Monday, May 05, 2008


Ten days ago it was snowing. Five days ago another snowstorm was predicted, and I understand that's how it fell further west, but it landed here as a cold, hard, day-long rain. Saturday it finally started to warm up, at least enough to make it possible to shut off the furnace and sleep with the bedside window open a crack, which in turn made it possible for me to be awakened at 5 AM Sunday morning by the astonishing amount of racket that a bunch of lovesick chickadees can make when they put their tiny minds to it.

In the space of 48 hours, Spring returns to the north country. The yard is erupting in tulip, hosta, iris, and daffodil shoots. The lilacs are budding but still weeks away from blooming. I think the squirrels got all the crocus bulbs again — dang it — and the first lonely daffodil has already burst into full blossom. (Sorry, hon; wasted effort. None of the other daffodils are in the mood yet. Even the bees are still hibernating.) We've entered that rare and brief period of grace during which the world reboots, and it's possible to sit out on the deck and enjoy a fresh cup of coffee without drawing either swarms of mosquitoes to yourself or a few suicidal gnats into your cup. The cows have moved down to the south end of the pasture, to munch on the fresh green grass and kick up their heels after a long winter in the barn and the feedyard. If you've never seen it, it's quite a sight; a bunch of 800-pound dairy animals feeling frisky and playful. No wonder the dogs are afraid of them.

Speaking of remarkable sights: I saw a young eagle yesterday, flapping hard as it flew south from Sunfish Lake with a rather sizable fish in its talons. A moment later the reason for its strenuous efforts became evident, as a second, larger and fully mature bald eagle came rocketing up behind it, accelerating, climbing, and closing fast. Just when it looked like they were going to collide the young eagle let go of the fish, thus providing me with an opportunity to witness the truth of the old adage: even a dead fish can bounce high, if you drop it from far enough up.

And that's what I'll be doing this week: either rebooting The Ranting Room or seeing if I can't at least make the dead fish bounce. I've been swamped with things in the real world for the last few weeks — in some cases, quite literally, but nothing I couldn't get through with my shiny new green wellies. ($14.99 at Fleet Farm!) I've let a goodly amount of blog material pile up; come up with a few new ideas, some of which may be worth pursuing; and just generally, am in the mood to reassess and reboot my life and what I'm doing with it. The Friday Challenge will return, not surprisingly, on Friday, May 9.

In the meantime: what's your favorite sign that Spring has finally arrived?