When we vacationed in south Florida, a sure sign of Spring was the arrival of fuzzy, rust-colored sand hill crane chicks tottering after their parents along the lush fairways in our golf community. Snowbirds instinctively knew then it was time to call the plumber up north to turn on the water.
Back in my New Jersey heyday, Spring’s arrival in mid-April always featured a decorative profusion of bright red azalea bushes and flowering dogwood trees surrounding Ridgewood’s stately homes.
Here in Maine, Spring’s arrival is also impossible to miss. Take last week. With temperatures hovering in the low-60s, I spotted numerous blue-white locals toting Coleman coolers, LL Bean sand chairs and striped sun-brellas onto Mothers Beach where the Atlantic waves rolling in could numb a big toe in less than 30 seconds.
Winter’s gone up here. Folks are putting away their woolen scarves and flannel-lined jeans. Lingering piles of crusty snow lie deep in the woods along Sea Road, and there’s always the potential for brief flurries, even in early May. But the people have spoken: it’s over.
The woods outside my kitchen window have turned from a stark black and white sketch to a leafy panorama of soft pastel greens, yellows and reds. Two weeks ago the lilac bush off my deck was nothing but bare branches. Today its covered in tiny chartreuse leaves. One brave white crocus that I discovered at my back door three days ago now has lots of lavender buddies.
One definition of Spring is, “The season after winter and before summer, in which vegetation begins to grow.” Thanks to the the finely tuned eye of photographer Ken Janes, here are other long-awaited signs that Spring is finally here along the Gulf of Maine. (Two were photographed by the blogger, and I think you will recognize the difference!)
Madeleine L'Engle wrote: “A daffodil pushing up through the dark earth…has more courage and more knowledge of the value of life than any human being I’ve met.”
"The Baltimore Oriole earned its name by resembling the color scheme on the coat of arms of Lord Baltimore, an Irish Baron. Their color and song make them a favorite of any birder.”
As someone aptly noted, “Life is not always a tiptoe through the tulips.”
Fiddleheads are the furled fronds of a young fern. Foraging for these nutty-flavored veggies, or “fiddleheadin,’” is a Maine tradition in the Spring.
“The bluebird wears a coat of the purest, richest, and most gorgeous blue on back, wings, and tail; no North American bird better deserves the name, for no other flashes before our admiring eyes so much brilliant blue.”
“I wandered lonely as a cloud, that floats on high o'er vales and hills, when all at once I saw a crowd — A host of golden daffodils.” (William Wordsworth)
“Forsythia that I thought had been dozed into oblivion sprang up and misted the foundations with lemon icing I yearn for all winter.” Anne Rivers Siddons