By: joealaska , 7:02 AM GMT on April 21, 2012

It was possibly the best day weather-wise today for 2012. Calm and sunny. 38 degrees. I will take it. The snow is melting, although that does not mean it will not DUMP tomorrow.

Dutchie is enlivened, very interested in heading outside again. Even Fat Fluffer has gone out TWICE! This a rarity.

A recent article in the local newspaper said we had 126 inches of snow this year. Not sure how that number was arrived at. How can you measure horizontal snow, the majority of what we get? There is no science. I have a gauge, and I choose not to even use it when I see the conditions. Oh sure, I could give you a number... The same article agrees with me that it will be June 1st or so before I can head out Summer Bay Road OR head up the Overland pass.

The cruise ship Crystal Serenity was the first cruise ship of the season for us. It came through over Easter weekend. They had been through warmer climates, and were finally glad to see some snow.


The snow IS melting. The roads are clear, but there are still large piles everywhere. (Of snow.)

Today I took my annual road cruise up above Westward Seafoods to check out the snow situation. The PLOW GUYS were only partially done. I am not sure how they find the road up there. There are a couple of stakes, but it seems hit or miss. With 4 to 15 feet of snow to plow. I took some video I will post on youtube, hope it does the situation justice.

VACATION is just a bit over a week away. I brought out the suitcase for early packing. Dutchie was sleeping on it in 10 minutes. CATS!

Last night there were two foxes at my porch looking for food. It got a bit ugly, a rarity. They were starting to fight over the food. Not what I wanted. I ended up throwing it out over a large area, where they were not fighting over one pile.

Tonight I set up the tripod on the north facing porch and took a time lapse movie of the sunset. Also to be posted soon.

The local paper today gave credit to the fox / eagle / cat video lady about her video. They published her name.

It is now light here until 11 PM.

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10. dotmom
11:48 PM GMT on April 24, 2012
OGal, I hope you have a wonderful trip. I know you will.

Right now, I am sick. I had a box of bluebirds right out our sun room window. Have been checking on them from time-to-time - watching the parents caring for them. Went out there tonight and found two on the ground dead and those in the nest dead also. This is a first. We have had bluebirds every summer and this is the first disaster like this. We have had a few meet a sad ending but nothing like this. They were really getting to be a nice size and would have fledged this weekend.

Anyway, enough of that. Catch a lot of fish OGal and have a safe trip! Our neighbor lives part time in Florida and he brought us some grouper. It was tasty.
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1618
9. OGal
6:30 PM GMT on April 24, 2012

Joe we are just gonna miss each other in the Anchorage airport. We arrive on the 22nd of May. We head home on the 29th. Can't wait. I love the fact that we will have light until 11:00pm. Makes for a long day to do a lot of fun things. We are gonna ship our fishing stuff out the week prior to going so we don't have to carry it on the plane. Glad the big melt is going on.

Dotmom I know you are anxious to see Joe. We still have not met up with our son in Tampa. Most likely this weekend or next. Can't wait to see his new digs. His move really went pretty smoothly. Hope all is well with you and Joe K.

We are planning a meet and greet with Lady Homer. Can't wait. Think we will have fun.
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 72 Comments: 19224
8. insideuk
11:05 AM GMT on April 23, 2012
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Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1763
7. shoreacres
2:15 AM GMT on April 23, 2012
I hope Joe doesn't take offense at some other foxes coming into his territory, but I just had to share this with folks who'd appreciate the photos. I follow a blogger in Michigan whose latest post contains a series of photos of fox kits. You can see them here. I'm just completely undone by how cute they are!
Member Since: October 4, 2004 Posts: 205 Comments: 15290
6. Arbie
12:12 AM GMT on April 22, 2012
UK, you keep me smiling! Enjoyed your post, as always (just don't always say anything).

I had to smile when I saw our company's newest marketing toy.

