This is the time of year when many people flee Vermont. They can\’t stand it that, after months of snow and cold, when they feel that they deserve the reward of warmth and sun and time outdoors, the weather becomes more intractable than ever, so they take off.
Not me. These are the birth pangs of spring, and it\’s the least I can do to stick around. The labor is progressing well, and the baby will soon be crowning. For a couple of weeks now, with above-freezing days and freezing nights, the sap has been running and people have been making maple syrup. Gardeners have been sloshing through the mud, loppers in hand, and pruning apple trees and blueberry bushes. And Christmas decorations have finally been disappearing from the less carefully maintained house fronts.
The dogs were itching to go out today, and I figured the front field would be the least muddy. It was raining, and the sun was shining, and, like the dogs, I didn\’t much care how wet I got. We walked around amidst the little mountains of deer poop–that field is like a deer feeding lot–and were buffeted by strong winds and serenaded by a red-winged blackbird. He was at the very top of a tall, bare tree, singing his telephone ring-like song, but nobody was answering. Too early in the season.
It was so windy, so wet and sloshy, that even the dogs seemed glad to turn towards the house. It took two extra-large bath towels to dry them off.