“Greenup” in Alaska

For months I have been hearing tales of spring from the lower forty-eight, bright colors, intense blooms, vivid greens, while I looked at muddy piles of melting snow, matted down brown grass, and naked trees. But that is all changing, fast. According to the local Fairbanks newspaper, the Daily News Miner, we are finally joining the rest of the country in our little corner of Alaska.

Thursday, the National Weather Service announced that Fairbanks, AK had official entered “greenup.” Greenup is a new term for me so I will give you the definition listed in the newspaper: “Although somewhat subjective, greenup ‘is the rapid transformation of the landscape from brown to spring green as the leaves of deciduous trees burst forth,’ according to greenup guru Ted Fathauer, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Fairbanks.”

Most locals agree that greenup, aka spring, all happens within a matter of two weeks. Brown to green with the snap of your fingers, and from what I have seen so far they seem to be right. This weekend when we were driving to meet friends, I looked up at the tree line and realized it had changed. Instead of scratchy branches, the trees were peppered with lime green sprinkles that almost seemed to glow or sparkle in the evening light. Green. Actual green. It seems the only color I have seen, for months and months, is white.  I hadn’t realized how hungry for color I was until I looked at those trees popping with buds of spring. It felt like getting a new box of crayons, all the points still sharp.

I am still skeptical that winter is really over, especially when I hear that in Denali National Park it has been snowing all week. Fresh inches piling up. But for now, I am embracing the green of greenup, like an oasis of color. Fingers crossed the color palate here in Alaska just keeps growing.


5 Comments on ““Greenup” in Alaska”

  1. lori says:

    “that’s why I love mechanical pencils”


  2. kayemdoubleu says:

    I only lived in Alaska for four-ish years, and that was ten years ago, but I still get caught off guard when spring is an actual season and not just a few days.


  3. Wonderful descriptions of greenup, what a great name for northern spring! Down here (south coast) greenup happens 365. Enjoying your white, green and brown photos, thanks! RH


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