Like most everyone in Alaska this time of year, I’m thinking of spring. The other seasons saddle on in as a matter of course. Not spring. No matter where you live, it’s much anticipated and prone to disappoint. Last week we were sure it had arrived in Southcentral Alaska. On Friday we got 20 inches of snow. It didn’t spoil our trip to Chickaloon, which was all that mattered in my little world.

Before the snow, signs of spring were all around. Defiant greening grass skirting the edges of receding banks of snow. Water rushing through culverts. Flocks of geese and cranes making their way north. And bears.

The season’s first bear attach was in Kenai. The victim will live, scarred and wiser. He’d seen a sow and cubs rooting around in his yard. His compost pile, filled with not-so-composty stuff like spaghetti, was a lazy toss from his front door. He went out jogging, and the sow charged. He ran. Bad idea. Bad, bad idea.

If you need a reminder of how dangerous Alaska’s bears can be, read Larry’s Kaniut’s Alaska Bear Tales. If you like that, try his More Alaska Bear Tales. Or one of the Timothy Treadwell books, which I’ll talk about in another post. But don’t blame me if they keep you up nights. You may come away slightly scared, but sensible – a great tradeoff, any time of year.

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