Monday, March 26, 2012

Is It Spring Yet?

The maple tree across the street on February 22
Spring is an iffy thing in this part of the world. Sometimes we say it's the day between winter and summer!

Growing up we learned in school that there are four seasons, each lasting three months. Spring is the season when "April showers bring May flowers." One of the biggest blizzards I recall happened on the first of May! It is true, though, that most years we are through with blizzards by April, but that's no guarantee. Snow in April is not at all uncommon; in fact, if you live here long enough you will experience at least a little snow in every month of the year. That is not to say that we don't have hot summers--we do. But old mother nature slips in a surprise from time to time.

After six months of leafless trees and brown grass (when it isn't snow covered), we get absolutely giddy when the days grow longer, the sky bluer, and the temperatures begin to rise. If it hits 50 degrees (F) in the daytime some people are out coatless and wearing shorts. I think that's a bit nuts, but I understand the impulse to celebrate the promise of winter ending.

The tree across the street today
Yesterday the thermometer hit 71 and my daughter, granddaughter, and I went for a walk. The trees are beginning to bud, there are green sprigs of grass trying to poke their way through last year's brown remains, and some days we get lots of sunshine. Further south spring is in its full glory; here we are just at the tail-end of winter, but hope rises that it might--just might--be done with us.

 The sparrows that live in my neighbor's lilac bushes, that are under my kitchen window, have been all a-twitter for the last few weeks. They are mostly quiet as they endure the cold months, but now they proclaim the coming of spring with constant chatter early in the morning. They know they'll soon be raising a new crop of babies. It is a sweet sound to wake up to.

Today the sunshine and blue skies of the weekend are once again obscured by gray clouds, but I know the days are growing longer and the sun is behind those clouds!

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