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Spring Ahead

February morning on Dead Moose Pond

Late February. It feels like we’re on the cusp of something; the only question is, what? Spring could be just around the corner, or still eight weeks distant. The cold has been steady for months, never severe, but also never quite relenting, and though we’ve had few storms of significance, the snow lies feet-deep on the ground. The woodshed is lean. The hay, too. Enough of both, I think, but only by the thinnest of margins, the sort of margins I’d like to think were relegated to my younger, less experienced days, but alas. Some lessons are harder learned than others.

In three weeks, we change the clocks. I don’t relish it, honestly. I prefer the early morning light, prefer the early mornings in general, ample time to orient myself to the day, only the cats and the cows demanding my attention (and both so readily ignored). “It’s just the government’s way of reminding us who’s in control,” is what my father used to say twice each year, whenever the time change rolled around. I don’t know if he actually thought this true, or if he just enjoyed fancying himself as the sort of person who thought it true. Knowing my own predilections, and alarmingly aware of the old adage about apples not falling far from the tree, I’m guessing the latter.

Snow fell this morning. I watched it through the window for a while, and then, perhaps not quite as enthusiastically (but not yet begrudgingly!) as only a week or two prior, I rose to put on my boots and head outside.

11 thoughts on “Spring Ahead”

  1. Ben….March can be brutal and so at times can be April. It just doesn’t seem like that happens much anymore.

  2. The past couple of Aprils have been pretty darn cold and snowy. Hoping we get a slightly early seasonal transition this year. I think we call could use a break.

  3. Spring feels closer today here in the upper Midwest as the sun beats down to melt what snow we have and raises the temp to nearly 40 (shorts weather for us northerners). A good week ahead, too, which could take us either way as well. Spring or more winter? Will know soon enough. I will take it nonetheless here on our farm as it makes chore keeping that much easier. Seem the ‘January thaw’ has now slipped to late February back there as your week ahead will be milder too. Enjoy what you can with the time you have – it’s all any of us can do. (And I am not a fan of the time change either – screws up our natural rhythm every time!). Be well, Ben, and say hi to Penny!

    (Btw, did I mention I am selling my place there? It’s just time. Last year made that decision a bit more obvious to me. Bummed – but travel time makes it harder the older I get. 😔)

  4. My woodshed is mighty lean as well. Definitely won’t make the same mistake for next winter – already splitting up a cherry for next year. Good luck to you, although I believe we make our own luck.

  5. It has been cold in Omaha for over a month and we have more snow than usual. I sucked it up a bought a new snow blower in January after my nearly 40 year old Bolen was just too warn out in too many places to be worth rebuilding. I’m glad that I bought the new Ariens Deluxe 24″, ’cause it moves snow better than the Bolens had in at least a decade.

    My Father always had at least a year’s worth of wood stacked and in the process of curing. After he passed away in 12/00, my Mother gave away about 15 cords of 24″ split wood and all of the equipment needed to cut, split, and handle it. She even sold the wood lot across the river in Vermont that we cut all of our firewood on when I was a kid. That said, it has been a long time since I lived in the area and my Father was too old to fell trees and haul logs out to the landing.

  6. Jeff has it right about Nebraska weather. It has been effing cold and miserable in February and the most snow we’ve had in decades. 28 below last Monday morning on top of 20 some inches of snow in two days the previous week. You Vermonters regard this as nothing much to fret about, but it is very possible that several decades-old weather records for this month will be broken.

    And today the temp reached 59° and mud season has begun in earnest.

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