Tiny birch leaves

Sign of Spring!

The sun rose this morning at 4:29 am, and will set at 11:08 for 18 hours 39 minutes of daylight – that is, with the sun above the horizon. In fact it doesn’t really get dark this time of year, and in two more days it’ll be civil twilight all “night,” with the sun never getting more than 6° below the horizon. The problem with astronomy up here is that when it gets dark enough to see the stars, it’s too cold to say outdoors very long.

The birch pollen count was high last week, and official greenup was May 10. Official? It’s based on when Chena Ridge, west of town, starts looking green instead of brown, and the day is identified by a local weather forecaster – but it’s a pretty obvious change, if you can see the ridge. I can’t, but midweek the birch leaves were showing in my yard, and today there’s a definite green mist to them. What’s more, the ground was thawed enough to till – I was able to get a spading fork in to full depth by Wednesday night.

A green mist is showing on the birches.

The weather forecasts for the rest of the week suggest nightly frosts are still possible, so I won’t even consider planting anything yet. The flats of plants are still going out as soon as the temperature is above 35°F and coming in before I go to bed. I’m certainly going to try to get someone to do the rototilling soon, though.

#WriteMotivation check in:

1. Get the garden going. Given the earlier springs up here lately, I’ll try to get the beans started indoors by April 25 and the squash by April 30; plant outdoors before Memorial Day. Get seeds in before Memorial Day if possible. This will involve getting the hoops to support plastic covers up on all three raised beds.

On schedule, but waiting for rototilling.

2. Keep up daily blogging using my existing schedule: Alaska weather Monday, review Tuesday, quotation context Wednesday, wild card Thursday, Jarn’s Journal (back history on my sf novels) Friday, Science/technology/health Saturday, and Six Sentence Sunday Sunday.

Fine so far.

3. Keep up Context? Tweets daily @sueannbowling

Also up to date.

4. Put at least two interesting science links a day on Homecoming’s page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Homecoming/109303925759274

Barely made it Sunday, but no problem the rest of the week.

5. Get outdoors for at least a couple of hours a day when the weather cooperates, either gardening or tricycle riding.

The weather is intermittent showers—not heavy, but I’ve been chased in several times from the garden, and I don’t want to risk getting wet miles from home—it’s still too cold! I’d say I’ve made it given that I specified “when the weather cooperates.”.

6. Read over entire trilogy for flow; put bits on Six Sentence Sunday; find a beta reader or two if possible.

Done, but I still would like to find a beta reader. Any volunteers?