Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring thoughts...

So the first day of "official" spring in the Northern Hemisphere has occurred and to remind myself that it was really spring, I froze my face and fingers off to get a nice little picture of a robin. Living in Western NY, many people consider the arrival of the geese, on their trip north, as being the harbinger of spring, but for me it is the arrival of the robins. They show up the week of the equinox. Always. They arrive and with them usually comes the first warm weekend of the season as well. So, they are my favorite birds.

Spring is my second favorite season. Summer being the first, but spring is right up there. I like 'em all to be truthful, but for different reasons and in different degrees. Spring is many things for me, but more than anything it is the beginning of warm weather. I like warm weather, actually I like hot weather, but Western NY hot, not Mojave Desert hot. I like when the thermometer is pushing into the high 80's and the sun is shining bright all day long. When the pool temp is getting up there too, and you can jump in the water and be so comfy that when you get out the air seems cool. That's what I really like. But that is summer, I wanted to wax philosophical about spring!

So what I like about spring... the snow is mostly gone and nature is coming back to life all around me. I walk outside in the morning and I can hear birds back in the trees. I am greeted by all manner of chirps and squawks and cheeps. Whistles and trills, the flutter of wings and the honks of the geese. Sometimes I can look out in the field and see the Canadian geese less than 50 yards from my doorstep. I see the rabbits scampering for cover when they spot me. They better scamper for cover, because I hate when they eat my flowers, so they are fair game for a shot from whatever gun I have handy. But the big draw for me is watching the world around me turn green. The spring bulbs come first, poking little shoots out of the ground and fighting the cold and the occasional snow until they triumphantly bloom! Sometimes the first emergence is the snowdrops, but other times the crocuses beat them to the pop, but color reappears in the world.

After the first blooms the daffodils follow and the tulips right behind them, colors from the whole rainbow in little gardens and corners of the yard. Poking out from under the mulch or the matted grass left from the winter snow. Before long there is work to be done, raking up the sticks and branches that winter has blown from the trees, making a pile and setting it afire, maybe using it to warm you hands on a cold, clear day. Everywhere you walk the ground is still soft, and if you're not careful you find the squishy spots where the mud squelches up around your boots, and if you don't step just right it squirts up and onto your pant legs. On the calm days you can hear the sounds of the neighborhood children outside playing again, maybe you spot the occasional kite, or if you're lucky enough to have the time and space you can fly one yourself. Can you get it so high that you can barely see it? Soon you will see the bicycles and the skateboards returning to the sidewalks and the streets and parking lots. The roads are still white with the winter salt, waiting for that big rain that will wash them clean. Motorcycles return to the roads with the warming of the world, and once again it begins to sound like summer. Before long the weather is warm enough to wake the frogs and the toads, and the forest comes to life with the sounds of peepers and croakers. The warmth also brings back the dreaded mosquitoes and the annoying houseflies. But they are food for the frogs, so they are tolerated until they get within our personal "no-fly" zones. I'm one of those lucky people who is not bothered by a mosquito bite. They bite, I swat and it's over, no swelling, itchy bumps here. Yet I still can't win the lottery!

Before long it's Memorial Day, and the gardens must be planted and the grass needs to be mowed, and the cover comes off of the pool. It is the beginning of summer, and the end of spring. Spring is it's own special time and it's a time to be enjoyed. I always hope that one of these springs I will have my great love to share it with. Because I really do think that spring is a great time to be in love. To take a walk holding hands watching the world come to life, or seeing one of springs spectacular sunsets. Having a person to share thoughts and ideas with, and to feel understood and cared for, seems the most important in the spring time. I guess I'm a romantic fool in many ways, but the new seasons always make me more so.

Go out and walk in the mud. Spring only lasts for a few months!

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