Sunday, March 2, 2014

Winter into Spring

George Winston has a delightful album by the title Winter into Spring. We haven't played it for several years. Soon it should be time to dig it out and enjoy it once again. It's going to be really interesting this year to see how the winter we've had, and its lingering effects, affect the arrival of Spring in Minnesota. Warmer, less snowy winters at least allow for the possibility of an early Spring. This year not so much.

Canada geese, Trumpeter swans
Canada geese, Trumpeter swans   © harrington

In 2010, by mid-March, geese and swans had returned to water that was just starting to open up. Based on this year's current extended weather forecast, I'm not really expecting to see open water before the last week of the month. Nor do I expect local roads to have melted as much by March 11, 2014 as they had by that date last year.

Snow pack melting from roads
Snow pack melting from roads     © harrington

Local meteorologists, folks who live along our streams and rivers, local officials and the ACoE are probably all hoping for a gradual thaw. Some of us who have had more than enough of Winter are hoping that it's not too gradual. At least through mid month, I count only 6 days forecast to be above freezing. I could more readily live with nights that refreeze if more days held the promise of melting. But, for better or worse, none of us get to vote on that except through our carbon footprints. Anyhow, I seem to recall that for a long time, March was Minnesota's snowiest month. That honor now seems to have been assigned to January, at least for the Minneapolis / St. Paul area. That's probably a step in the right direction. Billy Collins describes the kind of Spring day I'm looking for. (Today is not it, yet).)


By Billy Collins 

If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary's cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.

Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.