Sunday, April 2, 2017

Spring in Juneau Means One Thing

Here in Juneau, spring is an awakening for bears in their dens, eaglets emerging from their eggs, salmon returning to rushing streams, and wildflowers bursting forth from the muskeg to greet a new season of life on the damp, life-giving mossy floor of the Tongass National Forest.

It also means one thing less remarked upon by poets and naturalists, but that is nevertheless as much a part of winter's departure as longer days and shorter nights.

The annual unveiling of the dog turds.

Be it your neighbor's backyard, the public trails and greenbelts of our fair Capital City, or even your very own driveway (whether you have a family dog or not), there's one sure sign of spring, and that's the dog turds.

All of the dogs big and small whose owners assumed that a winter turd deposited in a snow berm on the side of North Douglas Highway or the Airport Dike Trail would simply disappear into the ether receive a shock when, several months later, that very same dog turd peeks its little brown head out from a graying, melting mass of snow like an early bird trying to get the worm of someone's Xtra-Tuff sole.

Welcome spring, and all your glorious dog shit, with the occasional empty bag of Buffalo Ranch Dorritos and can of Rockstar energy drink. All of which--one hopes--is destined for community cleanup and one of those big yellow BP bags. 

Obvi,we do not want the cruise ship visitors and tourists who've spent thousands of dollars to come all the way to Alaska expecting breaching whales and glaciers to see a patty of beagle shit mixed in with vending machine detritus like Grandma Utz snack mix wrappers and melted Skittles whose green, red, and purple food coloring are bleeding over into a neighboring empty syringe and crumpled up ATM receipt.

Ah, take a deep breath, Juneau. Spring has sprung, and so have the unfrozen dog turds.


  1. Only Alaskans know the dread of this.

  2. Ditto for high elevation ski towns in the Rockies.


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