Whenever anyone asks us when they should visit the homestead, we always urge them to come at this time of year, in April or May. This is probably when Southeast Alaska is at its best. These seem to be drier months, although weather records may not back that up; the sun shines longer and warmer, most of the snow is gone from the lower elevations, while the mountains are still majestically clothed in winter white. The bugs may be out, but they’re not bad yet. The days are milder, softer, and wonderful.
Wildlife viewing also picks up dramatically at this time of year. Herring runs bring a frenzy of activity off the beach, as sea lions, seals, a variety of whales, and sea birds of every shape and size congregate. Songbirds begin to return, many of the local mammals throw litters. We return to crabbing and fishing at this time of year. Life literally bursts forth all around us.
Timing enhances all of these qualities. Coming at the end of the long winter, every aspect of April and May appears sharper, newer, and fresher. We experience a strong feeling of returning vitality after long absence, adding poignancy to our enjoyment.
Ours is a good life, we’re constantly reminded, but perhaps most emphatically in April and May.