Following some snowstorms, a windstorm, and plenty of gray days, some real
spring weather has returned. I drove down to Portage to see what the Byron
Glacier Trail was like. It was completely covered with mushy snow, but we
were able to hike it nearly to the snowfield. The shallow glacial stream
had eroded tunnels under the snow, making it impossible to know where the
seemingly thick snow layer was likely to fail. After several surprises,
I finally punched all the way through and found myself in the stream, with
water over my boot. At that point, I turned back. It was a wonderful spring
outing. From the parking lot, I watched a flock of Canada Geese flying in
V-formation over the mountain icefields, heading back to their northern
nesting grounds. Our trees are still bare, but with temperatures rising
into the 60's, that will soon change.
Click on any of the small pictures in the collage to see
a large version.
Click here to see another view of the Dall sheep ewe, with
(The Dall sheep family was not at Byron Glacier, but along the Seward Highway,
closer to Anchorage)
Here are some photos of a pair of Trumperter Swans that
I saw in the distance, at Potter Marsh in Anchorage, just a few days ago.
The pair together
Those two were the only Trumperters in the Marsh. They are uncommon
migrants in our area, but a large
flock passed through last autumn. When I checked the Marsh on my way to
the glaciers, I saw no swans at all.