An open field covered in snow

Why Wait Till Spring?

The first official day of spring is right around the corner (though in the North, it usually feels more like a seemingly random date…

Spring in the Muck

Spring, past projects emerge from the snow and “evidence” of dog. Don’t lament this brown period. Rejoice. Within the rot is magic.

Springing forth

Lately there’s been a lot of media coverage about “languishing” and people experiencing stress due to COVID-19 restrictions. I hate to admit it, but I think I have finally succumbed to COVID burnout.

The pandemic creates the space to share stories in a new way

As the Ice Melts is a project that takes the form of two videos which present stories and poetry on the theme of our changing environment. The work has been put together by Bielawski, Lilley and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations storyteller, Ron Chambers.

Spring clearances in Dawson

In some ways, our streets are better in the winter. Spring makes it harder to get from the street to the boardwalks. Dawson is not a friendly town for people with mobility issues.

Those Bloomin’ Apples

Yukon fruit growers have work to do in all seasons to ensure a successful harvest come fall. In the spring this involves two main strategies: avoid early bloom and watch that weather.

The green bags of spring

It’s the nature of short Yukon summers for Yukoners to seize every moment and they perhaps forget about things like contributions to the food bank.

It’s ice pool time

The ice pool tripod is in the river, anchored by a cable to the boxed clock on the Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre, ready for when the ice moves during breakup some time in late April or early May. The tripod is on the ice between the river bank and the unofficial ice road. It may …

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Yukon spring sledding

As those cold, dark winter days start to fade like a bad memory, Yukoners emerge and many will dust off their snow machines, or sleds, in preparation for popular spring sledding.

Keeping the weekend weird

Thaw-di-Gras, Dawson’s spring-or-late-winter carnival, is adding a day this year, with events beginning on Friday, March 16 and running through Sunday, March 18.

Thaw di Gras is going to the dogs…

Dawson City is gearing up for it’s annual Thaw di Gras spring carnival. One of the most popular events for families is the annual dog show, held at Diamond Tooth Gertie’s.

Sowing the Seeds of Spring

The light returns to the Yukon long before the heat and we’re still in the prime season of huge oscillations in temperature between day and night. Mornings dawn crisp – but early – and as of yet we feel no compulsion to head outside until it warms a little. Midafternoon brings mud and even t-shirt …

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Ode to Winter

The warm winds of spring have brought with them the promise of little green shoots popping out of their seeds to generate the stuff of salads. There is a brief moment in our northern spring between the holding cold of winter and the heady 24-hour daylight, before our winter habits – frozen into trails through …

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Wild Times

“They’re [cranes] a much more delicate bird, compared to the swans,” says Carrie McClelland, a wildlife viewing biologist with Environment Yukon. “They stand three and a half to four feet tall, with a six foot wingspan, but they only weigh around seven or eight pounds. They’re very slender.” Lesser sandhill cranes migrate each year from …

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Books to Spring Forward

It’s (hopefully) coming to the last wintery blows before the ice breaks; the spring will soon rush in and soon after we can cast our mittens aside for a season. Enjoy the longer nights – while they last – by burying yourself in one (or all) of these books, based around the “Three R’s” of …

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The Dawn of Spring

Spring is more than sales on winter gear en route to the clearance bin or the emergence of chocolate eggs and Easter bunnies in store windows. It’s the sunset of winter, the dawn of warmth and a period of transition. Just like a child playing hide-and-go-seek, the transition from winter to spring happens if you …

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We Burnt It Away

This past weekend, Yukoners burnt away their winter blues at the annual festival of the same name.Photographer Dylan Nelson was there to capture the action.

