Spring in Alaska

We celebrate Easter differently in Alaska. There is almost always snow on the ground for the holiday so Easter egg hunts include boots and coats. One of my friends commented that she would wear flip-flops with her dress, but didn’t think blue toes would match her outfit.

What we have in abundance now is sunshine…when it isn’t snowing. It is light until almost 10 pm now and the sun is already up by 6:30 am. ┬áMy tomato plants and herbs are thriving in the windows. Today I’ll plant more seeds and soon it will feel like a jungle in here until we start heating the greenhouse at night. It was 14 degrees here last night and that’s too cold to keep the greenhouse warm.

On Good Friday morning, I climbed up our stairs to this view. The mountains were broody and ominous, but so beautiful with just a hint of sun.

Last week I experimented with watercolor and pastel (chalk) on top after it dried. It was enjoyable to mix the two mediums, but I had to use a paper with fairly smooth texture because the pastel would latch on to the pattern in the paper and not look like clouds.  Here is what I came up with. The view is up by Gunsight Lodge on the Glenn Highway.

With the longer days, snow is crashing off roofs and icicles are forming great sun-catchers.

Last week someone complained to me how colorless and dreary Alaska is during this season. Well, I guess it is if you look down at the melting snow and mud, but I choose to look up and enjoy the sun on the mountains. I chuckle at the magpies taking their first bath in the first pool of the melting stream. I see the whisper of a pink blush in the birch and willow trees signaling that spring has indeed arrived.

13 thoughts on “Spring in Alaska

  1. And isn’t nice to actually smell the earth again? I take my walks in the morning to avoid the mud and look up to the mountains and sky… I am off to Mexico… ;) to enjoy the lush green! I will be back when all those gorgeous flowers start popping out from under this 3 or so feet of snow. Let the gardening begin!

  2. Oh I am so glad you are painting the beautiful sunset! I’m just longing to go out and do the same! I’ve used pastel dust with turps before with good results, then use can just paint on the sanded pastel paper with less of the texture problems. Love this! Love You! :

  3. I love your optimism, Suzie, and your descriptions of life in Alaska. And I particularly love that gorgeous watercolour and pastel creation!

  4. Helen, you love color and it shows in your fabulous photos. What some people call “gaudy”, we consider colorful. Perspective is everything!

  5. Perspective certainly is everything! There is beauty everywhere as long as we stop to look for it!

  6. Daphne, I really do see the mud, but if I start to focus on it…well, whine about it…it affects my attitude about everything.
    Thank you for commenting my friend!

  7. A very good one! Is there an better way to paint than directly from life? Your soul I retracting directly with Creation? No translations or in betweens, just you the paint and the world before you. Unless it’s winter, LOL, then I don’t mind looking out the window or finding a nice photo from last summer to work with ;)

  8. Suzie, is that truly the view from your house? Oh, my gosh! Incredibly beautiful! And I really like your sunset painting. The pastels add such a nice texture to it. And I love those two bright slashes of water amid the dark hills. Masterful!

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