Just last week I saw this photo on my friend’s Facebook page:
I responded immediately:
This looked like an alien landscape to me. Flowers blooming? Bright colors!? BEES!? I almost felt the need to shield my eyes. Realizing that this was a current photo from Delaware–not some exotic locale–brought home to me how far from spring we still are here. Spring in Maine is just a bit more gritty and subtle than in other places. While others are celebrating new growth and warmer temperatures, we’re still entrenched in winter. Occasional wild temperature swings launch us into hope and then plunge us back down into cold bitter despair. This past week it was in the 40s on Monday and on Tuesday, the wind chill at recess was about 3˚ F. Truth.
It’s hard to be positive or to regard family and friend’s photos of new growth and blossoms as anything other than a slap in the face. Will spring ever arrive?
Then, on Friday, while driving to school, I noticed a couple of orange signs blossoming along the road. Oh, my inner optimist reasserted itself, Frost heave! This is looking promising! For the uninitiated, road upheaval, or frost heave, is a sure sign of changing temperatures and spring coming. (and spine jostling and car damage…but remember, I’m channeling my inner optimist here!)
Not too many miles later, I saw a pile of sad smashed porcupine alongside the road. While I truly did mourn the porcupine’s passing, I couldn’t help but think, “Oh, a porcupine! I haven’t seen one in ages. Spring must be coming!” (I really did think this!)
Also, the sun is getting noticeably warmer and the gritty snowy ice banks are melting. If you look just right, there’s even some beauty to be found there.
On a sweeter note, I’ve also seen sap buckets sprouting on the maple trees along our road. Soon the playground will show signs of spring as well — in fact, it thawed beautifully just the other day!
Before you know it, thin pale stalks of legs and delicate ankles will be visible, too! We’ll be arguing with kids about the need to wear a coat (Oh–wait–we’re already doing that!) and explaining that while temps in the 40s are worth celebrating, they don’t necessitate shorts wearing.
Signs of spring in Maine may be just a bit more gritty and subtle than in other places, but things are definitely looking up, if you just know where to look. Spring is definitely on its way!