Spring Things

It’s been a while since I’ve written a plain old blog post. I’m primarily working on my Alaska Wildflower Guide, so there’s lots of new stuff there. Not much else. I’ve been pretty dull. Seriously though, I haven’t been getting out much. Lately, I’ve been working on getting over some health issues, running on the treadmill religiously, and waiting for the snow to melt. That’s all.

As winter wound down, my only photographic focus was on snowflakes, the subject of my last post. We did have a few nights of good aurora, although clouds seemed to dominate the sky most of the time.

Spring Things
Aurora corona overhead on the morning of March 31, 2022 (more photos)

I finally put together some clips from the hike to the Gabriel Icefall in the Alaska Range. I’m starting to work on more video content, especially from many hikes in Alaska. At the very least, some highlight reels from some of my favorite areas.

I waver on how much I’m going to get into video. In theory, I like the idea. But I don’t love making videos. I much prefer still images. I love snapping the shutter button, but it always feels like work turning the camera over to video mode. I also hate that every time I try to look up information, there is a pointless 3-minute long video where two sentences would have sufficed. I don’t want to be a part of that frustration. But, I think that some video shots can give better context to the experience of an area than photos alone.

What else? Last week, I spent two days setting for the annual Spring Cling competition at Ascension Rock Club. With all my health issues over the previous few years, I haven’t been able to participate much in route-setting or climbing. I was super happy to be back with the crew (new and old)! The competitors were incredible, and I couldn’t be more proud of our junior team!

June Breitenbach on Women’s Problem # 3 at the annual Spring Cling competition at Ascension Rock Club (more photos)

Of course, I came down with a phenomenal little stomach bug after the event in what is quickly becoming my style. Five days of terrible. A good time for our water to be frozen up again.

Up and coming is the Fairbanks Birding Challenge from the Alaska Songbird Institute! Last year was the first year, and it was a lot of fun. They have three different challenge levels, family, introductory, and expert. If you live in the interior of Alaska, I highly recommend this as a fun activity for May (especially with kids). It’s $15 to register as an individual and $25 as a team, and the proceeds support the Creamer’s Field Migration Station. For more info, click the image below!



I spent many days laying in wet marshes watching for birds last spring and am happy to do it again. I still didn’t find every bird on the expert list (there are a few birds on the list I have never seen, like the varied thrush). Here’s my 2021 Birding Post with Photos.

Watching the snow start to melt on April 12. Still a little over 3 feet in our backyard.

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I’m hoping for an ok break-up season with minimal flooding. Fairbanks saw incredible snow this winter, over 90 inches through early March (about 30 inches above average). We had a lot of snow fall early in the winter. The late-December storm was rough. We had about a foot of snow on the existing snowpack, then wind, rain, and freezing rain with tons of downed trees in the yard. We were without power for almost three days, trying to keep the house warm by cycling the kitchen stove on and off. We were getting ready to bail and head to a friend’s house when the power was restored. Now it’s all starting to melt, raising flooding concerns. So as much as I want it to be gone quickly, it’s probably better to have a nice long, slow melt season.

What else? I can’t think of anything. We are very excited to have family coming to visit over the next month. Also, Cat graduates in a few weeks! The flowers start blooming soon. Very exciting! Hopefully, more frequent posts soon!

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