Today is the first day of Spring! Welcome sweet springtime, we greet thee with gladness; soft notes of bird song bring us good tidings. I cannot believe spring is truly here until spring peepers herald its arrival.
This winter surely broke all records for cold weather. Let us hope those cold, bleak winter days are behind us. Many days we could not navigate our steep hill. I was snowed in for days. I wish to thank many friends who walked up the hill to check on me.
Was the brief bout with snow the last gasp of winter? It managed to wreak havoc in Washington, D.C., almost shutting down our government. My trusty down quilt still covers my bed, as do piles of brown leaves covering my flowerbeds. In the past few days, daffodil leaves have emerged, promising a welcome wealth of color. However, the water faucet retains its cover.
The brief respite before the storms gave me a chance to walk across the dam, hoping to catch a glimpse of the bald eagle. The winds were gentle, the sun warm, and I sat by the lake and dreamed of coming spring. Our local photographer, Brian Pitts, informed me he had recently taken a wonderful photo of a bald eagle. It also has been sighted by Jim the Walker. Brian said to look for its white head among the trees. I was not as fortunate as they were. I did not spot an eagle.
March is not my favorite month. Everything looks dreary, downcast and depressing. Dead stalks of flowers, their seed heads left for the birds, lie prostrate on dank brown wet leaves. Inevitably the round stone pavers on the walk have tilted and must be re-set. In New Jersey, the first sign of spring is skunk cabbages' pointed heads peeking up in wet places. Here, even in a favored sunny spot, no crocus or a first violet leaf has yet appeared. Only the favorite early daffodils show promise of what will come.
In 2006, March gamboled in, warm and smiling, gentle as a lamb. Then came 17 hours of devastating tornadoes: one of the worst series on record for March. I wonder what surprises this March will bring. Perhaps we should heed the soothsayer, “Beware the Ides of March." An old belief was: “April borrowed from March three days and they were ill.” Many farmers will not plant until at least March 4: the first three days are considered unlucky. If rain falls at this time, supposedly it signifies a poor harvest.
Never fear — ever-lengthening daylight hours are a sure promise dreary, dark days of Mad March will soon depart, and flirty April will appear. Warm breezes will replace icy blasts, geese will be flying overhead, and spring will return.
“'Not yet! Not yet!' soft winds sigh. It is still March, you know. Many an oak leaf still must fall, now comes the driven snow.”
One of Baldwin City’s favorite artists, Tom Russell, once told me that he prefers to paint the more exposed landscape, although I love his iris garden and in particular, Margaret Count’s pasture.