The calendar puts it only a few days away but, for me, it’s not really spring until someone spots a pair of turkey vultures sharing a dead skunk on the shoulder of Rte. 5. We have a ways to go yet, before the peepers are in the pussy willows and the anglers are on the pond, but things are looking up, knock on wood.
Rain and melt water are absorbing into the snow on top of the lake ice, creating a thick layer of slush so heavy the ice groans loudly under its weight. Meanwhile, the snow piles out front are shrinking, the hay rake is once again exposed, and the driveway is a mess during the day but, man, you should hear the racket when it is driven on in the morning after freezing at night.
Slush is but one of many signs winter is almost over. We humans have our own signs indicating the changes taking place. In the photo below, for example, you will notice, in the upper right corner, a coil of hose, meaning someone’s been pumping water from their cellar.
More importantly, weight limits are in effect, as of today, signaling the official start of mud season!
It’s that special time of year when, if one is planning a trip to town, it is best to skedaddle out early before the mud thaws out and delay one’s return until late in the day when it stiffens back up, but riding the ruts on a dirt road is only part of the challenge this time of year. The pavement is no piece of cake, either.
This fortunate sign has been stapled to a wooden utility pole; most are mounted on thin metal posts or easels and end up plowed all akimbo into a roadside bank. At the start of frost heave season, the road crews are diligent, marking each heave for our convenience and safety, but more appear every day and after a while tacking a sign to a pole every so often must suffice. Hubcaps and headlights litter the roadside, thanks to all this day-time melting and night-time freezing, and keeping one’s tongue clear of one’s teeth soon becomes second nature.
Getting out and about this time of year can certainly be a challenge but on those days the roads are messed up beyond belief, I guess being stuck at home ain’t so bad.