Thoughts from Snowy April in Maine

We have had more than our share of snow this year and there are some who gripe and complain but most of us take it with the Downeast sense of humor that living in this area requires of us.

How else do we get thru this year after year?  LOL!!  This snow season will be followed and intertwined with mud-season which will gradually be replaced by blackfly season.  The Maine BlackFly Breeders Association has not yet released the final figures for how many of the little beasties they are releasing this year but the natural population has never shown a significant decrease so they may just release a handful to help the gene pool with diversity.  The bigger they get, the fewer early spring tourists we have.  (See!  There is good in everything.)

Blackfly season is followed by true spring welcoming the flora and fauna native to the area.  I love the Lady Slippers that grow along my woodland trail I call a driveway.  They always show up Memorial Day weekend.  Then the trout lilies right behind them and then it is time to plant my garden and weed out the flower beds in the front yard.

Spring gently shifts into summer with pleasantly warm days.  The smells of the earth being turned over to keep the weeds from getting higher than my vegetables.  The smells of freshly mown grass where I am not letting field flowers take over.  The buzzing bees pollinating the lupines where the meadow is growing.  The hum of the single engine plane as it flies over head showing tourists our beautiful land.

Then, suddenly ,the summer draws to a close; a chill begins to fill the early morning hours.  The dew on the grass bears witness to the frost that it too soon will become.  The first red splashes appear in the branches of the maples.  The days are still warm, even hot at times but with sundown comes the first shivers of autumn.

Children standing at the edge of the road in misty September mornings signal the beginning of another school year and the departure of visitors from far-flung places.  The flowers of early summer have faded leaving just their dried seed-pod heads still held high.  Field grasses with their browning tips welcome the changing season.

Those occasional splashes of red in the maples have consumed the canopy, adding touches of gold against the evergreen of the white pine, hemlock and cedar.  The smell of burning leaves is a not infrequent aroma reminding us of the woodstoves that will soon need constant tending.

The leaves wither and fall in a frantic profusion in the blowing autumn winds.  The first flurries tempt children with thoughts of sledding and snow forts, and pleasant possibility of a day off from school, falling gently onto to the browned lawns and driftly into cozy little piles that hide all the deadness of fall.

Soon the blizzards arrive with howling winds and stinging snowflakes while we sit laughing over cups of hot cocoa with our feet warming by the woodstove.  We have come full circle and know that once again we will survive!

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