Every spring I trim back Bird Tree so it doesn’t get too big for the yard. It is a chokecherry, and it enthusiastically spreads its branches each summer in a wild, gangly manner. We planted it when we moved in to give birds a place to eat close to the kitchen window so we can enjoy watching them. And we do. It does a great job, bringing in an amazing diversity of birds year-round. In fact, a surprising number of birds came in today to celebrate the annual scalping.
March is my favorite month in Fairbanks. It is breathtakingly beautiful. The sun is bright, temperatures are generally mild, and the snow conditions are superb. Also, we still get great auroras at night. And the days rocket past 12 hours of possible sunlight, so you can ski into the evening – with sunglasses. It is awesome.
We’ve had a rather warm winter in Alaska, and there wasn’t enough snow in Anchorage for dog mushing. So they moved the start of the iconic Iditarod sled dog race up to Fairbanks again — second time ever. The last was in 2003. It is a big event, and it was a beautiful March day to be out and watch as the teams began the long run for Nome. We had a nice weekend of new snow, and it was 2 above, with lots of light. Here are some shots of what it was like down on the Tanana River as the teams headed from Fairbanks to Nenana. Wonderful morning. Great weather. Sunglasses. The smell of wood smoke. Clapping muffled by mittens and gloves. Shouts of encouragement. Good looking dog teams. And happy people enjoying life in the Far North.