One sure sign of spring: When more daylight becomes less daylight when you most need it

  • By Nick C. Varney
  • Wednesday, April 3, 2013 6:08pm
  • News

can always tell when spring is skulking behind the mountains across the bay. First, a pitiful glimmer floats below the backside of the peaks glowing like a TV Special 2-4-1 LED lantern whose batteries are dying faster than its half-day warranty. 

 Later, just as it gets bright enough that I don’t have to wait at the access road for a vehicle to come by to use as a moose sweeper, daylight saving time kicks in and sucker punches dawn to the flipside of the horizon. The artificial time flux also slaps me back into dodging shadows that may be ungulates with the intellect of underarm hair pondering the possibility of catching a ride to the burg via my grill. 

 I find this imposed change almost as annoying as the guys who came up with the idea. 

It seems that the Modern DST crawled out the mind of a New Zealand entomologist, George Hudson, who wanted more daylight time to collect bugs after he got off work back in 1895. His countrymen didn’t buy it, but the seed was planted. 

Later, I discovered, an Englishman, William Willet, also came up with the idea in 1905 after he had to cut short his rounds of golf because of dusk which resulted in him suffering unseemly bouts of deep pouting.

Who would have ever thought that bugs and balls would spawn such a major fuss twice a year? But I digress, so let’s get back to more signs of spring sprouting near our cabin by the sea.

 Our resident ermine Whiz has been making a lot more appearances in the yard and under the boat. His palace is located somewhere in an old wood pile and he is acting like he has a “honey-do” list longer than his torso. He and the missus had a nice brood last year and methinks the long winter nights have resulted in a tribal expansion that will have him on vole safaris until his whiz wilts.

 Turbo is back lurking in one of the fir trees across from the driveway. He is a bit early in arriving but there is nothing normal about the little hawk. It attacks like it has nitro boosters attached to its butt. I’ve seen the feathered missile take out pheasants that were so
large the raptor could have ridden them if he had a saddle.  

My only problem with the airborne ninja is that it has a real yearning for toy poodle tartare so we have issues. 

 I don’t worry about my bison-sized dog Howard. If Turbo attacked him, he would get tangled in his fur and be morphed into a dream-catcher when the mutant rolled on him. 

Princess, on the other hand, is airborne-threat-clueless and represents a banquet, so she stays on a leash around the yard until “T” heads out to his summer haunts. Until then, I’ll carry an old golf club. 

Why? Because last year when the serial killer ran out of mice and other raw treats it took a shot at the dog while it was about six feet from me. It missed and so did my drop-kick that would have launched Turbo past our lunar base. 

Trust me, I missed on purpose. I didn’t want to get on the wrong side of the law. But this year I’m going to use the club as a blocking instrument because the punt scenario ended up with me on my derrière in a pool of water so cold that it temporarily changed my gender. That won’t happen again. 

 Hopefully Turbo will ignore us and there will be no duel for the doggie wench. That would be cool because if it doesn’t lay off its craving for mutt munchies, I could end up scoring a birdie on my first golf outing.

Lest I forget, coyotes are raising a fuss during daylight hours in the huge alder patch below our yard. This yipping and restless activity has every rabbit within a square mile headed inland, much to the glee of a couple of paired eagles and of course Turbo-The-Gluttonous.

 Well, it’s time to roll on out of here. I’ve just been notified by my less than amused bride that Howard must have fallen through an overflow again. He’s standing on the deck looking like a 110-pound waterlogged fur sponge with colossal drip-dry ears. 

 By the time we are done with the commercial blow dryers the pooch will be a serious ball of fluff that’s just itchin’ to get back to ditch diving and mud boggin’.

And so it begins … 

 Nick can be reached at if he isn’t kayaking the rapids in his backyard’s runoff.   

More in News

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Kenai Peninsula Borough School Board Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

The 2021 elections will be held Oct. 5.
Homer City Council candidate Q&A

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, elections will be held for Homer City Council,… Continue reading

Traffic moves north along the Sterling Highway shortly after a fatal crash closed the highway for several hours Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. The state is seeking federal funding for a project aimed at improving safety along the Sterling Highway between mileposts 82.5 to 94, or between Sterling and Soldotna. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
State looks to federal funding for Sterling Highway project

The project is aimed at improving highway safety between Sterling and Soldotna.

Ethan Benton (left) and Laura Walters of Kodiak win the vaccine lottery for the Alaska Chamber's week one vaccine lottery giveaway "Give AK a Shot." (Screenshot)
State names winners in 1st vaccine lottery

A Valdez and Kodiak resident took home checks for $49,000 each.

Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion
A podium marks the beginning of a StoryWalk at Soldotna Creek Park on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. The project was discontinued in August due to vandalism.
Vandalism ends Soldotna library program

The StoryWalk was made possible by a $2,500 donation from the Soldotna Library Friends.

Juneau Empire file
The Coast Guard medevaced a 90-year-old suffering stroke-like symptoms near Ketchikan aboard a 45-foot response boat-medium like this one, seen in Juneau, on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021.
Coast Guard medevacs man from yacht near Ketchikan

The 90-year-old suffered symptoms of a stroke.

James Varsos, also known as “Hobo Jim,” poses for a photo during the August 2016, Funny River Festival in Funny River, Alaska, in August 2016. (Peninsula Clarion file)
‘Hobo Jim’ opens up about recent terminal cancer diagnosis

Varsos was named Alaska’s official “state balladeer” in 1994.

Most Read