As Alaskans, April can be the cruelest month - we've been waiting for spring, and 50 degree days only tease us about the upcoming summer. The next day, it's very possible - as we found out two weeks ago - to get 18 inches of snow.

But April also brings something else, something much more elegant than a fresh blanket of snow - the return of migrating waterfowl to the area. This week, geese started returning to the Mat-Su Valley in droves, creating picturesque moments across the Valley.

Birders have plenty of opportunities to photograph and observe migrating birds locally. Reflections Lake, just off the Glenn Highway, is a perfect spot throughout the summer months, as its peaceful and serene setting is only enhanced by the wide number of species you can spot. The fields along Trunk Road, also off the Parks Highway, are also favorite spots for geese, and this week, photographers have lined the road to get a glimpse. For more information about wildlife and bird viewing opportunities, check out the resources available at

The geese will stay for a few weeks, and then they will be off. Their return is a welcome sight for residents and visitors looking forward to the summer months, but don't catch yourself wishing away these times - there is plenty to see and do in April and early May. Just ask the geese.