Friday, March 23, 2018

Spring, like fog, tip toes in on little cat's feet #phenology

Some years Spring surges into the North Country. Others, like this one, it pads North slowly as the line of melted snow and open water creeps up toward the Arctic Circle.

local water is still more closed than open
local water is still more closed than open
Photo by J. Harrington

Today we saw a few robins, a pair of sandhill cranes standing in a still frozen marsh, a few Canada geese flying about or walking on the ice and a bald eagle land in a stand of trees near Mud Lake East of Stacy, one of Minnesota's many, many Mud Lakes. We weren't able to find any signs of pussy willows. Perhaps it's still early for them. Maybe they're waiting for the ice and snow to melt and the main flights of waterfowl to arrive? Maybe, like us, they're awaiting more sunlight.

We did manage to celebrate this week's arrival of Spring by purchasing 2018 fishing licenses and a replacement state park sticker for the Jeep's windshield. Maybe by this time next week we will have added Wisconsin fishing licenses to our collection of Spring's emergent signs. Most of the Winter's snow has melted from the driveway. Drip, drip, drip, melting is slow but persistent. So is Spring's actual arrival this year.


                     To One Coming North



At first you'll joy to see the playful snow,
  Like white moths trembling on the tropic air,
Or waters of the hills that softly flow
  Gracefully falling down a shining stair.
And when the fields and streets are covered white
  And the wind-worried void is chilly, raw,
Or underneath a spell of heat and light
  The cheerless frozen spots begin to thaw,
Like me you'll long for home, where birds' glad song
  Means flowering lanes and leas and spaces dry,
And tender thoughts and feelings fine and strong,
  Beneath a vivid silver-flecked blue sky.
But oh! more than the changeless southern isles,
  When Spring has shed upon the earth her charm,
You'll love the Northland wreathed in golden smiles
  By the miraculous sun turned glad and warm.



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