Nearly everyone I talk to lately is tired of winter. Our record-breaking cold temperatures and about 70 consecutive days with snow on the ground has even the eternal optimists saying “Enough.” So to put us all in a better mood, we’re going to think about spring-our favorite things about spring.
- When temperatures go above freezing, it feels great to be able to shed some of the heavy winter clothes. I feel about 20 pounds lighter without my two pairs of socks, flannel –lined jeans, sweatshirt, vest, wool hat and extra gloves. Of course these clothes are all very necessary when doing chores or getting firewood in the winter. But I feel like a penguin (and I’m sure look like one too) and can hardly move. Having to grab only one jacket as you fly out the door saves on time too.
- More sunshine. The longer, brighter days just make me feel better. I feel like spring cleaning (and that’s rare for me), tackling a project I didn’t get to all winter or just taking a walk. The extra light has been proven to help depression and is one of my favorite signs of spring.
- Peepers. These noisy little tree frogs you hear driving or walking by a creek, swamp or marshy area are one of my favorite signs of spring. They eat insects and have sticky pads on their feet. They usually are a light gray color but there are many different kinds of tree frogs. The old wives’ tale says these little guys have to be frozen three times before it is really spring. My husband and I have a contest every year to see which one of us can be the first to hear the spring peepers.
- Birds. When I start hearing the constant chatter of birds especially early in the morning, it just has to be almost spring. We have cardinals, blue jays, and mourning doves as well as the occasional woodpecker, hawk and starlings. Hopefully some robins will eventually show up as well as the bluebirds who built a nest near the edge of our hay field last year.
- Pussy willows. Usually found growing near a creek or pond, these fuzzy gray catkins are a true sign of spring. My mom makes a beautiful Easter tree by bringing the cut pussy willows inside, putting them in water until they bloom and then hanging small bunnies, eggs, and other Easter ornaments on them.
- Flowers. The first flowers of spring such as crocuses, snowdrops, daffodils and hyacinths seem to be the most beautiful flowers of the whole year because I have been anticipating them all during the long winter. When they finally bloom I know spring is really here and winter is finally over.
- Green grass. There is no more beautiful color than green grass growing in the pastures. It means that the cows and horses will have something to eat and we don’t have to feed as many square bales from the rapidly disappearing pile in the hay mow or the row of silage bales that is nearly gone.
There are many other signs of spring, what are your favorites?
Kathy Smith is a farm wife from Wayne Township. She writes for the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau.