Monday, May 23, 2011

Yukon Spring

Lake LaBerge at Easter. Not sure where that guy in the middle of the lake is going.
Spring in the Yukon is perhaps the longest season. It starts in February when the days begin to noticeably lengthen and the bright sunshine associated with Arctic high pressure zones exhilarates the soul, somewhat dampened by three months of long, often cloudy nights. Spring becomes visible as the sun melts winter leaves down into the snowbanks and people use the hardened ice on the lake to haul goods to their island cabins.

I used the embers from the fire to thaw holes for the art fence around the wood pile.

Milder temperatures also lure us out of our houses and the social round of outdoor activities begins. In mid April, the fire pit is dug out and I share the first fire with a grouse who comes out to fill up on seed. Toys also appear out of the snow and when we celebrate Joy's birthday, we play Kubb, our Swedish lawn game signaling the cusp of summer. Later when I attempt to water the lawn however I soon realize that while winter has retreated up the mountains to about 1500 metres, it has only withdrawn to a few inches below the surface and the water runs furiously downhill and vanishes in the trees below.

Birthday dinner of Arctic char with Uncle Berwyn's Yukon Birch Syrup and Shelagh Mason's cranberry chutney created under the guiding hand of Miche Genest's Boreal Cookbook.
Sue came to the party and showed off her new bag, handsewn links of retired fire hose from the Whitehorse airport fire trucks.
And Joy blew out the birthday candle that Julian, one of God sons prepared for her.
Andrew and I have our first canoe trip a few days later. The river is open, we see three large beaver lodges, each with half a dozen adults and kits frolicking in the warming water.

The river banks hold onto their ice, each bank candling into the lovely tinkling shards that accompany spring paddling on the Yukon River.

1 comment:

  1. I love that ice. The long thin shards are perfect for grabbing by the handful to stuff in your mouth and chew on. They also make the most beautiful sound as they collapse into the water - like little bells. Things here are turning to winter, brisk mornings turning to brisk days changing to cool nights. I'm looking forward to moving into a house with central heating and a pellet stove.