Hostel Hostility, Part 1

Early in my trip to Nicaragua last spring, I lost my bank card. I had a large sum of money in the bank, but no access. After frantic calls from a phone booth as claustrophobic as a confessional, I got through to the bank. As I waited anxiously UPS to deliver a new card, two …

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Training For the Yukon

Recently we went down south for a family visit. At the time it was still very much winter here in the Yukon. Down there the snow was melting, there were puddles everywhere and it felt like spring. If it had been like that up here we would have already been in the garden. But no one …

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A Swing Through Jazz History

Jazz has come a long way over the decades. What started as a call-and-response song though the cotton fields of the south, has now become an uptempo beat familiar to most. In edition to its evolution, it has sparked the creation of many sub-genres: Latin jazz, classical jazz, funk, b-bob, acid jazz, and vocal jazz, …

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Dawson Moves Into Puddletime

Dawson has entered that phase of spring I call Puddletime. City workers have been trying to keep up by opening storm drains. The rapidly accumulating melt-water makes its way to the river, but it’s a losing battle. The darn streams freeze up again if the temperature drops significantly at night. It’s hard to think back …

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What’s In This Library

Spring is approaching — it’s time for all those with a green thumb to enjoy the warm weather. The garden season in the Yukon poses challenges, but those who know seeds and soil manage to pull through and enjoy the bounty of the land. Common amongst the garden culture circle is the planting of vegetables …

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April Ain’t Cruel

In The Debt to Pleasure John Lancaster wonders if T.S. Eliot invented the link between April and suicides, just as painter Joseph Mallord William Turner invented sunsets (Google it. I did). But, Lancaster goes on. Before talking about the glory of roast lamb in April (The Debt to Pleasure is a dark, twisted, informative read that …

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Old Cabin in Space

Over the spring break for Whitehorse schools, the open art studio, Splintered Craft, will be filming a music video. By no means a small undertaking, the community studio — a Skookum Jim Friendship Centre program — is pulling in all the help it can get, which means everyone is welcome to pitch in. They began …

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Burn Away the Dark Times

The Yukon winter is so long that Dawson City-based filmmaker Suzanne Crocker once said winter has its own seasons. Most Yukoners I know divide their very existence between their “winter” and “summer” selves. More often than not, winter versions mirror the still, silent, and slow environment outside our frosty windows. Unfailingly, I spend each spring …

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A Trumpeter’s Perspective

Hiya, my name is Ed, and I am a proud trumpeter swan. I’m eight-years-old and grew up in the Red Rock Lakes area of Montana, USA. Although I am American, I consider Canada to be a second home since my family and I migrate through there every year. My wife is Lily. We have four …

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The Return of Salad Season

I was shopping at my local free store the other day when I stopped in the middle of a wave to a fellow browser. He peered at me, and I at him, for a good minute before I said tentatively, “Dom?” His grin affirmed my suspicions and as we caught up we shared a chuckle …

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Early in the spring, Swan Haven offers Yukoners a place to watch swans and other water birds as they stop to rest on their long migration north. Shortly thereafter we see small groups of swans flying past our farm, trumpeting as they go. Our geese really notice when wild birds fly overhead. The migrating fowl …

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A Celebration of Spring

Spring… there is nothing quite like it. Living here in the North, we generally have a long winter followed by a long spring. It seems to take forever to finish melting the snow and warming up the ground. To help keep us going, the pussy willows are out, as well as the crocuses. But to …

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Spring is in the Yukon Air

What better way to welcome the return of the sun but to pack a picnic and find a slope covered  with crocuses? While it may feel like spring will never arrive, eventually it does and the whole world seems to change … sometimes overnight. Here is a lovely scone recipe made with cranberries and pecans. …

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Help Your Plants Find the Light

Light is the main requirement for your seedlings once they have emerged from the soil whether they are flowers, vegetables or herbs. Having a sunny south bay window may not be enough intense light to prevent the seedlings from growing tall and spindly. Although it is too early to plant in your greenhouse, unless you …

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May is the dirtiest month

As I behold my 18th spring in the Yukon, I have been spared the anxiety and frustration of previous disappointments that are collectively known as the plodding death of winter. It is not so much another year of maturity that has bestowed a calm upon my psyche, it is just the acceptance of things as …

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Pollination: Let the Bees Do It

