From termination dust to fake breakup: A winter slideshow

Performing Arts Center in downtown Anhorage

breakup [noun]  1. The letting go of the thick winter ice from lakes and, especially, rivers in the Arctic and Subarctic….

breakup [noun]  2. The period at the end of winter when the snow melts, the ground thaws, and the ice in rivers and lakes lets go.

— Dictionary of Alaskan English by Russell Tabbert

In Anchorage right now we’re in that part of the winter that I call fake breakup — the above-freezing sloppy snowmelt time that oft leads the less experienced to hope that real breakup is in progress.  But hey, folks, really: it’s only February! — the real deal’s not going to come until April at the earliest.  This is just a warming trend to remind us that breakup will one day come, with a redoubling of the sloppiness not to mention huge roostertails of water flying up from passing traffic to soak people like me waiting innocently at bus stops.

But until then, this brief midwinter thaw of fake breakup: slushed up snow & ice melting off roofs and onto the pavement in front of the steps at my apartment, that more often than not freezes overnight to make the footing treacherous.  Yak trax or some other ice grippers are useful.  So is ice melt. Nonetheless, I like this time of year for its relative warmth, along with the brightening days in which the sun can still be found above the horizon when I get off work — as I already said, my annual birthday present.

But all the slop makes winter in these days not quite so pretty as winter in other parts of the winter.  So tonight I thought I’d upload & post some of my pics from the earlier parts of this winter, when it was still a bit prettier.

Oh… another definition:

termination dust — An Anchorage area term for the end-of-summer snows which fall on the surrounding mountains and hills, signalling that the traditional construction season is about over and that workers will be terminated soon.

— Dictionary of Alaskan English by Russell Tabbert

This slideshow of Winter 2009-2010 in Anchorage, Alaska begins with late September’s termination dust in the Chugach Mountains east of town to early February, just before the midwinter temporary thaw of “fake breakup.” You can also enlarge this slideshow to see it in fullscreen. Enjoy.

This entry was posted in Journal and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.