I woke up to beautiful clear vibrantly blue skies this morning. By 1pm, when I headed out for some adventure with my camera, suddenly there were these big clouds springing up from the west and rolling over from Alaska.
I drove up to the top of the Midnight Dome first, to see the rivers flowing and to look for the spring crocuses that bloom right after the snow recedes.
At first I was totally alone up here, on top of the world. I watched the Klondike River pushing a steady stream of slush and ice chunks into the Yukon.
Looking north, which is down river, the Yukon River is almost completely clear of ice already!
The mountains off in all directions are still white with thick snow.
In the distance, I could see a dozer clearing out the road up to the fire tower. There is still deep snow on that side of the hill. It sounds strange, but we really go from winter to forest fire season in what feels like a week. Our weather is hot and dry (and amazingly gorgeous) all of a sudden!
I hiked down the slope to where the snow had already melted, and what do we see here! Crocuses are coming up!
These are the prairie crocus (Anemone patens) and are our first flowers to bloom here in the spring. They are really fuzzy.
And some are already open!!
So many birds are back. I spotted my first robin yesterday, and saw dozens more today. Aunt Cecilia can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this is the dark eyed Junco. They came back by the dozens this week too.
The clouds sprouting to the west started to look rainy, and then, even though it was 13 degrees Celcius, the unthinkable happened.
This cloud right above me started snowing big chunks of snow! Or maybe hail? Whatever it was, it was white and start covering me and my truck!
I headed back down the hill, and stopped at the Crocus Bluff park and thought I’d hike in and see if any crocuses were blooming.
The main trail is still covered in snow and is pretty icy in spots! I turned off and bush whacked it instead over to the cliff side. There is a robin in the photo below, can you spot it? It was being sneaky and trying to hide.
From the look offs on Crocus Bluff, I could see the Klondike churning along, with the ice chunks rapidly flowing to the Yukon River.
Here I met a bunch of hikers and dogs and children enjoying the sunshine!
And look! More crocuses!
In fact, there were many. But they like to grow along the steep hill and cliffside making them a bit risky to photograph well! I was crouched pretty precariously to get this shot!
Someone’s dog named Merle (according to his dog tag) kept joining me on my hike.
I hiked along the cliff edge and found a bunch of sites with old tin cans and other metal scraps. Maybe someone had a cabin up here back in the early days. I don’t remember seeing all these cans before, but the grass probably covers them nicely in summer.
I emerged from the trail system in one of our pioneer cemeteries, and strolled around, where the snow wasn’t too deep, paying some respects to all that have lived here before me.
Then I walked back down the hill to where my truck awaited.
And now Hank is stretched out in the sunshine, and I’ve got a book started. It just hit 15C / 59F and I switched to a pair of shorts and sandals!