It’s been a very persistent winter and it seems that snow, ice, and cold have dominated the news for a long time. It’s time to start thinking spring! There are signs of spring, even if the temperature is still below zero and the endless white on our landscape still prevails.
I will begin inside. If one owns a dog, especially a Labrador retriever, the piles of shed hair seem to grow in volume. Somehow dogs seem to know it’s time to shed their long-johns, as enough under-fur to stuff several pillows comes free each day. Speaking of long-johns, it’s the time of year that long-johns begin to wear out from so much use. Our frugal mothers used to patch long-johns, so if you’re so inclined, now is the time.
As the sun gets higher in the sky and days get longer, it becomes almost mandatory to wear sunglasses when venturing outside. Another somewhat unlikely sign of spring is that the ice on area lakes has about reached its maximum depth. While drilling through over 3 feet of ice it may not seem like a real great comfort, it probably won’t get any thicker as days now lengthen. On the same note; fish houses also need to be removed from lakes very soon, another sign of spring.
It is also close to the time to prune grapes and fruit trees; the idea being that it shouldn’t get real cold anymore and hopefully winter kill of vines and branches will not get worse. Plants in our greenhouses are germinating and growing and the smell of spring abounds in the warm greenhouse environment. We live on the optimism that those plants will eventually find root in the outdoor soil. Many birds have now adopted their spring song and the owls are even nesting. The weather predictors say that March first is the beginning of meteorological spring. A still-baseless and blind optimism prevails out here in northern flyover country.