Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Raven really did bring the sun back today

There was some bright morning alpen glow on the Chugach mountains this morning. Its a blue bird day in Glacier Valley. No new snow overnight, just clear skies letting out all the pent up heat. Temperature is 18° this morning in Girdwood, brisk and welcome! We can really see how well the tops of the mountains have been receiving snow though we at home were being pelted with rain. There are some great wind slab formations on the edges showing clearly how the wind was blowing. Remember to check the avalanche notices before heading out backcountry. 

Driving down to The Grind this morning, there was a conspiracy of ravens in the Merch parking lot. Not that it is unusual to see a few together, but this was 10 ravens all investigating the parking lot. Conspiracy is an older term for the group, you may want to call it a flock, but I would consider a flock a whole lot more, like hundreds. Did you know the raven is considered a song bird? It is considered, obviously, the largest songbird. The common raven exists in a large range all over North America, Alaskans are not privileged. As an omnivorous eater, it may have found some discarded garbage in that parking lot. One may have found something and if so, it called the others. They do this in the winter to help each other as they are a social lot. All Alaskans should know the raven is one of the smartest birds and one with the most vocal characteristics. But we may not have known the word raven actually descends from old German and Germanic languages. Its genus, Corvus, was given by Linnaeus. Corvus being derived as the Latin word for raven. So, though the raven has brought the sun back to the Arctic, the raven is known all over the world. 

Frost crystals return to all surfaces today with the clear cold air. Love it for now, snow returns Thursday and possibly warmer air by the weekend. These are some of "downtown" Girdwood's improvements that came with our Town Square plan. Nice to have seats for those waiting on the shuttle! The park portion of the square improvement is expected to receive new plantings this summer. As for now, the new curbs installed with the paving have disappeared under snow and ice. As it should be.

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