Sunday, March 27, 2011

March 27: Stirrings of Spring

Despite cheery blue skies, it's only one degree above freezing this afternoon and gusty--with wind chill it probably feels like the mid-20s right now. Yes, we live here, we're used to getting snow into April, but that doesn't mean we have to like it. The first words out of everyone's mouths these days concern the weather and how soon spring will really be here. I think we got spoiled last year, when for the first time in my memory we had a real spring, early and warm, coinciding with the calendar. Now that we've had a taste of it, we want that every year.

Despite today's raw edge, there are some signs of spring out there. Sheltered by a south-facing wall at the Camden Public Library, clusters of crocus bloom cheerily, always the first flowers I see each year. Around the neighborhood, milk jugs hang from maple trees, collecting sap; this is Maine Maple Sunday, after all. The Canadian robins have mostly moved northward and incoming migrant robins are beginning to feed on half-frozen lawns--a shift from their winter diet of fruits and berries. I spotted some red-winged blackbirds in Lincolnville along Frohock Brook. Many trilling juncos create music in the bare trees around our house. A tom turkey, surrounded by a heedless harem, was displaying in the back yard a few days ago. And Canada geese are beginning to return to the Megunticook River, even as winter ducks--goldeneyes, buffleheads--linger before heading up to Hudson Bay and points north. I've even noticed that some of my lilies are starting to poke tender green shoots through the veneer of dead leaves and road grit plastered across the front lawn (along with remnant snow banks that will probably linger till the next Ice Age). We're on the cusp of the season.

Goodbye and hello:
birds of winter, birds of spring
briefly overlap.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

March 19: Super Moon

Full moon rising, huge:
no explanation needed,
words inadequate.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

March 5: Signs of Spring?

This time of year has its dismal moments--cold rain falling on ten-foot high piles of dirty snow, mountain shrouded in mist, foghorn lowing, everything looking rather bleak and blah. Perhaps that's why any little sign that spring is on its way seems so exciting. Last week my husband and I were unduly thrilled to see a turkey vulture soaring over I-95 in New Hampshire, the earliest we've ever seen a vulture in our neck of the woods. This morning while at the YMCA, I noticed out the window, against the backdrop of the town transfer station, budding pussy willows.

View-blocking mounds of snow still fill our yard, however. And on our way back home from the Y we observed a small flock of Bohemian waxwings--a boreal bird we only see here in winter--feeding in an apple tree. But then when we pulled into our driveway, we were greeted by a cacophony of singing birds: a pair of cardinals, goldfinches, house finches, titmice, chickadees... The days lengthen and they respond, regardless of the snow-encrusted landscape.

Above heaps of snow,
pussy willows waken me
from winter's long dream.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

March 3: Drive-by

Driving up Route One on my way to a meeting in Belfast this afternoon, as I drove over the Ducktrap bridge, I happened to glance quickly downriver toward the river's mouth. There was a dark shape of something on the edge of the cobble beach, near the water. Then I was past it. Some things we glimpse and then they're gone, and we never really know what we saw. I think that's when we make up our best stories.

What was that dark shape
hunched, brooding, at river's edge?
Looked like an eagle.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March 2: Sunset. Ah.

The last couple of work weeks have been absolutely frantic, with some long days (and it's only Wednesday). I had to take some time off last week and still feel like I'm catching up, non-stop busy. Rushed out the door at the end of today to head right to a meeting. As I'm speeding to my meeting, feeling overwhelmed by life, I crest a hill and see this:

There's something to redeem almost every day.

Last bubble of sun
bursts above the ice-slick street.
I pause, eyes open.