Saturday, March 20, 2010

Early spring

Early spring, originally uploaded by quercus design.
The weather has been disconcertingly beautiful for several days. Warm enough that the children have plunged into streams that are still liquid snow, sliding into mudholes and laying out in the sun to dry off. Deep blue skies, gentle breezes, snowdrops, crocuses, all the signs of a gorgeous spring day. But it's March. Even as I sigh with pleasure at the warm sun on my skin, I feel a slight chill of concern. It feels so good, but so wrong. This is late April weather, maybe even May weather. Two months early. In Maine, in March, it should be icy and bitter, with occasional snow and frequent squalls of freezing rain. I have never seen my snowdrops so naked! I'm not complaining. But I am afraid.

I fear two possible evils.
Maybe the usual March weather will resume in a few days, or a week, and all the swelling buds will be frozen, the tender new roots heaved up by icy soil, and our real spring blighted by this too-early blossoming.
Or maybe the thaw is in earnest. Spring has really set in, and all the creatures, both wildlife and pests, will wake early, too. What will the repercussions be? New growth less able to resist old pests? New pests moving up from warmer climates? Animals thrown out of their annual cycles?
Maybe I have grown old enough to dislike change. Maybe I have become a pessimist. Maybe I have learned to distrust the weather.

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