Now that the warm winds of spring have occasionally wafted over Northeast Ohio, bringing once more to life what has lain dormant under the winter snows, I, too, feel those stirrings and at last emerged from my cocoon.
(Yeah, I know I spent at least three weeks where the sun was shining, the flowers blooming, and the birds chirping, but I just couldn’t resist the urge to wax poetic. So sue me.)
Anyway, on one particularly warm day, I venture out onto the trails of Beartown, which I hadn’t trod since an unexpectedly mild New Year’s Day. The water in the lakes is high with rain and melted snow and the spring peepers set up an ungodly racket. For something that makes so much noise, they sure are elusive to the eye. But it’s a sign of awakening and I search for more as I motor along.
A log floats invitingly on the surface of Middle Bear Lake, but no turtles have clambered aboard for a sunning. They may be yet tucked in the mud. Their winter-long spa, as it were.
A couple of Canada geese honk a welcome and it might be time for me to begin looking for the arrival of Jim, my resident blue heron. A vulture soars by overhead, eyes open for a tasty morsel.
Deeper into the woods, the tips of skunk cabbage peek out from the marshy areas where creeks have cut deep grooves into the land. I often wish we had the type that live in the Northwest, with huge yellow blossoms. But in a while, we’ll have an equally golden marsh marigold for color.
As I come up from the park, I take a tour around my small above-ground garden, finally freed from snow piles. Already, the garlic cloves I planted last fall are sticking up. I’m wondering what else to plant this year. Last year’s garden was pretty much a disaster, between the deer and the Japanese beetles and the pumpkins I had such high hopes for, but which practically rotted on the vine. I’m putting peas back on the bamboo teepee, and going to try potatoes again, but in the ground this time, not the growing bags, which dried out too quickly. Maybe bush beans, too. Or, this may be the year I just let whatever seeds are in the compost do what they will. That always means at least a few varieties of tomatoes that I eat or toss into soup.
Finally, I come upon some sprouts of chives and the first hint of real color erupting from its journey.