The switch has flipped.
The calendar turned over to April and our temperatures have finally warmed up … you’d have to go back to last November to find a day warmer than today. There is light at the end of the neverending-winter tunnel. A ray of hope that we’ll soon see springtime daffodils, chirping birds, green grass …. or at least mud season. April first marks the day when bird feeders come back in the house, unless you want to provide a snack for a hungry, sleepy bear. It also is the day when bobhouses have to be off the lake, signaling the end of ice fishing. Word is that the ice in 19 Mile Bay is still 27″ thick, sparking theories that 2014 may have one of the latest ice-out dates ever. The record is May 12, which occurred in 1888; depending on what happens in the next thirty days, that date may be challenged this year.
Roads are heaved from frost, meaning driving anywhere takes longer than usual. Load limits are posted on side roads. A small stream has developed alongside my property, heading down the hill towards the lake. A half-dozen deer are regularly congregated in my yard, looking for food and escape from the snow in the few bare patches of ground next to the woods.
I like the smell of the mud, of the frozen earth letting go, of the boiling sap and woodsmoke that go hand-in-hand with the warming breeze. We’ve made it through, again. Spring is almost here.