There’s an orderly and proper sequence for winter and spring. It lives in my head and your head and seemingly nowhere else. But we profit in camaraderie from sharing the knowledge.
Yesterday we trudged up the hill to the place that was called the Pinnacle on a map that was made for this trail long ago, three ski resorts and two institutions for the unadjusted ago. The going was tough, with about eight inches of ice snowy stuff that made it like trudging through sand but then up the hill.
Along the way are vernal pools and stinky marshy areas that the hound when it’s summer will sniff with abandon and stay out of sight and come back black and muddy after we’ve gone worried.
But we’re not there yet and we thought about how it might be that a couple of weeks from now the frogs will have done their dance and laid their eggs in these pools, which are now filled with ice having gone greenish and brownish with the rain that fell over the last week mingled with the pool itself melting.
We were remarking and agreeing that it looked like early March.
But it didn’t really because every winter season has its own bent, much in the way that the summer brings a proliferation of different creatures each year. One year you notice it’s naught but forget-me-nots out there, even in places where you’d never known much less forgotten that they grew before. The next you’re obsessively crawling on your belly through the sopping grass at dawn and dusk to catch the sun lighting up the dandelion fluff just so because the dandelions have the world.
And then the third year is a bit unfortunate and cause of much complaining because rats have taken advantage of a warm winter and extra seed and few owls or whatever else it is that makes them proliferate, you see them everywhere and you have to fight them off at every possible gap in the 200-year old hole in the ground lined with fieldstone that you call your basement.
Nature just won’t behave in a quiet and orderly fashion, and we always complain that we never get the amount of Spring we’re supposed to get in our own sense of what is due us. How could we.
This year’s slow onset of spring has its own rewards. All has been browns and greys. Paper-thin beech leaves dressing up the woods until green starts to emerge. Little tinklers and waters rushing through sand and rocks and dead leaves. Springs popping up left and right. The bog lying back, waffling leisurely and endlessly between ice and water. Two wet feet every day from intimate scrutiny.
Our two days of spring are here. By this afternoon, green and red will take the palette for the season. Let the riot commence.