Weather: Winds were out of the north today. By the afternoon there was a fairly steady breeze. Partly cloudy skies with big cumulus clouds hanging over many of the mountains. It appeared that many of the clouds dropped precipitation over the mountains, but it stayed sunny in town.
Flora: Red alder catkins appear to be swelling and getting ready to open up. The yellow pond lilies in Swan Lake are starting to push leaves up toward the surface.
Birds: I went by Swan Lake today and saw Scaups (I think both Lesser and Greater) along with the Mallards. I think I saw a swan toward the upper end of the lake where I had noticed one (the same?) previously. While I was around the lake, I also heard a flicker calling periodically. There was a good size flock of gulls that was in the middle of the lake when I arrived, but shortly afterward they all took off and flew north.
Some of the scaups were resting on the penninsula, the first time I had seen them out of the water. It appeared that one or two of them were males that were undergoing a molt. This seems like an odd time of year for that, it’s possible they were first year males just now changing to breeding plumage.
Other Notes: This evening the kids helped me plant some spinach and carrots. I covered up the carrots with some plastic to protect them from frost and put the spinach in pots. Although the variety I planted is supposed to be resistant to bolting, the long Alaskan summer days may overcome that resistance. I am thinking it might work to cover the plants up in the evening and uncover them in the morning as the days get longer to keep them from going to seed (of course that requires consistent effort to remember).