The days are getting noticeably longer, and as winter starts to slowly loosen its grip, we’re starting to see signs of the landscape coming back to life. The sun is rising higher in the sky, and as long as there’s no wind blowing, you can actually feel some welcome warmth on your skin. As we walk, Oliver will cock his head curiously to the side when he sees some black crows foraging on the fairway, and even though I think he knows he can’t catch them, every now and again he’ll chase and give them a scare – I think he does it just to hear them make noise. A crisp carpet of new snow will reveal the activity of little critters from the night before, and although I’m not exactly sure what made the tracks below, Oliver’s nose is always on high alert. One of these days he’ll catch sight of a live animal that he’s going to want to chase, and when he does… oh boy! I’ve also heard that a Coyote has been prowling the golf course lately, and although we haven’t seen him, somehow I think he might have seen us! Yikes.
March 17 holds significance for me in two ways. First of all, and most obviously, it is Saint Patrick’s Day. Growing up in Ireland I can remember many a day spent very unproductively celebrating whatever it was we were celebrating… usually from an early hour too! Last year Sam and I were lucky enough to be in Dublin to join in with the locals as they did what they do best… great experience. If you want a quick fix from the Emerald Isle, check out my gallery of Ireland photographs, including the one below from Dunmore Head looking out toward Great Blasket Island.
Secondly, as I check the weather forecast for the coming week, I am pleased to notice that we are expecting a brief spell of almost 70 degree temperatures here in Maine. While definitely abnormal for this time of year, March 17 and St. Paddy’s Day always spell the end of winter for me. The clocks have just sprung forward, we are in the throes of March Madness, and in a couple of weeks we get to enjoy the dogwoods of Augusta during The Masters golf tournament. For me… this is a good time of the year, so cheers!
This has been a very long and snowy winter here in Maine, and the additional 10 inches we just received on April Fool’s Day must surely have brought this season’s total up way beyond the average? As I sit here looking out through the window on what is a bright and sunny afternoon, I can’t help wondering when this year’s snow will all be gone, and when spring will truly arrive?
At this time of year we get a glimpse of spring every now and then, though more often than not it’s just a tease, with winter-like weather rolling in right behind it. Winter in Maine is much like winter in many other parts of the world… it is cold, dark and snowy. Our winters seem to linger for an extra couple of weeks though, and at this time of the year it feels like an eternity. The dirty, melting snow hangs on for dear life reminding us that it might not be finished with us yet, and the leaves on the trees seem to be holding their breath and waiting as long as they can before returning to bring life back to what is for now a dull, brown and almost lifeless landscape.
As one way of combating the winter blues, we have planted tons and tons of tulips around the house. Our hope was that their colorful arrival might help us make it through what is often a slow and reluctant transition to spring. The tulips in the photograph above were from April 22 last spring, though based on the amount of snow we still have on the ground today, I doubt if we will have a similar show by the same date this year. Here’s hoping though…