Friday, April 15, 2011

Ides of April, or the persistence of winter

It's the middle of April, and winter is fighting spring in a desperate rearguard action.

Lots of snow has melted, revealing autumnal survivors.  We had the usual mud season wet, as melting snowpack oozed downhill, soaking our land.  Owain and I picked out little waterfalls and short torrents of rushing, clear, very cold water.

Several mighty drifts remain: Owain's Fort Vengeance exists in defiant, if truncated walls.  There's a small mountain of white behind the living room wall, which doesn't get much sunlight.  Snow lines the swampy driveway in serrated lines, each strongpoint marked out by the shade of tall trees.

These guys have plenty of snow left.

And this morning?  Temps were below freezing, starting around 20 F.  I restarted the fire, building up a familiar pile: scrap paper, old birch bark, thicker tree bark, bigger chunks of wood.  Outside the swampy driveway froze in shape, revealing contortions of firm earth.

Any day now, this will tip over into growing season.

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