With the days getting longer and nights warmer, the plants in your greenhouse should be thriving. Your greenhouse plants, tomatoes, cucumbers or squash, may start to send out their first flush of flowers. If you’ve bought plants locally, you may have bought plants with flowers or even little tomatoes already on the vine. If this …

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Veggies Like a Warm Bed

If you haven’t planted your garden, now is definitely the time to get growing. Remember to plant your seeds — such as carrots, beets and lettuce — fairly shallow. The depth of the seed bed that is required for root vegetables should be fairly deep (eight to 10″) for the development of the vegetable, but …

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A Marathon and a Quick Tour

As March begins, there is excitement in the Yukon Night Sky. It is time for the Messier Marathon. This is an event that most amateur astronomers anxiously await, and the time is just about upon us. So what is a Messier Marathon and what is all this curious excitement about? you ask. Here is a …

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The Best of the Yukon Night Skies

Springtime night skies offer an endless bounty of galaxies, nebula and star clusters, waiting to be explored. Whether you prefer binoculars or a telescope, there is no other time of year when the night sky is so plentiful with deep-sky objects to observe. The problem, as always, is to have the weather co-operate with your …

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Successful Perennial Gardening, All-Summer-Long

Perennial gardening has long been a favoured pastime for Yukon gardeners. Now is the perfect time to take a good look at the perennials in your garden, decide which perennials to plant where, shuffle existing plants around your garden and fill in empty spaces with new favourite varieties. Perennial gardens can look stunning, from early …

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Spring Forth Into Your Garden

Most gardeners await the spring season with the greatest of anticipation. We watch patiently for those first bulbs and perennials to spring forth into our gardens. As the last of the snow melts and the days become longer, we know that soon we will be out cultivating our gardens. On the first warm day of …

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Springtime Rice

In old Klondike days, about the time of spring break-up, often all that was left in the cabin  larder was a bag of rice. With a few weathered, withered and dried vegetables, even a prospector or miner could rustle up the vittles in a stir-fry like this. We have it much easier now. Colourful and …

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Get Your Greenhouse Ready

Hey, Yukon! It’s gardening time! Time to get that greenhouse ready! If your greenhouse has a supplementary heating system, chances are you’ve already begun planting, and your greenhouse is up and running. For those people whose greenhouses lack a heating unit, now is the time to prepare the greenhouse and get it ready for those …

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Great Scot!

As you may have noticed already, Whitehorse has some new beer in town. Our friendly neighbours at Yukon Liquor Corp have sourced four offerings from Russell Brewing Company: Blood Alley Bitter, Black Death Porter, Main Street Pilsner, and Wee Angry Scotch Ale. Three of these (all but the Main Street Pils) are part of the …

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Canyon Dreams

Warmer temperatures motivate and promote amateur astronomy in this marvellous northern land in which we live. For example, my favourite in-town observing site is the Miles Canyon Lookout Point. This remarkable observing site is opened by the City of Whitehorse on the first weekend of May, just a few weeks before the sun is up …

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Remembering the Iron Man

Percy deWolfe, known as the Iron Man Mail Carrier, faced many unpredictable moments during his 38 years (1910-1949) on the trail between Dawson and Eagle. He did it all year round, so there were different factors every season. But sticking to the so-called “spring” when the Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race is run, Percy would …

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So Many Stars, So Little Time

The month of May brings warm weather observing – parka not required – a pleasant change of pace. It still gets frosty, though. Last weekend at the observing site (Grey Mountain Lookout Point) the temperature dropped to minus 6 Celsius. It was supposed to clear off later in the morning hours, so I decided to …

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Two Fine, Big Reds

This is a funny time of year in the Yukon. The return of the light and the moving forward of the clocks speaks to the impending arrival of spring. The other day I stood outside my cabin and heard birds calling their songs out, and thought… am I just noticing these calls, though they have …

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200 Billion Stars and Counting

April is upon us, and even though the weather is warm, and the sky is cloudy. People always ask, “What is an northern astronomer to do on a cloudy night?” The first thing to do is apply the 5-Minute Astronomer Rule”. The 5-Minute Astronomer Rule is having your binoculars or small telescope on the front …

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