Khutaandé yaa khunahéin

The past few days have been overcast with occasional light rain showers, and today was no different. Sometimes the cloud layer has been down low on the mountainsides, obscuring the rapidly melting snow higher up. Other times just the tallest peaks have been partially obscured by tendrils drifting down from the continuous layer of clouds. One thing I have been noticing is how warm it feels despite the clouds and rain.

Seasons in Sitka are certainly correlated with the calendar, but from year to year the actual time things start to feel like a particular season can vary by a month or more. The birds move through with more consistency in timing than the development of the plants, and both of those are more consistent than the sometimes fickle weather. I think what determines how it feels seasonally (to me) is a combination of all of these things. After all, there’s a limited time for breeding and growing season this far north, and even if it seems a little too cold to really feel like summer, with the abundant daylight it’s time to get going.

Unlike in some recent years, the May weather (so far) has been fairly warm, with a lot of sunshine. That warm sunshine helped the plants really get going, and even though these past couple of days have not been sunny, the temperatures have been in the mid to upper 50s. Those temperatures combined with the lack of migrant birds, and reasonably advanced development of the plants (especially the salmonberries and alders), gives me the feeling that it’s getting to be summer.

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