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Grit, dust, melting snow – and lots of sunshine: It’s springtime in Alaska

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: April 12, 2018
  • Published April 12, 2018

Justin Jones, Aimee Iverson and Brian Thomas walk among the ice that rests on the Point Woronzof beach on April 11, 2018. (Marc Lester / ADN)

Spring reveals its beauty slowly in Anchorage. As snow fades, it leaves grit and grime on all it touched and exposes the litter that had been hidden. This is the season when cars are coated in a dusty patina until their owners simply can't stand the dirty fingers that come from opening the doors. Cars kick dust into the air.

In April, as we wait for the landscape to green, vernal charms begin to emerge from the drippy ice too. We're uplifted when street sweepers make a pass near home. We swell with liberation the day we feel it's safe to leave the down jacket behind. Even in the backcountry, the snow's crust holds us up, reflecting warmth and inviting us to float above it on skis and bikes.


The calls of migratory geese and gulls are once again in the city soundscape. Plants started indoors begin to flower, and those outside poke out of the thawing ground.

The daylight is back and growing fast. One day we notice that, after 9 p.m., the sky is still bright. After some quick mental math, we revel in how many months are left until summer solstice. Fall equinox seems a lifetime away. Breakup is fleeting, we realize.

Time to set plans for summer in the 49th state. Time to find your sunglasses.

Anchorage Daily News photographers took a look around the city at what it means to be in Anchorage in April.

Faitete Pefua dumps water on his cousin Lance Pefua as they wash a family car Friday, April 6, 2018 in Turnagain. The cousins, who recently moved to Alaska from Hawaii, are wearing ie lavalava, a traditional Polynesian dress. (Loren Holmes / ADN)
Gerald Keene has a stack of birch wood at his 4 Trees Birch Syrup operation along the Parks Highway north of Wasilla on Friday, April 6, 2018. Keene will use the blow-down birch to heat his home. Keene gathered 2,000 gallons of sap from 635 trees last year. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)
A drake mallard beats its wings in icy Westchester Lagoon in Anchorage on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)
Gardner McKenzie Petti planted marigolds on top of the lobelia hanging baskets that will be installed along Fourth Avenue around Memorial Day, depending on the weather. (Bill Roth / ADN)
Olivia Pittman climbs up one of the Shot Rock routes as MiKylie Stephen rappels down along Seward Highway above Turnagain Arm on Friday, March 30, 2018. (Bob Hallinen / ADN)
Marco Tafolla, of Avalanche Snow & Lawn, removes a winter’s worth of sand from the parking lot at Las Margaritas Mexican & Italian restaurant off Dimond Boulevard on Wednesday, April 11, 2018. (Bill Roth / ADN)
Andrew Samuel washes his car at the busy Mountain View Car Wash on Commercial Drive on April 11, 2018. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Soapy suds on Andrew Samuel’s car. (Marc Lester / ADN)
The Campbell Creek Trail near Martin Luther King Avenue emerges from snow as temperatures reached the 50s on April 11, 2018. (Marc Lester / ADN)
Pussy willows are visible near Ship Creek on the first day of spring, Tuesday, March 20, 2018. (Bill Roth / ADN)

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