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.

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