Signs of spring
Northerners getting impatient for the big thaw

Terry Halifax
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Apr 17/00) - While Mother Nature has teased us with some recent warm sunny days, last week most of the North was plunged back into a deep freeze, reminding everyone to not put those parkas away yet.

While spring means many things to many communities, we all welcome the warm weather and the long days.

The eagles fly back North and the squirrels wake from their winter slumber to squint into the warm sunshine.

Mavis Jumbo said in Trout Lake they know it's spring when the caribou migrate through the Deh Cho.

"When the hunters see the caribou return and start to find bear tracks in the snow, we know it's spring time," said Jumbo.

But that seems like a long way off now, she said, with the temperatures still dipping below -25 C at night.

Gloria Scribner is the manager at the Meni Khon Co-op in Wha Ti. She says they know it's spring when a co-worker lightens her laundry load.

"We know it's spring time when Patricia takes off her long-johns," Scribner laughed. "But up here, we don't look for people wearing shorts, skating by on their in-line skates."

She said the surest sign of spring is the migration north of the Bluenose herd.

"We'd sure like to see the caribou come back," she said. "They come right past us here like a big parade."

In Tsiigehtchic, Tanya Andre said they know it's spring when the melt starts and the community hosts the spring carnival, which was held last weekend.

Valentine Elleze at the Zhahti Koe Friendship Centre said she looks to the sky for signs of spring.

"When the birds come back, you know it's spring," Elleze said. "I haven't seen those little ones yet, but I'm hoping to see them this weekend."

Another sure indication of spring is the return of the nature walks at the friendship centre, she said.

"Our first nature walk is on Wednesday," she said.