April is here. It's supposed to be spring. Well, it was supposed to be spring in March but not much has been in evidence. We've endured a tough COLD winter. Now the weather is supposed to warm. Crocus, tulips, daffodils and such are to be poking their heads out of the ground. For every one springlike day we have been getting four to five cold wintery ones. Spring seems to be teasing us. Giving and taking back the hope we have that the winter is over.
Part of this may be because we had such a warm winter last year. March had also been warm and the farmers in the area had been getting the fields ready to plant. This year the ground was frozen to 54 inches. It takes a bunch of warm days to thaw that out.
There is hope though. More and more signs of the change of season have been showing up. A few days ago the snow geese visited one evening us on their way to Canada. They landed in the corn field behind our house circling and calling as they came. Then they moved in an ever increasing circle feeding on the kernels of corn scattered across the field. They've never done so here before.
They left but came back the next morning repeating their visit. Once they took off we haven't seen them since. It was amazing to watch their seemingly random flights but how they were all coordinated into fluid motion.
My next signal spring is here is when the ice is off my garden pond and I start the pump for the waterfall. I love the sound of the water and when the frogs and toads start singing their mating song it's bliss. I built the pond when we built the house almost eight years ago. I went to the pet store and spent a whole five dollars on feeder goldfish. I wasn't going to waste good money on something I might kill in the next couple of days.
Over the years some have died but more have propagated. Let me tell you giving goldfish away is hard to do. This winter was hard on them. Most of the large ones, 5-7 inches, died and had to be scooped out along with the dead frogs to dumb to bury themselves in the bog mud. They now fertilize the edge of the cornfield. After a couple of false starts the pump is now pumping, the water is falling and my screen door is open so I can hear the sweet sound. It's only eleven AM and it's 68º.
It's supposed to rain tonight, tomorrow and the next day. We need the moisture for the crops. It's another sign of spring. At least they aren't predicting snow.
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Sophie Dawson is my pen name. The real me is the wife of a farmer in western Illinois.
I have two grown sons, one of which is married to a wonderful young woman. They gave us the most wonderful granddaughter ever in November of 2010. I'm not the least bit prejudice. :)