pass lots of fuel tankers, driving into those communities to supply them with a year's supply of heating fuel, gasoline, av gas, etc.

Some signs of spring that I'm still waiting for:

  • The temperature to get above freezing for the first time since November.
  • The "arctic tulips" to reappear through the snow. For those of you not in the know, arctic tulips are a winter's supply of doggy doo, left by inconsiderate people and their dogs. It's really disgusting.
  • The snow to start melting.
  • The birds to return.
  • Open water on the lakes.

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