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Signs of Spring in Alaska

Jose Froilan tends to hanging baskets inside the Bell's Nursery greenhouse on Wednesday, April 11, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Phillip Pooley works the street outside Liberty Tax Service in Anchorage on Monday, April 16, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Sisters Edna, left, and Darcy Amik, both from Kipnuk, walk past a municipal snow pile in Fairview on Wednesday, April 11, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
A man walks his dogs along the beach at Point Woronzof on Monday, April 16, 2012.
Loren Holmes / Alaska Dispatch News
Liquor bottles, collected from properties adjacent to the Brother Francis Shelter, adorn a fence belonging to Grubstake Auction owner Ron Alleva, on Monday, April 16, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Kiting enthusiast Garen flies kites above the Delaney Park Strip on Wednesday, April 11, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Wearing their Xtratuf boots, Anna and John Polonowski walk with their son Oscar, 4 months old, in Turnagain on Tuesday, April 17, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Erosion along the bluff at Point Woronzof on Monday, April 16, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Loren Holmes

There comes a time at the end of every winter when Alaskans really start to believe that spring has sprung: snow-lined streets fill with water, and maybe even a tantalizing spot or two of grass makes an appearance.

But then, as regularly as clockwork, a final snow kicks up to let the denizens of the Last Frontier know that old man winter hasn't quite finished with them yet. This year was no exception, at least not in Alaska's largest city of Anchorage -- on April 7, Anchorage finally broke the seasonal snowfall record with a whopping 133.7 inches, a number dwarfed by many other communities around the state that saw record snowfalls of their own.

But then, after the last kick in the gut while we're down, winter usually relents, and spring begins in earnest. Snowberms gradually disappear. Reports of bears awakening from hibernation trickle in. Slowly, like children waking up, denizens of Alaska step outside, rubbing their eyes against the lengthening daylight. Trails populated previously only by skiers are suddenly bursting with Alaskans walking, running or walking dogs. Eventually, the snow will disappear and a dirty brown color will turn to green as many head out to enjoy the spectacular outdoors that surround them.

What are your own favorite signs of spring? Send your photos to multimedia editor Loren Holmes at loren(at)alaskadispatch.com