Signs of Spring

Over the past few weeks I have seen lots of signs that spring is on the way. Yesterday being the first full day, astronomically at least, of spring, it seemed apt to post a list. The first was three weeks ago, when I saw a red winged blackbird perched in the sugar maple where we hang the bird feeders. It was hunkering against the onslaught of snow. We got two feet of snow that day and I couldn’t help but anthropomorphize that bugger and make him ask “Why couldn’t I have waited a few days at least?”  Here are some others:

  • The other morning I went for a run and heard a woodcock doing its spring dance over the field across the road. I am always happy to hear woodcocks in the morning. My heart leaps up, as Wordsworth said, when I hear that bizarre “peenting.” The thing is, however, that the field across the road was covered in snow and ice. It had been flooded so it was like a frozen lake covered in snow. And the woodcock was doing its best to attract a mate. What boys won’t do to get some.
  • Recently there were five different types of birds in the same tree–the same as the one with the blackbird: blue jay, cardinal, chickadee, robin and bluebird. It was a colorful site. The bluebird kept hopping from branch to bird house. Nesting on the mind.
  • Mud. There is a spot up the hill on our dirt road that makes for a woozy ride. It doesn’t look muddy but the car slides back and forth every time. I love driving that way. The car, of course, is pretty much filthy.
  • Sugaring in on full force. It looks to be a productive spring for sugar makers. Good news for those of us who like love the stuff.
  • Yesterday we had a few good blasts of snow. OK that sounds more like winter, but those wet spring snow storms that look like winter is desperately trying to stick around make me realize that spring really is just about here.
  • Turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks are circling the meadows.
  • Yesterday I drove to work without boots. I just wore plain old shoes. The transition from wearing boots and switching to shoes inside, to forgetting the boots, has begun.
  • Crocuses (croci?) are popping up. Those puppies are sturdy. They had started to pop up right before that two feet of snow. And they are still green.
  • Kids walk to school in shorts and a T-shirt. I keep seeing that. I know that the young set has and will continue to parade to school without appropriate attire for the weather. This seems a right of passage (although I am proud to say I never felt the need to express my coolness through the acquisition of hypothermia) but dude, it isn’t that warm. I mean, we had snow yesterday and today. Wear a jacket dumbass.

And there will be more. Leaves haven’t budded out yet. I haven’t smelled a skunk. But in time. Before I know it I’ll be digging in the dirt and planting seeds. I can hardly wait.

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Crocuses, a Camera and Late Driving

I managed to fit in a run today in the middle of the day.  I was working from home but I had worked a 12-hour day yesterday and I figured it was cool to take a couple hours to play.  I ran eleven miles, which I haven’t done in several weeks.  I was tuckered by the time I got back.  I did manage, however, to have a productive work day.

I was overdressed, of course.  It is easy to be so this time of year.  The temperature was 48 degrees and it was windy.  Tights?  A windbreaker?  Could I get away with shorts?  I ended up with tights and a windbreaker, just to be safe.  I had to shed around mile three.  Putting in writing that I wore tights sounds a little foofy.  Tights?  I think of silky dresses when I hear see the word tights.  It is one thing to say it alound but it looks, well, too dainty or something.  But whatever, I wore tights.  Black ones.

I saw flowers.  I had seen coltsfoot recently.  That is the always the first flower of spring.  I saw that in a number of places today.  In some spots it was clustered.  But then I saw crocuses.  Our crocuses are green, but hardly out of the ground.  These were on a hill, in the sun, by the road, and showing off.  At one point I smelled some kind of sweet flowery smell.  It smelled like lilacs but it couldn’t have been lilacs.  It is way too early.  But then, I thought it was early for crocuses.

Once again I wished I had a camera with me.  I have been pondering a new digital point and shoot for a while now.  If I had had a camera with me today I would have captured some of the early spring blooms.  I have been thinking about one of those Olympus jobbers that are waterproof and shockproof.  That is the kind of camera that would do well on a long run.  And wouldn’t it make this blog better, if it were easy to post pics?

In a little while I need to take off.  A friend is coming to visit for a few days.  His flight, like pretty much all flights to Burlington International Airport, comes in about 10:00 PM.  Not many flights arrive at that airport at, say, 4:00 or 5:00.  They arrive at 10:00 or 11:00.  If they are on time.  He called when he stopped for a connection.  It looks like he will be on time.

I will make a stop at the supermarket on the way.  You know, pick up some bread and beer and butter.  B things.  Maybe I will get some beans while I’m at it.  And maybe some ice cream, a flavor that starts with…

Criminy, I’m going to be up too late, and I’m getting loopy already.  Who’s idea was it to run far and work hard and stay up late all in the same day?  It will be chilly by the time I get out of here.  But I won’t be wearing any tights.  Unless I can find that dress with the crocuses on it.  If I do, I’ll make sure to take a picture and post it here next time.  But I’ll probably just go with jeans.