ANN BAILEY: The subtle signs of spring are coming aliveSpring officially begins today. At first glance, the proclamation seems laughable. If I look at the landscape outside my window at home the scene looks more like a Christmas postcard than it does of the photograph of the lovely, green mountain valley that’s on the March page of the calendar that hangs in my kitchen.
Spring officially begins today.
At first glance, the proclamation seems laughable. If I look at the landscape outside my window at home the scene looks more like a Christmas postcard than it does of the photograph of the lovely, green mountain valley that’s on the March page of the calendar that hangs in my kitchen.
Instead of seeing green grass I instead view piles of snow blanketing the lawns. Beyond them, our farmyard is covered with knee-snow. The only blades of grass showing are brown.
But while it may not look anything like spring on the surface, there are subtle signs that it has sprung. Here are a few that I’ve observed:
• My mom’s chickens are laying again. I’ve collected enough eggs in the past few days to fill several cartons, which means that I won’t have to buy any eggs again until late this fall. I’m delighted as usual. After buying commercial eggs for several months, the superior flavor and large size of my mom’s chicken’s eggs has once again become apparent to me.
• Calving and lambing season has begun. I was treated to the sight of calves frolicking in the corral when I was doing a recent story interview and it reminded me of how cute young animals are and how much I enjoyed having a hand in helping take care of them when I was growing up.
• There’s still daylight when I get home from work. Daylight Savings Time, of course, extends the daylight hours, but even before we turned our clocks ahead, it was light for nearly an hour after I got home.
• Our dogs are shedding and Maggie, Minnie and Rosebud are requiring a lot of brushing so we won’t get lost in a hairstorm.
• Our winter supply of hay and straw has markedly diminished and the shorter stacks signal that within a few months, it will be time to start baling and replace them with the 2011 crop.
• It’s tournament time for winter sports, such as basketball and hockey, and practice for spring sports has begun. My eldest son, Brendan, is running the high school halls when the days are too cool to run outside and outdoors dodging mud puddles when the thermometer climbs.
• The willow trees’ bark in the shelterbelt is turning to gold.
• Mowing lawns sounds like an appealing way to spend a few hours. The other day my middle son, Thomas, noted that it may sound strange, but that he is really looking forward to mowing. I can understand because I feel the same way. After five months of shoveling snow, pushing or riding a lawnmower sounds pretty good.
• I can hardly wait to plant the garden. I made out my seed order last week and am eagerly anticipating planting season.
• Spring, in all its glory, has come to other parts of the country. When my family and I were in Louisiana a couple of weeks ago, the grass was green, the trees were leafing out and flowers were in bloom.
A colorful promise
As the weather turns warmer in the North, we can look forward to a similar rainbow of colors that spring will bring with it. That will be a relief after the white snow that has dominated our landscape this winter and the black mud that we will be dealing with for at least a few weeks after it disappears.