Saturday, February 7, 2015

Melting into Spring

Today's high temperature may reach 40°F. In case you hadn't been counting, this past week we passed astrological Winter's halfway mark. Meteorological Winter ends three weeks from today. All of that may be irrelevant based on the weather patterns of the last few years. For 2013, I've got photos of snow as late as the fourth week of April. Last year our snow cover was restored and freshened until past mid-April. Spring comes slowly to our North Country, But, by mid-April, we can be pretty sure any new snow will melt within a few days.


Photo by J. Harrington

Yesterday's sun melted some of the snow on our roof. I enjoyed a few moments watching the water drip from the edges. While walking the dogs I noticed that, even though the air temperature was below freezing, places on the road that aren't ice-covered absorb warmth and melt the edges of the frozen patches. Soon, very soon, I hope to see local stands of red osier dogwood start to brighten up and look like this.


Photo by J. Harrington

I may even get lucky enough to spot some snow fleas again this year. All of this reminds me it's time to dig out George Winston's Winter into Spring album and play it once or twice, time to dig out the fly-fishing gear and get it ready for a new season and time to start practicing again with the turkey calls so I can go out later this year and once again let one or two gobblers make a damn fool of me.

Turkey Fallen Dead from Tree

By Dore Kiesselbach 

Startled from snow-day slumber by a neighbor’s mutt,
it banged its buzzard’s head then couldn’t solve
the problem of the white pine’s limbs
with wings nearly too broad for a planned descent.
Somewhere an awkward angel knows
whether it was dead before it hit the ground.
Any sinner could tell it was dead after—
eyes unseen beneath bare and wrinkled lids,
feet drawn up almost as high as hands.
I loved to watch thistle and millet
disappear beneath it in the yard.
As snow covers feathers that will still be
iridescent in the spring I remember seeing
a businessman take a dripping handful
of pocket change and throw it down
a subway grate beside a homeless man.
The coins bounced and clattered, vanishing
in the humid dark. The rich man said
now you’re having a shitty day too.
But it’s not a shitty day and won’t be
when I retrieve the bird and walk it—
toes curling stiff from a shopping bag—
to a houseless scrap of oak savannah
birdseed drew it from and dig it
into deeper snow so what was hoarded
by a man may by the thaw be doled.


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