Hello, Summer.

 Yesterday at four when my daughter and two of the grand daughters-- Ivy (almost 2) and Caroline (4)-- and I headed for ice cream at the Hungry Moose the bank sign flashed 70. Which means everyone was dressed for 90. Little children were in sun rompers, their moms and babysitters in tank tops, skirts and flip-flops. While we waited in line which was long, since it was, we all agreed an ice cream day if ever there was one, everyone was happily hanging out. The teenagers with skateboards, the babies tumbling over the chairs and lawn. A carpenter grabbing a cone to go. There was talk about the weekend-- one family was taking the boat out for shrimp, or maybe king salmon, another was going camping. There are gardens to turn over, yards to rake, windows to wash-- and we have to get the screens on-- the mosquitoes are as big as hummingbirds. Which reminds me, I need to hang the feeder.  There's  a pregnant moose at 2-mile,  frogs on the golf course, crocuses by the library doors, the sea lions and scooters are back,  which means the hooligan may be soon? Or are they feeding on the last of the herring? There was a cinnamon black bear up on the hill, and hooters are hoo-hooing and thrushes are trilling in the woods. The stinky spring scent of the boggy ground has been replaced by the clean ozone smell of fresh buds and high tide, and if this high pressure persists-- as the weather service in Juneau promises--  everything will be green by this time next week-- or maybe even tomorrow. You know that song-- Night Rider's Lament?  When the cowboy explains why he stays out on the range rather than come back to town, this way: " They've never seen the northern lights, never seen the hawk on the wing, never seen spring hit the great divide, and they've never heard old camp cookie sing."  Well, I'm sure spring in the Rockies is lovely-- it's a nice season in the south and on the east coast and in California too--  but I wouldn't trade it for the way summer hits the Chilkat Valley. It is a magical, wonderful, and astonishing thing to witness your backyard leap straight out of winter right into July.

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