A month ago, our area got its heaviest snow of the season, 19 inches, and this winter rivals last winter for being cold. According to our local weatherman, this February tied the record for being the coldest on record. We have had snow cover since that early February snowstorm and the snow has thawed, frozen, thawed, and refrozen leaving the backyard a crust of frozen icy snow. I don’t venture out into the yard often, just occasionally to quiet a barking Ivy, our Brittany Spaniel, or to toss Ivy a ball, or clean up after her. It is rather perilous tramping through the frozen yard. It doesn’t seem to bother Ivy – she has smaller paws and is much lighter than I am, so she can walk across the yard without sinking in as I do. Last Wednesday night we got another three or four inches of snow and the driveway was covered Thursday morning. I cleaned it off and the bright sunshine finished what I didn’t clean or clear; it’s evident spring is on its way and the days are getting longer again.
Last week we marked the passing of the eleven hours of possible daylight threshold and I have noticed the sun’s reappearance with the morning sunrise coming earlier every day. Likewise, sunsets have crept past five o’clock and are nearing six o’clock. The sun is higher in the sky, too. Which explains why the driveway and sidewalks were clear of snow and ice yesterday morning. Salt still coats the roads and clings to the side of my car. The salt stands out on my dark blue Chevy and though it is less noticeable on white and silver cars, but it is there.
Several weeks ago, Ivy and I were enjoying a leisurely afternoon. I was reading or watching a basketball game and I spied a bunny sitting outside the family room window. Ivy did not see it, so I called her attention to it and she immediately jumped to attention and stared out the window. However, it was more of glare. Ivy’s been protecting the yard and chasing creatures off the property ever since she we brought her home almost five years ago on Easter eve. Squirrels torment her chirping at her after they have been treed and she has been skunked twice and cornered a sick raccoon, but never caught anything. So, when I asked her if she wanted to go outside and opened the back door, I never dreamed she’d catch the rabbit, but she did. She was very proud of her accomplishment and brought the fluffy brown bunny to the backdoor to show me. She wanted to bring it inside, but I said no and she picked it up and carried it into the backyard. I went searching for it later and she must have hidden it well, she does that, and I could not find it. I’ll have to redouble my efforts when the snow thaws and it becomes warmer which should be in the coming weeks.
We had a dusting of snow again last night, just enough to coat the driveway but not enough to really shovel. Nevertheless, the good news is the forecast calls for warmer weather this week with a jump above freezing during the day and falling back below freezing at night. I pray March will roar like a little lion and run like a grown lamb. I am hoping for a warmer March and the coming of spring; and finding Ivy’s trophy, before it finds us.
Easter falls early this year, on the first weekend in April. For Orthodox Christians it will fall a week later. For my kids and me, it will be the last weekend of Spring Break and we will celebrate with Easter baskets and ham for dinner. Those baskets will be full of sweets and other treats along with at least one chocolate bunny and of course, there will be a basket for Ivy, she is our Easter dog, but she already has her bunny.
It is the first day of March and it feels great. Last night O, B, and I went to the movies and saw Selma – amazing is all I can say. W was camping with the scouts on a submarine in Muskegon, Michigan and missed the night at the movies. He’s reading the Great Gatsby for school and I have a few papers to grade before night falls and the season finales of The Great British Baking Show and Downton Abbey. It’s gonna be a great day, I know it and I can feel it, so I’d better jump up, jump in, and seize the day – before it seizes me. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, especially when spring is on the horizon.
What surprises are you expecting this spring?