I have lived in Ohio, West Texas, Louisiana, and Alaska. I have always loved watching one season fade into the next, but seasons in Alaska bring somewhat magical season changes for me.
Winter in Alaska has quite a reputation, depending on what part of the state you’re in, But, of course, it also depends on who you ask! Winter does come with its own set of challenges. But, for me, winter is still the most magical time of the year, even with the sub-zero temps that our particular area gets. It’s a good thing I like it so much because it is, without a doubt, the longest season we have in the Copper River Valley.
Winter Season Brings Many Things I Enjoy
For us, days are short in the dead of winter but not as short as our neighbors who live further north. Winter Solstice is on December 21 and is our shortest day of the year, giving us just a tad bit over 5 hours of daylight from sunrise to sunset.
The views of the Alpenglow that stretch across the mountains.
The pastel colors dancing across the sky.
The Northern Lights.
The bright colors of the dog teams standing out against the snow of the race trail.
Halos & Sundogs being formed from the ice crystals in the air.
The sun glistening off the snow. (When the sun is up)
Moose tracks in the snow.
The sound of the crunch of the snow beneath my boots.
Don’t blink! The next three seasons in Alaska change pretty fast!
Spring thaw, otherwise known as break up season or mud season, is messy, but it’s also when everything comes back to life. It’s exciting! At this point in the year, even the most avid lovers of winter are ready for a change! 6+ months of snow on the ground is enough at this point.
The days have gotten longer, and Mother Nature has started to crackle, warming up, cooling down, and then warming up again. The snow and ice begin to melt and expose the ground below again, and the frozen waterfalls start to burst loose and flow again. The anticipation of summer activities and chores starts going through your head.
After some time, the mud dries up, and the browns start turning to green, and then you wait for the colors to burst out for summer.
Summer comes and goes quickly around here. You have plenty of hours in the day to work with during this time of the year. The days are long, and everyone is busy.
Everything has come to full life at this point. The bees are buzzing, and flowers are blooming, rivers are flowing. Fishing season is also in full swing, and fishwheels are turning.
I don’t think anyone notices the lack of sleep we all get. Summer Solstice brings our area the longest day of the year with just shy of 20 hours of daylight between sunrise and sunset. However, we have civil twilight the rest of the night in June and part of July, so it never gets completely dark.
Before you know it, the summer season has come and gone. You can sense specific changes happening around you as you start watching for termination dust. There is a crispness in the air reminding you that winter is close.
The Fireweed have lost their petals completely now and has turned to a spiderweb of cotton hanging off the stalks and finally giving way to the winds. Although the vibrant colors of the Fireweed are now gone, those colors have been replaced with an entirely different scene of beautiful colors.
What is your favorite season of the year?