Spring is Near
All the lakes and ponds are still covered by a thick ceiling of ice, and snow still blankets much of the forest floor. During the day, temperatures often slip above freezing for a few hours to melt some snow but spring can take a long time in the North. However, there are signs of spring everywhere, the smell of earth and barren ground on a warm afternoon, the feeling of sunshine on my face on a calm day, the small woodland creeks starting to run downhill through the deep walls of snow.
Soon the birds will arrive harkening the true beginning of spring. First will be the robins and phoebes, whose songs are as much a part of spring as the melting snow. Behind them will be the sparrows, and thrushes and warblers. I cannot wait for the ice to recede so I can slide my canoe into the water on a calm evening and glide silently across the vastness, each stroke of the paddle moving me gracefully across the water as not to disturb the silence. As I move, the white-throated sparrows will sing their notes that seem to dance over the lake. The pines and spruces will take on a yellowish-green hue as the sunlight reaches the horizon. Then right at dusk, as the last rays of the sun warm my back, a hermit thrush deep somewhere in a balsam thicket will let out the primordial song that has touched these woods for thousands of years.
Spring is a magical time in the north.