Monday, February 21, 2011

On a Northern Spring.

Spring is definitely coming: a statement of the obvious? Perhaps; the earth is still orbiting the sun, last time I checked. Scientifically, spring is inevitable. But obvious? Not around here. I cleared 6 inches of snow off my car this morning and the thermometer is currently reading 14 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are looking for storybook, fairytale, Disney signs of spring, you won't find them. If, however, you dig a little deeper and read between the lines, so to speak, it's apparent: winter's vise grip has been loosened.

When I brush Badger these days, little clouds of hair come up with every pass of the brush. Shedding season has arrived! It's not much to start with, but in another week or two, I'll no longer be able to run to the grocery store straight from the least not without a measure of embarrassment for the extra coat of fur I've acquired. Two weeks ago, we had a day that was sunny, and quite breezy, and really not all that warm (probably around 35°F). There was just a quality to the air that felt different, gentler, maybe with a breath of humidity, reflecting the rainy spring days to come. Then, last Thursday and Friday, we had a real taste: two sunny, melty, balmy days in a row! On Thursday, someone spotted a turkey vulture--I hadn't realized they went elsewhere for the winter, but the man said it was the first one of the season, Friday I believe it even hit 60°F.  The ice on the creek broke up, and Milo and I went to look at the ice jams--a sure sign of spring.

Naturally, around here, weather like that doesn't gain a sure foothold until well into May, and we had 6 inches of snow on Saturday and Sunday in addition to the 6 that fell last night. They are predicting single digits for the low tonight, and sub-zero temps for tomorrow night. But Spring has gained the upper hand--I saw a pair of bluebirds yesterday.

At the beginning of the semester, I encountered a piece of Percy Bysshe Shelley verse that perfectly portrays the mindset necessary for surviving a Northern winter:
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
The answer is, soundly, No.

1 comment:

  1. Glad you are back to writing..the world needs it.