Spring In My Step

It’s here!  It’s here!  It’s finally here!

It was a long, damn winter, wasn’t it? The pre-Christmas snow. The post-Christmas cold snap that went on f-o-r-e-v-e-r. The ice and the slush and those three annoying nor’easters in the month of March. About two weeks ago everybody but the skiers screamed “enough, already,” and my voice was among them. But now there’s spring in my step.

It’s a season of milestones, and four big ones happened in the past week.

First things first, I took the ice grippers out of my car. For months they’ve been either on my feet or on the floor of the back seat, at the ready to get me from car to work without taking a flip, which is soooo easy to do on the brick skating rinks otherwise known as Old Port sidewalks.

Goldfinches at our feeder.

Second, we’re leaving a window open at night, welcoming the breeze and the morning birdsong. So far we’re hearing chickadees, titmice, cardinals and goldfinches. There’s music in the air at other times of the day as well. One afternoon last week I heard my first red-winged blackbird of the season. Before we know it, the warblers—the handsome virtuosos who fill Maine’s yards and woods with intricate tunes—will be back.

Flowers are showing up as well. Our snowdrops and crocus bloomed one short week after the snow melted. Daffodil and tulip shoots are in evidence, and soon the front yard will be a riot of color.

They were just hiding under all that snow!

Last but certainly not least, baseball season has begun. I’m writing this on Easter Sunday, when my Red Sox have just won their third game of the season after an unfortunate loss the first day out of the gate. It’s such a pleasure to hear the crack of the bat, not to mention the radio broadcast of Joe Castiglione and Tim Neverett.  Someday soon we’ll make a pilgrimage to the little jewel box in Boston, where the home season starts tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the Fenway Park opener.

The joys of spring are many and vary from person to person. Besides the wonders of last week noted above, I look forward to:

Raking out the raised beds and seeding some greens. We usually do this on Patriot’s Day. Because we have a cold frame, we’ll be eating our own greens in May.

Our raised beds, one with cold frame. This is last spring, but soon!

Giving the car—especially the mud-encrusted mats—a good scrub and driving with the sunroof open, especially on a Sunday afternoon when the destination involves ice cream.

Getting out the deck furniture and holding the first cookout of the season. I’m already grilling on a regular basis, but I look forward to the day when I can lounge on the deck sans fleece while grilling fish, or pizza or kebabs, and eating supper outside.

Hearing the rising trill of peepers, the amphibious chorus that echoes around the vernal pools and marshland. Drive with your windows down in a week or two and there they’ll be, calling their little hearts out.

Can’t you just taste the wonderful balance of strawberries and rhubarb?

Getting ahead of myself a bit, I can’t wait for warm weather food. Local strawberries tarted up with rhubarb. Sauteed fiddleheads. Lobster rolls at a picnic table with a view.

This post was originally posted on the Maine Crime Writers blog on 

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