Summer at last!

Today marks the first day since the end of October that my yard has been free of snow. What a long winter it's been.

Of course the beginning of summer in Alaska brings a few little irritants, most irritating of which is the dog's bi-annual shed. It's taking all of my mettle not to dash to the bathroom, abscond with Hunter's clippers, and give the dog a good ol' buzz cut. As much as I'd love to see an end to the pillowy fur balls floating about my house, I won't do it. Mostly because Milton looks pathetic in a sweater also because I have no desire to pet a naked or worse, a stubbly dog. 

Milton's pretty good about subjecting himself to a brushing. On some level, he must know it's ether that or a shave. 

Every day, little grey tufts of fur appear, sticking out from his hind quarters. There's something about those tufts that drives me nuts. So for the past two weeks, I've been walking around with a dog brush close at hand. My weapon of choice in the fur fight is the Furminator, hands down the best dog brush for tackling an Alaskan shed. Not only does it tackle that fuzzy little undercoat but it fits neatly into my back pocket so I can strike at any time.

The Lawn
Every year when the snow melts, Alaskans head out to their lawns to collect the debris left behind by winter. Some pretty random things get dropped in a yard. Out in Dillingham, winter once left me with a collection of tails scattered throughout my back yard. Last year, it was random tools that I'm pretty sure Milton stole from one of the neighbours. Which one, I never did figure out.

This year, it looks like a couple of snowshoe hares exploded in my back yard. I've got little balls of rabbit fur littered everywhere. It looks like Crazy Harry from the Muppets had a field day back there. 

I can tell another of Milton's favourite burial plots has been revealed. He greeted me yesterday with a dirt-covered nose carrying a muddy old bone that I'm pretty sure I bought him two years ago. How that thing can be made better after years in the dirt, I have no idea.

Summer Summer Summertime!
I was thinking about Will Smith's song about summer the other day while driving in the sunshine. Time to sit back and unwind is surely not how it goes up here. Alaska needs its own summertime anthem. If I were a songwriter, I'd get on that case.

This week marks the first week of summer guests at our little abode on the hill. This summer is filled with great people coming up to share our Alaskan experience. Our toys are finally fixed and ready to go, temperatures keep climbing, we've got endless hours of sunlight and so much to explore.

We can sit back and unwind when the snow flies. For now, King Salmon season is getting underway, the weather is warm enough to comfortably head out on the bay, the snow has receded enough to hit the hiking trails, camping season is here at last... Summer summer summertime!

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