The third time the peepers sing

Is anything more associated with spring than pussy willow? Photo: Ellen Rocco

Is anything more associated with spring than pussy willow? Photo: Ellen Rocco

Spring. For real. I’ve written before about my old neighbor Milan Conklin who told me you had to hear the peepers three times before the weather would truly settle. I heard them this weekend at my farm. I doubt we’ll be hearing them again until after tomorrow’s cold snap. Then–if you go by Milan’s rule–we’ll have one more run of cold before winter is firmly and unequivocally behind us.

Walking around my farm neighborhood this weekend, I snapped a few quick shots of the world shifting into spring. I love the north country landscape at this time of year–before the trees start leafing out, before real green starts coming through in the meadows, before the peepers sing their third song.

Here’s what I love:

Spring field. Photo: Ellen Rocco

Spring field. Photo: Ellen Rocco

The smell. After months of snow and ice, the exposed earth begins to emit an aroma of life and death–the dirt smells alive but that includes the odor of decay, last year’s organic matter giving up its last bit of energy as it is transformed into this season’s nutrients.

The water. So much of it, all reflecting the light of an increasingly high sun. It positively glows. And the glow shimmers in the rapidly moving creeks and ditches. Plus the ducks, geese and herons that take up temporary occupancy.

The softness of the breeze. Even on colder days, that bitter bite of winter is gone. On mornings when it’s blowing and I open my front door, instinctively bracing myself for the sharpness of gusting wind, I am surprised and pleased that I don’t have to pull my neck warmer up over my nose.

The promise. In my garden, an inch of garlic top poking through in two parallel rows. It’s a miracle all over again. Those cloves tucked into the earth in October have survived and sprouted. Seems impossible after the winter we’ve had. Instills hope for sure.

It’s supposed to be pretty cold tonight and cooler for the rest of the week than it’s been the past couple of days. But the peepers will sing again by Friday or Saturday, and then once more. Right, Milan?

 

A pair of ducks on flooded creek. Photo: Ellen Rocco

A pair of ducks on flooded creek. Photo: Ellen Rocco

 

Geese browsing old corn field.

Geese browsing old corn field.

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2 Comments on “The third time the peepers sing”

  1. “Is anything more associated with spring than pussy willow?”

    Mud.

  2. Ellen Rocco says:

    You win, Brian. :)

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