This would probably be a good time to start watching for pussy willow catkins along the road sides and red-tailed hawks drifting north to their Summer range. I have no doubt (sometimes wrong, never uncertain) that we'll still get some plowable snow storms during late Winter and early Spring. But as the sun keeps climbing higher and shining longer each day, it becomes easier to let the snowflakes melt rather than shovel or blow them away. By the end of the month we'll be enjoying more than 11 hours of daylight and the average daytime high temperature is above freezing.
|sugarbush in snow|
Photo by J. Harrington
Reports of maple trees being tapped and sap flowing keep growing day by day. It will take longer than I'd like, but I'm starting to shake off Winter's cabin fever lethargy. Walking dogs is once again becoming a small adventure instead of a Winter chore. The warmer, moister air seems to hold more, and more interesting, scents that canine noses must explore. Walks take longer than they did when the windchill was below zero.
Turkeys are more active locally. I almost "tagged" part of a flock that decided to cross the road directly in front of the Jeep yesterday. Those most in danger flew away as I braked, hard. The rest ran to both shoulders. I'm not used to playing "chicken" with turkeys and they're probably not used to playing chicken at all.
|pileated woodpecker (female)|
Photo by J. Harrington
At the moment, there's a pileated woodpecker enjoying what may be the last chunk of suet we'll put out this Winter. As our local fauna become more active, we'd just as soon not entice any of them (raccoons, skunks, possums) to visit the deck. It drives the dogs crazy, which, in turn, does the same to the dogs' owners.
Goddess of Maple at EveningShe breathed a chill that slowed the sap inside the phloem, stood perfectly still inside the dark, then walked to a field where the distance crooned in a small blue voice how close it is, how the gravity of sky pulls you up like steam from the arch. She sang along until the silence soloed in a northern wind, then headed back to the sugar stand and drank from a maple to thin her blood with the spirit of sap. To quicken its pace to the speed of sound then hear it boom inside her heart. To quicken her mind to the speed of light with another suck from the flooded tap.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.