Thursday, March 20, 2014

In search of Spring

Some years, when it seems as though Spring will never come, we need to go looking for it. This is one of those years for My Minnesota. On Tuesday, we noted that the Mississippi River, downstream from Mill Ruins Park, is open water. Today we went in search of open water along the St. Croix from Wild River Park to Osceola Landing. There is a little open water near Taylor's Falls / Interstate Park. Most of the river, though, looks like this

ice covered St Croix River in Franconia
St Croix in Franconia           © harrington

or this

ice covered St. Croix River at Osceola
St. Croix at Osceola       © harrington

There are many more places where the ice is dicey than where the water's open. As we were driving around though, we did see three swans and several small flocks of Canada geese. Although there's no way to be sure, not having  seen any geese or swans in all Winter in the area we drove today, I'm guessing (hoping, actually) that some of the waterfowl we saw are migrants returned and not those who over-wintered. A more certain sign of Spring was found in the nearby woods. Someone is tapping their sugar bush. The tops of the pails are snow covered from our recent storm.

collecting sap for syrup
collecting sap for syrup           © harrington

Louis Jenkins knows how there is no substitute for real maple syrup and when not to "make do."


By Louis Jenkins 
I take the snap from the center, fake to the right, fade back...
I've got protection. I've got a receiver open downfield...
What the hell is this? This isn't a football, it's a shoe, a man's
brown leather oxford. A cousin to a football maybe, the same
skin, but not the same, a thing made for the earth, not the air.
I realize that this is a world where anything is possible and I
understand, also, that one often has to make do with what one
has. I have eaten pancakes, for instance, with that clear corn
syrup on them because there was no maple syrup and they
weren't very good. Well, anyway, this is different. (My man
downfield is waving his arms.) One has certain responsibilities,
one has to make choices. This isn't right and I'm not going
to throw it.