Yep, and I do mean finally spring. We get a lot of faux springs here in the Northeast. You know, the kind that gives you three uninterrupted balmy days and persuades you to put away all your woolies just before socking you with another humdinger. (That 20+ inches of snow on April Fool’s Day a few years back was no joke, folks.)
There were a few false starts this year, when hopes started creeping upwards, say when a whole foot of snow melted away in just a week in early March. Judge for yourself how foolish the hopes were, by taking a look at the picture taken from my back door on April 9. Not 20 inches, but gee whiz!
So how can we be sure it’s finally spring up here in the north country? Here are ten signs, observed this week while I traveled a bit in and beyond the region:
- Mostly all the snow has melted, except on the north-facing woods and at higher elevations. I just saw a fair amount of it in some of those woods along the Mass Turnpike earlier this week.
- Some of the ice has melted off the lakes at higher elevations. The Connecticut River is already running ice-free, but unless we see those lakes melting, we can’t be too sure.
- You no longer consider it foolhardy to take the snow shovel and emergency sand box out of your car and put them at the back of the garage.
- Bug splats begin to reappear on your windshield. With luck, you refilled your windshield wiper fluid fairly late in the winter so there’s some left to deal with the bug… well, we won’t get gross about it.
Flowers you see when you travel a little further south no longer drive you into despair.
- Garden centers are reopening everywhere, and they have actual, real-live growing plants in them that you can put outside. If it’s only pansies, this could be faux spring. If you see cilantro seedlings, we’re on!
Farmers’ markets reopen and have fresh stuff to sell, even if it’s only potatoes and parsnips from last fall’s plants and a few spunky spinaci. Hey, the ground has to defrost before you can dig up those roots, and temps can’t go too far below 20°F at night or you lose all the greens in the coldframe.
- Bicyclists no longer dress like the Michelin man before toodling down the road. Some can even be spotted in shorts. Which reminds me:
Skin reappears. On people. Their own. Skin, that is.
- While you were away, the crocuses bloomed, some of the daffodils have poked their heads up and are catching up with the weeds, and the neighbors’ flowering bushes (your own, maybe not so much) are now showing promise. Something has started chomping the tops off anything that isn’t rabbit repellent.
Yes, dear readers, it’s finally spring in New England! For the next few months, I’ll still be posting and keeping to my at-least-once-every-10-days promise, but you’ll be hearing more about my past travels and reflections on them, and some reviews of others’ travelogues. But it’s time for me to get down and dirty in the garden for the season. May the flowers bloom and the birds sing for you wherever you are.