Ladyhomer, I just spent a very nice day mostly cleaning also, so at least you were not alone today. :)
Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1213
5. ladyhomer
4:44 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
Actually INSIDE UK is right they showed on the news one night how they do what she explained cause I always wondered how they measured snow too. We here in Homer did not quite set a record but it was still impressive--We came in with 194.4 inches or 16.24 feet of that white stuff , We were 4 inches shy of the record from 1979-80 record year. We have had about 4 weeks of really nice sunny weather which has really melted the snow. In fact we had a couple days close to 50* Anchorage has had a couple days reach 54*. Most of ours here in Homer have been in the high 40-50-. It was nice this breakup season cause we have had no rain so we did not have the flooding with the extra water. I just hope we have a nice hot summer. I'm going on vacation this summer for 10 days to my hometown in OHIO at the end of July I'll proably roast to death from the heat but it is my 45th class reunion so it will be nice to see all my classmates again!!! My hubby gets home Monday hopefully he has been out at ADAK fo 2 weeks & I just checked the weather there & the day he is to leave they are to have 50 knot winds so hopefully the plane will make it !!!! I have honey do list for him when he gets home. Well we have another nice sunny day so I'm going to go enjoy it by cleaning my house!!!! Have a good day everyone!!!
Member Since: November 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 119
4. insideuk
3:50 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
You take a 16” by 16” piece of wooden board and paint it white.

Then you take another bit of wood the same size, and paint that too. Sorry if you just cleaned your paint brush – should have read ahead a bit…

Then you find a space 20 to 30 foot away from both your house and your picnic table (that last bit is important) and nail your lovely white board to a post.

Oh, you need to cement in a couple of posts too. Forgot that bit.

Don’t be having none of that grass growing beneath it, that’s not approved of at the NOAA. Blades of grass can SERIOUSLY interfere with your measurements because they dare to lift the snow above ground level. Bit like the wind.

Presumably having a fox asleep beneath your snowboard is not advised either, but the NOAA singularly fail to mention this.

That is what you are building by the way – the OFFICIAL snow measuring equipment of the US of A. Proud moment. Take a photo for the album.

Now, that first board is for measuring NEW snowfall. Your second snowboard is for measuring snow depth. You should clean the snow off the first and leave the second alone.

Now paint another piece of wood with a full set of instructions for the wildlife so that they know not to mess with board #2. It must be left alone. NOAA rules.

It might be an idea to paint a ‘no stopping’ sign for the foxes too.

Obviously they can’t read. You need to draw a fox, pictured curled up asleep, and paint a big red cross through it. They will understand, I promise. In the UK we have signs showing where it is safe for toads to cross the road and they largely comply with our rules.

The penalty for non-compliance is quite messy.

Stake out a ruler for ease of snow measurement, measurements will be taken to the nearest tenth of an inch for old fashioned imperialists.

Or tenths of an attometer for those optimists in Florida with very good eyesight.

And so, once a day, you must go outside and measure both your new snow and your old depth then call 1-877-633-6722 and follow the prompts to send in your report.

That is how they arrive at numbers.


Weigh some snowflakes.

Take an average weight.

Count the number of flakes per square inch of fallen snow 30 feet from your house.

Set up your tripod and film snow falling.

Then count the flakes in freeze frame per square inch.

Continue for the months of December through May.

Do your sums.

Publish your results on your own internationally acclaimed weather related blog.


Trust me.

Because when they see the photographic evidence, with a dozen foxes curled up asleep beneath a congregation of eagles happily watching a cuppla of cats out getting a breath of fresh air…

Getting the suitcase packed early sounds very sensible Pudden Head.

(not his real name)
Member Since: February 28, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1763
3. Arbie
2:45 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
My indoor/outdoor cats always liven up in the spring too, so I know what Joe means. It is nice to see. I think spring is relative to where ever you may be, as my cats down here in se texas get excited even though winter is not very cold.

Joe's mention of a sunny, 38-degree day feeling wonderful triggered memories for me. Growing up in ohio and spending some time in michigan, I remember when temps in the 20s and 30s would feel warm after a long, very cold spell.
Member Since: December 3, 2009 Posts: 5 Comments: 1213
2. Rotty3
12:03 PM GMT on April 21, 2012
I know you can't wait for your vacation, Joe.

Hope the snow melts fast, but your temps are nothing like here (82F/28C most of the days now), so I know you will see snow for a long time.

Enjoy the count down and thank you for all the sharing of life in Dutch, despite your busy life.
Member Since: January 6, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 1649
1. dotmom
10:22 AM GMT on April 21, 2012
Yeah for Joe's vacation! I know he is anxious to get on the road - so to speak! (or in the air)
Member Since: April 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1618

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I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.

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