Mar 03 2010

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Too Early for Spring

Posted at 9:23 am under Blog Post

A cardinal sings its heart out from a nearby tree.  The ground out my back door is barren, muddy and soft.  The first light arrives before breakfast and lasts until dinnertime.  Something wild is stirring within me now, but it’s way too early for spring.  Here in the North Country, we know better.  We know there’s at least one more deep freeze in store for us, along with several more winter storms.  This is March, after all, not April.

Oh sure, this freeze-and-thaw routine is good sugarin’ weather, but the sap can run for well over a month before the first bud on a maple tree opens.  You might find the first purple fingers of skunk cabbage punching through the snow along the edges of wetlands, ponds and waterways, but don’t go looking for any other wildflowers just yet.  You might see a robin on an exposed patch of grass, but it’s wintering over – not a migrant.  No, don’t start thinking spring just yet.  We’re still on the frosty side of the vernal equinox.

There are lots of tracks in the snow now.  The wild animals are stirring.  Won’t be long before they’re prowling around our trashcans.  Thought I smelled a skunk the other day, but maybe that was just wishful thinking.  Yeah, you know you’re in a bad place when you start longing for skunks.  What can I say?  Not everyone living this far north is into winter.  I’m tired of pretending that I like cold and snow just because I live in Vermont.

The wild stirs deep within.  I’m trying to ignore it.  I have a lot of work to do and can’t go gallivanting into the woods just yet.  All the same, a trail is calling my name.  My dog stares at me.  “Do you hear it?” she asks with her eyes.  Damned dog.  If I listened to her, I’d never get any work done.

I’ve been productive lately.  My head is full of ideas.  Oh sure, I’m getting soft and fat sitting here in front of this computer screen typing away, but I’m getting things done!  So forget those wild urges.  There are still piles of dirty snow out my window and the sky is endlessly overcast.  March is an excellent month for finishing projects started last fall.  Besides, it’s way too early for spring.

“Do you hear it?” my dog asks again.  I tell her that I’m trying to ignore it.  But something tells me I’ll be walking a trail later on today.  The sun blazing through a crack in the clouds will change everything.  Then I’ll pull on my boots and slip out the door.  Better get some work done this morning while I can.

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